Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Dear Future Self

Dear Future Self,

So here's the thing. I know I will miss this crazy, hectic, chaotic life. I know I will miss the love I feel from them and their adorable quotes and probably even the mess, because it means they are here with me. But the days are long. And they are hard. And I honestly don't know how I'm going to make it 20 more years. I'm grateful for the opportunity to be a mother and there are so many good parts and things I wouldn't trade for anything but please don't look back on this time with rose-colored glasses and tell everyone you meet to just enjoy it. Instead, tell them you know how hard it is and that they are doing amazing things daily. Tell them to do their best and record their experiences and feelings so they can hold these in their hearts forever, even after their children have grown up. Tell them it's okay to feel frustrated and to not enjoy every moment. Don't feel guilty about feeling stressed and overwhelmed and wondering if you're doing it right or wrong. Tell them to stay positive and keep going and that there are seasons in life and someday this season will pass but for now, appreciate what you can and do your best. Because that person you say, "Just enjoy it. It passes quickly" to may have had a day like mine. They may be on hour 12 of 15 1/2 when you approach them with your wisdom.

Today there was the usual waking up at 6:30 to get Oliver out the door for school by 7:00. There was the routine stuff like getting breakfast for my kids and working out at the church. There were errands to run and we cleaned out the car (which has to happen every two weeks or it reaches the point of no return). There was also the stressful moment when Oliver threw a rock at Josh and he, in turn, threw it at Norah, while I was driving. Our boys collect rocks. I find them in their pockets, the washing machine, the dryer, the car, there is a big pile of them in our front yard, in their rooms, on the carpet...pretty much everywhere. I heard a painful scream from Norah and pulled over as quickly as I could. The rock had hit just below her small eye, leaving a bleeding bruise.
It was so close to hitting her in her small eye and that scared me. A lot. I kept my cool but was also firm and expressed concern and frustration. I cancelled our park plans and told the boys we would be doing extra chores today instead. That, of course, is really a punishment for me because I have to monitor said chores, along with their constant fighting and tattling, instead of letting them burn energy at the park. Then there was soccer practice and it's always stressful getting out the door to that. An emotional meltdown is guaranteed. Then I start questioning if we should even have Oliver in sports because his days are long and start early and he's just so tired by the time soccer practice rolls around at 5:30. And then I start comparing the pros and cons of being on a team and playing sports as opposed to staying home and not rushing out the door. And of course we were late, even though I started the process a half hour before we had to leave. Fighting on the way there, fighting on the way home. Sandwiches and oranges for dinner (and cereal) because there wasn't time for anything else. It's bedtime and the dishes are piled up in the sink from yesterday and the house is a mess and the boys are fighting again. I get Oliver to sleep and then Josh won't sleep and Norah cries for two hours because she's teething. Norah is crying because she's tired and all I want to do is relax a little but I know there are still hours before that is even a possibility, if I even get to that part of the evening before I fall asleep. (Wendel had mutual tonight so I was solo.)

So choose your words wisely. Be kind and non-judgmental and don't forget how truly difficult the day-to-day is.


Mel said...

What a stressful, long day!!!! Teething babies (and babies in general) and having so many little people is so hard! It gets easier before 20 years, I promise. It is SO much easier now that my youngest is 4. And I don't look back and wish I had enjoyed it more when there were toddlers and babies running around, I look back and remember that sure, those moments with babies were so sweet, but also so hard. :) You're doing a great job.

J. said...

As a mom who is just a little bit up the road from you I know where you are and I have compassion for you and you are doing great. I pray what I say next gives you some hope...God mercifully gives us mom's an "eye" in the storm. Its between the time before your oldest is about 12 and your youngest is older than 4 or 5. That is the blessing of having our kids within a period of 5 to 6 years. We, here at the Shaver house, are starting to get out the "eye". Our oldest is 12.5 and our next oldest is turning 11, both girls. They are complete opposite when it comes to coping with their changing emotions. One is angry and one cries all the time. I'm only somewhat terrified (probably out of ignorance) but past experience has me clinging to my faith and God more than ever and thankfully our marriage is the best its ever been. I also have hope coming to me from a couple moms who have said its not all bad...that they love their teenagers and the fact they can have those more serious heart to heart chats as they guide these half grown kids on their journey to God. Love you heaps!

Krystell said...

Absolutely loved this post!! I only have the 2 kiddos, but you've expressed many of my thoughts!! I write things down like this to remind myself, and to maybe encourage posterity to know they aren't alone in it too. I ask my sister and mom for advice or help, and they both say "I can't remember" or "just enjoy them, they grow so fast" which I know is true, but it's not helpful at the moment!

So, thanks for your words and thoughts! You are amazing and I look up to you a lot!!