Yesterday at church a few ladies and I were talking about how we knew we were going to miss these days (you know the ones – the diaper days, the sleepless night days, the wiping butts days, the holding sick kids days) but right now it just doesn’t seem like it. One day we will miss the mess.
Can I admit something? As I was letting our one year old eat yogurt by himself, I realized I missed a lot during my older kids’ younger years. I look back and think about how I didn’t cherish their snuggles and their need of me or their messes like I do now. During those first years of motherhood and trying to figure it out and trying to be super mom (which just left me irritable and exhausted), I missed a lot. I didn’t take the time to slow down and soak in the moments of littleness like I do now.
I was consumed in the laundry, in the making everything from scratch, carrying two non-walkers on my hips, cloth diapering, and cleaning up the perpetual mess in our tiny house.
But now I now have a seven year old who freaking reads chapter books. By herself. Without needing my help. And who helps her brother go through his sight words each night. I now have a six year old who can climb trees and who builds crazy awesome things with legos and who enjoys golfing with his dad. I now have a five year old who will fetch her one year old brother from his pack-n-play at nap time if my hands are full (and she does it with such joy!) and will hold a crying newborn with such tender love and care. I now have an almost four year old who can memorize lyrics to a song like no ones business and rarely needs me to cut his food up for him.
They grow up fast. I can attest to that and mine aren’t fully grown yet.
These little people will always be my babies but they sure do grow up fast and need me less and are becoming capable human beings. Gah!!!!!!!
If only I could go back and just savor those first years of motherhood a little bit longer, a lot bit harder than I did, I would. Because those first few years were more awesome, more sanctifying, and more worthy of the mess than I give them credit for.
You know you are a REAL mom when…
*you wonder how you are so busy and not busy at the exact same time.
Here is a run down of this morning up until 1pm:
6:30am – Put Nora back in her bed.
6:45am – Ella asks to use our bathroom (why she asks, I will never know)
7:00am – Bring Bennett (who has peed out) downstairs for a bottle and diaper change
7:15am – Make coffee and get the kids set up with a show and some cereal
7:30am – Wash my face, put in my contacts, pour coffee, and start my Bible study
7:45am – Nora needs more cereal
7:50am – Tell Eden and Cooper to get stuff together for school
8:00am – Realize I haven’t changed Nora. Change her.
8:10am – Pray with the kids, go over Genesis 1:1, and send kids to bus stop
8:20am – Go to the bathroom
8:21am – Find Nora with an entire box (Family Size) dumped out, stop to clean up
8:30am – Make eggs for the four kids at home and myself.
8:45am – Start kitchen clean up, big two are put on breakfast clean up
8:55am – Attempt to lay Bennett down for a quick nap
9:00am – Finish cleaning up the kitchen and start the dishwasher
9:10am – Switch laundry and put in a new load
9:15am – Try to get myself dressed, teeth brushed, and hair pulled back
9:25am – Get distracted and clean all the ceiling fans
9:40am – Go to get Nora dressed and find her with a poopy diaper and her hand in it -yuck!
9:50am – Wake up Bennett, change him, pack the diaper bag with snacks
9:55am – Load the kids in the van (we should have left 10 minutes ago) to go to the gym
10:05am – Get to the gym and get the kids situated with child care
11:00am – Finish working out, get the kids, head to the photo store
11:15am – Pick up pictures, realize Nora fell asleep in the van, drive home
11:30am – Try and transfer Nora to her bed (unsuccessfully, which means tonight will be great with her!!!!)
11:45am – Feed the kids lunch
12:00pm – Switch laundry, start a new load, start my lunch
12:30pm – Send kids outside so I can eat lunch in peace
12:35pm – Ella insists Garrison is bleeding
12:40pm – Everyone needs drinks outside because it is so hot
12:41pm – Garrison drops his cup and it shatters
12:45pm – Try to finish my lunch
12:46pm – Ella is insistent that Garrison’s foot is bleeding
12:48pm – Try to finish my lunch
12:55pm – All the kids stand at the door complaining how hungry they are
1:oopm – Sit at the computer pretending to do “work”
See – really all I did today was go to the gym for an hour…
You know you are a REAL mom when…
*You finally start feeling live you’ve got your groove back.
Whether it’s after a baby or when your kids go to school or you are finally able to sit upright while being pregnant, it feels good to feel normal. And today was the day! After months of hiring a babysitter so I could go to the store alone (the thought of hauling extra bodies while nauseated sounded like torture) and barely being able to just do the minimal housework required to keep up with six kids, I am feeling back to normal. Woohoo! I assembled a changing table for church then loaded up all the kids and took them for an hour long school shopping session and ran errands and then came home and cleaned. Seriously guys. This is the woman I am use to. Not the couch loving, show watching, blob I am during those weeks of morning sickness. Hooray!!!!!!
Another day. Another addition of none other than the crappiest photos I took this week!
I ended up getting really sick Tuesday and Wednesday. Like really sick. I wasn’t sick to the point I thought I might die but I was sick enough that any time I stood up I thought I was either going to pass out or vomit. Add in trying to care for six kids (plus a neighbor girl who couldn’t follow the instructions that she had to stay OUTSIDE our house because I was sick), it was awful. Garrett did take a few hours off in the morning and tried to come home early but I was still left for six loooooooooooong hours by myself. Oof!
We also got to celebrate a birthday! Eden turned seven! It wasn’t the best day ever for me because #sick but I think she still had fun since she got to go pick out donuts with daddy and then went out to dinner and the waiter gave them TWO chocolate cakes. She has chosen to have a birthday party instead of gifts or an adventure, so hopefully I can post about that sometime next week. I’m still in shock that I have a seven year old. Seven. Wow!
Anyway, here are the photos I found on my phone to share! One of Garrison at an appointment at the U, looking big. A couple of our innocent little babe who gets into everything. One of our stellar dinners – I have needed to go to the store for weeks now. And one of my ferrel child, plus a couple of the wild one.
Tonight me and my first born put the kids to bed a little early. She cleaned the basement while I got the baby fed and down for the night and finished up the laundry. She is such a great helper. I don’t tell her that enough. But she helps me out when I can’t find the missing shoe or everyone needs help zipping their coats.
But as I stood back and let her make the brownies tonight (she did it all by herself!!!!!), I realized just how big she’s gotten. She talked while she baked. She talked about the moon and the sun and their brightness. She talked about the heat in the oven and how not to get burned. She talked about friends and their birthdays. She is such a little chatter box.
I’ll admit that sometimes the chatter wears me out. I love that she has so much to say but I’ve also listened to soooooooo much chatter with her other siblings during the day that silly talks about the sun make me zone out.
But tonight, I chose to listen. And guys…she’s so grown up. And beautiful. It’s not that I don’t know these things. It’s just that the time slips by between waking up and bed time and I’ve failed to truly see the gifts in front of me.
There are too many times that I wish away the days of dependence on me and look forward to tomorrow a little more than I should without savoring today. We’re never guaranteed tomorrow and I really don’t want to wish today away.
These days of motherhood are tough. These tough days are giving me wrinkles and extra belly skin and one day gray hair (either I have bad eyesight and can’t see them or there is nary a gray on my head). These days are long. And I often wish tomorrow would come. But the years are soooooooooooo short.
All you do is blink. That’s it. And they grow up.
Woooo-weeeee! It’s Friday. It’s been awhile. I know I say this a lot but I’m never sure where the time has gone. I feel busy but busy-ness is more just every day life-ness and when there are six little lives and one big life that I get to love and care for there ends up being a lot of busy-ness and yet not a lot gets done.
But last week I got to go to IKEA with a bestie and we had a blast! Seriously! It was so refreshing to be gone for the day without ANY children and since they were under the care of my husband there was no real worry about how they were doing.
Then this week has been spring break and I’m in love with the relaxed schedule and not needing to be up early. My kids have actually slept in (insert bug eye emoji guy right here). It’s been a taste of what heaven is like. Seriously, I’m sure there will be lots of sleeping past the butt crack of dawn in heaven, if there is sleeping in heaven that is. I also got asked how my eggs in my tummy were doing by a little person. Yep. That happened and it wasn’t even my own kid! Ha! But it made my day!!! (My eggs are doing fine if you were wondering.)
My favorite part of this week might have been hanging out with another large family. There is something about hanging out with eleven little people total that just makes me smile! Even though our families are so different (yet so alike), there is a sense of camaraderie that we share. We just get each other. Plus, we test drove a 12 passenger van because that’s what you do for fun when your family is giant. #largefamiliesunite
So, without further ado, here are some of the crappy photos I captured of the non-exciting parts of my life (but they are soooooo important to me!)!
You know you are a REAL mom when…
*You ask your six year old to get whatever she wants to eat for lunch out of the fridge.
I needed a nap. Bad. I barely slept last night and Eden had surgery this morning to repair her ear drum. She was fully back to normal from the light anesthesia, so when she asked for lunch at 2, I told her to find it herself (in the most kind way possible). And she did. String cheese, yogurt, and a granola bar. She is growing up. ***All the praise hands***