Yes, I know everyone says it, and I’ve always known it’s true, but sometimes that truth just slaps you in the face a little harder.
I so clearly remember the days when it was just Tristen, then Tristen and Mace, then Tristen, Mace and MaraJade. The days that seemed to drag on endlessly, with me desperately trying to figure out what I was doing, what to do with kids, how to best take care of them, how to take care of a home at the same time, how to take care of myself, how to have fun with them…..all in the hours while PJ was at work and I was trying to fill the void. It seemed often that the day would never end, I would never have a moment to myself, that the kids must surely be bored to tears, that I would never regain my sanity or figure out this mothering thing.
Don’t get me wrong, I know I am so blessed to have been able to stay at home with my kids – I’ve loved it and wouldn’t trade that time for anything in the world. But it was a learning experience, and took me a long while to get the hang of it (well, I’m still figuring some things out…).
And now I can only look back and see all the time I’ve missed. Tristen is getting baptized, Mace is in kindergarten, Monster will go to preschool in the fall – but it seems that they were all just babies moments ago. How much time did I waste obsessing over behaviors, attitudes, cleaning, training, researching, and whatever else it is I do? How many times did I put them off on doing art projects because I either couldn’t just go with the flow or was afraid of the mess? How many games did we not play because we first needed to clean up?
And now, with Eowyn, I’m entering a whole new parenting realm: a baby with school-age kids. It seems I’m constantly on the go. I’m at the school at least 3 times each day, dropping off and picking up. In between those times, I have to figure out how to maintain the house, my other “jobs”, plan, shop for and prepare meals, clean and maintain myself and the kids, and somewhere in there – taking up large portions of those dwindling blocks time – I take care of and love on my sweet little baby. That vast expanse of day I used to bemoan has been hacked up and subdivided into tiny parcels of minutes and half hours.
I remember wondering what I was going to do with my day – now I wonder, what can I hope to actually get done? There is so much to do, but no time left. Every day is full of interesting choices: If I eat breakfast, grab a quick shower and dress, I can’t work out. If I check my email and maybe update my blog, I can’t do the laundry. If I run the errands I need to, I can’t do the cleaning I need to. If I get pictures of the baby on to the computer, I can’t hold her a little longer. My house is in chaos, I’m behind on everything, and really don’t see when I’ll ever get caught up again.
And all the while, my babies are growing up and up, at an ever-increasing rate of speed. Why can’t it all just slow down a little?