It has been an especially trying week. Our children are already less than
amazing good okay sleepers. Then add some common sickness to it and we have entered a world of practically non-existent sleep. We cannot remember when we got a 2 hour stretch of sleep. Our daughter was sick last week and she so lovingly shared it with her brother. My husband and I each stayed home with a sick little man one day this week. When they are sick, they cannot sleep unless they are asleep on our chest. So, for the past two weeks we have been sleeping with a little on our chest or right beside us. They start in their bed/crib but out of survival end up with us. This is just a minor setback and I fully understand that other families have it much worse. This is being a parent. It is exhausting.
It is also the most loving time in your life. Ever.
Even without being sick, littles love being with their mamas and daddies.
All the time.
I cannot remember the last time I went to the bathroom without a beautiful and curious 2 year old standing next to me, narrating my ever action. (That is very humbling by the way.)
I shower with her choosing to sit on a stool in the bathroom waiting for me. She has the choice to play with her brother and daddy, but instead would like to wait for me to finish my shower. My reflection time in the shower is interrupted as I keep checking on her to make sure she is okay. As soon as I am done, she stands up and says “Mama done?!”
While eating dinner, little miss tries her hardest to sit as close to or on either my husband or I. We repeatedly remind her that she can sit next to us, but not on us at the table. But, we have to repeatedly remind her of this through the entire meal.
My store runs are now accompanied by a sweet little girl who would like to go shopping with mama. I repeatedly explain that we cannot open every banana, strawberry, and yogurt through the store. I narrate our shopping experience, redirecting her down the right aisles, and she echos what I say. My store runs are significantly longer but must be timed for the potty runs as well, as little miss no longer wears diapers. Just last week she insisted on holding her mini-donut while she used the grocery store bathroom. Maybe this is where we got the cold from? <wink, wink>
So my alone time is significantly less. Even as I write this, my littles and my husband are having some daddy time in the playroom so that I can have an hour of “me time” before I take little miss to the grocery store with me. But, did you read that correctly, my alone time is significantly less. As exhausting and overwhelming as that can be, it is such an incredible blessing. My lonely 300 lb self of years past would never have believed that one day I would have such a loving and wonderful family that wanted to be with me all the time. I am not alone. I am loved beyond words. This does not just apply to me and my specific and bumpy journey to having a family. This applies to all of us who were once alone and blessed to find someone to share our lives with. Then blessed once more with the miracle of little ones. Blessed.
It is heartbreaking to leave my children every day but when I see my children at the end of an exhausting day at work, my sweet girl is my biggest cheerleader, saying “Mom!!! You’re back!!!!” and gives me the biggest, most genuine hug EVER. My son lights up when he sees me. My daughter will not leave my arms for the first 15 minutes when we get home. This is a little trying as neither will my son.
My daughter insists on cuddling in our spot while snuggled up under our blanket watching “my show” (her show). Little man crawls over and wants up too. So we snuggle. The three of us snuggle in tight.
The first words I hear in the morning, if she hasn’t already found her way into our bed, are “Mom!! Mama!!! I am done!! Mom!!” The last words I hear at night when I put her to bed are “No mom. Stop! Mom!!!!!! Mama! Stay. Mom!!!!” When my husband puts her to bed, most times she asks for me to go up and give her one last kiss. She asks the same of my husband when I put her to bed. She cannot get enough of us.
My point is, as exhausting and overwhelming it is, we will never be this loved again. Our children, Lord willing, will grow up. They will hit a point where they won’t even acknowledge that we have come home. They will hit a point where the thought of laying in your bed is grotesque to them. They will hit a point where the thought of watching you go to the bathroom is nauseating. They will hit a point where sitting next to you at dinner seems like a chore, as sitting with friends would be much better. They will hit a point where they won’t want to talk to you as openly. We, as parents, will keep trying to get them to show us the ways they used to love us, (expect for the bathroom thing. I am really okay with that moment being over) but they will grow up and find their own ways to show love. They will never again love us as whole-heartedly, as unconditionally, as genuinely as they do this very moment.
I recently read this quote,
As overwhelming as it may be to always have a child on your hip or by your side, it is a blessing. What you are doing with those littles far outweighs what other things you could be doing. That child loves you with their every being. Soak it all in now.
You will never be this loved again.