I recently logged on to a message board devoted to mothers with children born in the same month as my youngest daughter. I read several posts regarding the main new-mother issues: feeding, sleeping, and using the bathroom. What is normal? Why is mine doing this or not doing that?
I muttered along in agreement with some mothers whose six month olds are not sleeping through the night (we are still up at 11, 3, and 6 for feedings) and grumbled at those who posted that their children sleep eighty five hours in a row (ok, that’s obviously an exaggeration, but that’s kind of how it feels when you have gone almost half a year with no more than three hours of sleep at a time – besides those very few occasions of four or five hours).
Then, yesterday, my oldest daughter turned three.
She is three: the one that was colicky, that learned to crawl by pulling on the cat’s tail and then following him when he fled, that shot herself over the side of the crib during nap time at just one year’s old like the gymnast that she has become.
She is now a little person. She can dress herself, and loves to put on her tights, the bottom of her swimsuit, several shirts, a necklace, and a hat – all at the same time-and sing very loudly.
She can ride a bike and a scooter and roller skates.
She can climb and dig in the sand and recite the alphabet.
She can say, “I love you mommy.”
I received an invitation to my best friend’s daughter’s high school graduation in the mail the other day. She’ll be heading to college in the fall. I remember when my best friend was fat and pregnant. Remember her daughter as a little tyke, when we had to scoop her up as a rattlesnake shot across the water after her because she’d been tossing rocks in the river; now she is heading off to college.
I guess this post today is meant for you to stop and reflect, regardless of how old your children are, on how quickly the time goes. Nothing is as big as it ever seems. We tackle obstacles every day, from poor report cards to unfortunate scuffles on the playground. We get little sleep while worrying about everything, and if we aren’t worrying we’re consumed with guilt about, well, something.
And during that time, our children are growing.
Today, for a minute, put it all into perspective. You will sleep again. Your children will most likely turn out fine. They will stop skipping class. They will start napping again, or they will adjust to less sleep. They will grow and be strong and become more independent and then they will be gone living their own life.
Today, give your kids an extra kiss, tell them how much you love them, and cherish the time that you get to spend with them. It goes so quickly.
Happy Tuesdays, working moms.