Dear Mommy of Little Ones,
I know it’s exhausting. Your job is constant. Your sleep is limited. You give all you have to your kids, God’s most precious gifts. But sometimes, every now and again, you want to scream from a mountain top that there is simply no way you can possibly fold another pair of socks, wash another sippy cup or sweep another Cheerio off the floor.
Would you believe me, young mom, that one day your heart will sting a bit at the memory of those socks? That sippy cup? All of those Cheerios? I get it; right now it’s a challenge simply to see past this weekend’s birthday party, preschool carnival, visit with the in-laws, and trip to Costco, but if you look just a little further down the road, you’ll catch a glimpse of fully grown responsible members of society (that you’ll still call your babies) heading out the door. And here are some things you can’t imagine you’ll miss. But you will.
1. The Run-around There’s no doubt about it, going on errands with your children takes twice as long. Someone loses a shoe. Someone else is hungry. People are staring. The aisles at Target just aren’t wide enough. But the phase of having your kids with you in the car, in the stroller, in the grocery cart, doesn’t last long. So sing a few songs in the check-out line. Pray in the car. Get ice cream on the way home. Sooner than you think, they’ll be driving themselves around town.
2. Dishes, Shmishes That sink full of dirty plates means more than just another household chore. It represents an incredible time in your life when your family eats together. Your kids will soon be making plans with friends, attending a late practice, heading to a school function or packing up for college, and family meals will be a rare delight. The messy table, the crumbs, the spilled milk are all temporary, just as is this special time in a young family’s life.
3. Chaos and Commotion. You know all that hullaballoo your kids are always making? The yelling, the stomping, the hooting, the hollering? One day, in the not too distant future your house will become quiet. Like really quiet. Like pin drop quiet. I know that sounds like a tropical-vacation-with-a-tiny-umbrella-drink to you now. But soon a quiet house will make you bit sad. Nowadays one of my favorite sounds is the ruckus of noisy kids coming through our door. So go ahead and let them hoot. Holler away, little people.
4. Great Awakenings I realize you can barely remember what it feels like to… what’s that called again? You know, that thing when you open your eyes on your own timeline instead of being jolted awake at the crack of dawn by hungry, tiny ones? Oh, yah, sleeping in, that’s it. And yes, admittedly, it’s nice. Sleep is a fabulous thing. But it doesn’t hold a candle to early morning snuggles, Disney movies past bedtimes or rocking a sick child to sleep in the middle of the night.
5. The Shout-out. Nothing makes the heart stop faster than a child calling for Mom. Is he hurt? Did she fall? Stitches? Emergency room? Nope, your son just needs a juice box. Your daughter can’t find her red crayon. But as many near heart attacks as it gave me, I long for the sound of my kids yelling for me. Needing me. For a short time, I was the hero that could save their day. Cherish that word, heart attacks and all.
So hang in there, young Mom. The Lord is your strength. Keep those sippy cups going. Sit down and eat some Cheerios with the troops. And make sure to hold those socks close for a moment or two, before you fold them.
Kathryn, Mom of Big Ones
My latest children’s books, The Sit for a Bit Series from Tyndale, are books designed to teach scripture to children ages 3-6. My other books include I’d Be Your Princess (Gold Medallion Award Winner for Best Picture Book) and I’d Be Your Hero (Standard Publishing). I currently serve on the writing team for HomeFront Magazine (David C. Cook) and have recently written pieces for Today’s Christian Woman and Focus on the Family.