Do you ever feel like time is just flying by? Like, how are we already through the first month of 2021? That happened so fast!
As moms it feels like that time can go so FAST or it can go so SLOW. Some hours feel like days – especially those hours sitting up at night with a crying infant. There are years that feel like they happened in seconds. (I’m pretty sure 2020 is not one of those years for most of us – that was a year that felt like a decade!)
There were nights where I would be up for hours rocking and trying to console a colicky baby. (On those nights I understood why some animals ate their young.) Those days and nights were HARD!!! They seemed like they would never end! Hours felt like YEARS!
But then before I knew it were in the potty training/imaginative world of toddlers. Where did my baby go? How are we turning your carseat around already? Since when did you learn to talk in sentences? Wasn’t it just yesterday we were so excited when you took your first step? And why are you always running!!!!!????!!!!
Oh, and the sassiness of age 3 – never ending! I remember looking at my sweet little toddler and wondering how she morphed into a sassy teenager so fast! Phew! There were days I had to walk away! That tiny little attitude could just push my buttons.
But then I look and she is off to her first day of Kindergarten! WHAT! We just learned how to count to 10 and write the letter M! How is she off to big school already? There was a slew of papers and artwork and mini performances and quarterly conferences and projects that no child is actually capable of doing by themselves (hello family scrapbook, enterprise project, and wax museum in 2nd grade!) But even those things flew by, and before I knew it she was graduating 5th grade!
Here we are in middle school. I remember thinking “I know I am not old enough to have a middle schooler.” LOL! I also remember being terrified to take one of them home! I had taught them for 15 years. I did not want to have one in my house after school hours! Those years are ROUGH! The hormones, the eye rolls, the dealing with peers drama and mean girls…. It’s not for the faint of heart. Some days felt like weeks.
Now we are half way through 9th grade, and I have no idea how we got here. Braces went on and a minute later they were off. She is about to start driver’s ed! I swear it was just yesterday that she learned to ride a bike – with much cajoling. How is that little pigtailed girl going to drive a car?
It goes even faster with each subsequent child. I have some memories of Reaghan as a baby and toddler. After that it’s a blur. I barely remember Liam as a baby or a toddler or as a little fella. And, I am pretty positive Ryan went from infant to little boy in a day. Thank God for Facebook memories!
The guilt of the forgotten moments and blurred days is real. You worry that you didn’t do enough, say enough, spend enough time with each child. Life got away from us. Did I cherish the time that I had with them? How did I not know that that would be the last time I would give one of them a bath or carry them in my arms? It’s heartbreaking.
But here is what I have learned over the past 15+ years as a mom: It’s about making them feel loved and safe. It’s about teaching them right from wrong and helping them learn to navigate this crazy world with kindness, love, respect, and empathy. It’s about teaching them the skills they need to be functional, successful adults. It’s about finding and cherishing the little moments in the midst of the big ones.
Yes, my kids love when we play board games or have a dance party or have a family movie night. They especially love when we go on amazing adventures and trips. We strive to do these things with them, but it’s also ok when they just don’t happen. It’s just not practical for them to happen every night or every weekend or every year. And that’s ok. Making big memory moments or being the Pinterest Mom is not the end all be all. It’s not written in the mom playbook (which I never received). Yes, it’s great and fun. We love making memories. But, we shouldn’t feel guilty if we just can’t make those big moments happen.
I think this slow down/quarantine has really taught us all to appreciate the mundane. It has forced us to slow down and see what we have been missing when we were functioning in warp speed and were over scheduled. I have enjoyed the little moments with my kids. I appreciate the dinners at the table, the snuggles on the couch when we are watching TV, and the walks around the neighborhood. Don’t get me wrong, it has not been all sunshine and roses. There are still the days that feel like YEARS! But these moments are precious, and I am grateful that we were forced to slow down and have nothing to do but cherish them. I don’t want to go back to that over scheduled, crazy running around life. I definitely see us being more intentional with our time and more protective of it once the world really opens back up again.
The days are long, but the years are short. Take a moment to pause and really soak in this season of life – no matter how short or crazy that moment may be. It goes by fast.
❤ Ms. Meghan