I remember a friend telling me at my baby shower, “don’t wish away the years because you will wish away all the good stuff too.” I remember her words so clearly, it feels like just yesterday. Here it is five years later and I see how hard that advice is to follow. I can’t tell you how many times I have wished for my babies to “just go to sleep!” or wished that potty training, or this picky eating phase would “just be over already!” In those moments it was too hard to see what I was wishing away.
My babies waking up in the night was the only time I had to snuggle them one at a time while their twin was asleep in another room. Now, I miss those precious early morning moments of feeling a tiny, fuzzy head snuggled under my chin. I miss the sound the rocking chair made in the late night hours quietly shushing us back to sleep. I miss holding those tiny bundles against my chest with their arms around my neck, the scent of their hair and the tiny wisp of their breath on my neck. Here’s the part I want to wish away: my kids are growing up and I’m feeling so unprepared. Where is the restart button? How can I go back to day one knowing all that I know now? I’d be more patient. I’d be less busy. I’d throw away perfection much sooner.
Kindergarten registration has come and gone. My kids are officially on the track to elementary education. Our first visit to the school is happening tomorrow. The girls will get to tour their classrooms with out me. They get to meet some of the kids they will spend their days with for the next 13 years. I will be in another area of the school talking with other parents about how to prepare our children for their first day of school without us. And I’m not ready to let them go.
You would think staying home with them for the last five years would feel like enough, but it doesn’t. It just doesn’t. That five years went by quicker than I could imagine. When I sit down in the rocking chair in a quiet moment I can almost feel my pregnant self sitting in that chair. I waited patiently through five months of “bed rest” for my little babes to arrive. It felt like that five months was never going to end. But it did and at the end there were two incredible little gifts that belonged to me.
I thought the first year of taking care of twin infants through the night was never going to end. They would never be out of their cribs and into their own rooms without each other. I would let them decide when they were ready I thought. But then I decided on my own when they were old enough to get out of toddler beds and get into mischief together.
I thought potty training my set of very strong willed twins was going to break me. I couldn’t imagine a day where I wasn’t wiping up potty accidents all day long. Those were really hard long years (yes, years). But now that phase is over too.
I have been so fortunate to stay home with them. I have had five years of snuggles and kisses, watching them grow and learn. I have not had to share all their amazing milestones with anyone else. It was all me. And them. And I loved it.
I have been able to watch over them, protect them and keep them safe. Now, we are moving away from our own little world to enter the big wide world. I am excited to watch them learn new things and grow. But it feels like a lot is ending for us. It’s an end to lazy morning snuggles because it’s Tuesday. It’s an end to sunny morning park dates. It’s an end to trips to the ice cream shop in the middle of the day. It’s an end to slow easy mornings where the day is ours entirely.
Now, we move on to homework struggles and rushing to the bus stop, bullies and besties. My beautiful babes are on the threshold of shedding their innocent perspectives and learning to connect with the world around them.. They will learn so much more than what I can give them by myself. Some good. Some bad.
I know the next five years will be very different than the last five years. But, I can’t help wishing I didn’t have to wish for more time.
The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again!
This article also appeared on Mamapedia.com
Time is moving so quickly, this year seems faster than last and so on. My oldest is almost 8 now, and it doesn’t seem possible. I try to soak up every minute, even the hard ones 🙂
Enjoy every moment! Great reminder for loving the milestones, but also a great reminder for anyone (kids or no kids) to appreciate every moment.
Karen | GlamKaren.com
My daughter’s forth birthday was last week and I looked back at the years with fond memories but I also wondered how they had gone by so quickly. I miss the falling asleep on me or early morning feedings.
When I read posts like this one, I can remember so clearly my own motherhood journey, one that is over 30 years old. Your advice is perfect. Every new mom should read this.
Don’t be down on yourself! Being a mama is HARD work and sometimes we just lose it and wish for things to be different. No regrets, it’s the love that matters and those sweet memories. Don’t dwell and miss the new ones!
This is the hardest advice to follow. I think I like to try to just savor the good parts. I have twins too and they are now 8 and man it is flying by.
This is such a beautiful reminder. Especially on days like today, when I’m tired and grumpy and just want the kids to quiet down. lol.
Well written, as always ! We will have to meet for lunch come September….????
Awe thanks for reading!! Definitely let’s do lunch!! 🙂
This is all so true…having been a mom for 14 years, it truly does go by so quickly. The days are long but the years are short.
This is so beautiful, and really came at the perfect time for me. My daughter will be going to Kindergarten next year, too, and it is killing me. If I would offer any parenting advice, it would be to hold on to one moment, from every single day, because it really does come and go too fast.
My favorite part of having a new baby – was just that – the new baby and the first year. I literally would have a new baby every year just for that! I have a teenager now and he is just about killing me! ☺
I love this message! The years really do fly by, but every stage that we pass through and morn the loss of is simply a doorway to the nest stage. My kids are adults now, and while I loved the early years, these years are equally special
This applies to life in General. It seems to fly by no matter how much you want it to slow down. We just try to stay in each moment so it feels longer.
Sometimes I think I’m selfish BC it just doesn’t feel long enough. 😉
Aww! You detailing these precious moments makes me want to have children so badly! When I do become a parent I really want to be a stay-at-home mom for the first 5 years of their lives. I don’t want to miss a moment!
Love this so much! It can be so hard to not wish away time when it is hard, but you will always want it back!
I just love this post because I was like that. I wished that they would just grow up and now that they’re grown up and almost out the door, I wish that they would be small again. You have to cherish every moment, the good and the bad.
Time really does go by fast! I find myself getting frustrated all the time and I always have to remind myself that my daughter won’t be little forever and to just embrace it
My boys are 17 and 19 now, and I miss their little selves so much. They’re teen versions are great, but I truly miss the snuggles and cuddles.
I have teenage nephews who were my first little cuddle bugs. We won’t snuggle on the couch for a movie any more, but I can squeeze a big hug out of them now and then. 😉
Time goes by so quickly, all we really have are memories to treasure. We’re getting ready to put our toddler in “big boy” school, and I’m not ready. It seems like just yesterday we were coming home from the hospital with him in our arms.
So true. It makes me sad to see what a little man my 3 year old is. How he takes care of his sister and plays with me and his dad. I want him to be a baby forever!
I remember receiving sound advice like this when I was expecting my first child. How little did I know it would be true. I’m still trying to grasp the fact that my first child turned 10 last month. Time is so fleeting!
Take it from me, before you know it they have their own families and you wonder where they years went. Cherish every moment!