Relishing the Toddler Years Before They’re Gone With the Wind

It has come to my attention that I will never sleep past 5:59 a.m. again. I will never use the restroom alone. I will never get all the way to the bottom of that sticky layer on top of my kitchen tile. I will never leisurely watch Netflix for more than 6 minutes without being prompted to change it to Bubble Guppies or Thomas the Train. I will never go for a run without the added resistance weight of two tiny humans + a double stroller. I will never finish a cup of coffee while it’s hot.

At least, that’s how it feels at this moment in time.

I love being a mom, possibly more than anything else I’ve done in my life. Some days my heart feels like it might explode just looking at my kids because I love them so much. There are times when my days off with them are a healthy mix of playtime and productivity, and I fall asleep at night feeling replenished and grateful.

But I’d be lying if I said there aren’t times when I spend an embarrassing portion of my day disconnectedly caring for my children, while a little voice inside harps on all the injustice of being a mother to toddlers on top of everything else I have to do. And I can just forget about the stuff I want to do.

My bathtub that I used to enjoy soaking/reading in is so full of wet-haired barbies and matchbox cars that the thought of cleaning it out in order to relax in it has me heading straight for the shower 9 times out of 10.

On the rare occasion that both kids nap at the same time I am faced with the dilemma of how to spend my time. Do I work out? Read a book? Finish a project? Eat a meal sitting down? And on those days I decide to nap myself? Well, those are the days at least one child was merely bluffing, and doesn’t intend to nap after all.

As soon as we become parents, we suddenly glean all kinds of reflective appreciation for the time and personal space we took for granted when we were so ready to have a baby we couldn’t see straight.

It’s true the grass is always greener, but who says greener is better?

These babies didn’t appear on my doorstep one day. I was there when they were conceived, and I absolutely remember bringing them into this world. I prayed for them, longed for them, and whether I realized it or not when I was dreaming of baby snuggles, I chose this time in my life to mop three times a day and wash so many clothes that I wonder if I’ve forgotten about the other family that lives here.

And as I can already attest to, these times go by quickly. Way too quickly. I blinked and my 7 1/2 pound baby girl was singing along with the radio. I blinked again and her baby brother was going down the slide by himself.

So I pick up the LEGO I just stepped on for the third time, wipe the yogurt from my curtains, and keep pushing forward.

For there will come a day when I can’t seem to sleep past 5:59 a.m. even though I have nothing particularly pressing to get up for.

There will come a day when my husband and I laugh at old videos of the kids shoveling spaghetti into their mouths, and we miss that sticky layer on the kitchen floor.

A day when the songs from our kids’ favorite shows no longer fill the house, and the sound of the 6:00 news is both too loud and too quiet.

There will come a time when I am lonely jogging by myself.

When I will finish a cup of coffee too quickly.

And I will miss this time in my life, when my home was filled with tiny squeals and not-so-tiny messes.

But I can’t think about that right now. I’ll think about that tomorrow.

5 thoughts on “Relishing the Toddler Years Before They’re Gone With the Wind

  1. I absolutely love this! There are plenty of times that I am cleaning up a spill for the 10th time of the day and my frustration clouds my joy. It is so important to remember that too soon my home will be quiet and the only spills I clean up will be my own.

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  2. I know this feeling all too well! I am a mom to 4 (8, 5, 2 & 10months) and I remember often how quickly time flies – how easily I remember when my oldest was just pulling up on furniture… and I look at the baby (or the toddler) and really try to soak up every moment – because I know they will pass quickly. ❤

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  3. I often say that I think a benefit to having kids later (much later!) than basically everyone I know is that I know too well how quickly it goes. I have really tried to make it a point to enjoy it and never say, “I can’t wait until…” because I know I will miss these days. Great post!

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