I remember driving home from the grocery store with tears streaming down my face because my two boys under three were screaming at the top of their lungs. The baby was screaming to be nursed, and the other one was screaming because I wouldn’t let him buy the red stress ball or the Milky Way he found in the checkout line.
I cried because I felt frazzled and tapped-out as a mama; I had nothing left, nothing. I cried because I was just so done with noise, all of it. I cried because I felt terrible that I still had ten minutes before I could pull the baby out of his carseat and nurse him. I cried because I just needed seven hours of uninterrupted sleep fortheloveofgod. I cried because I felt alone in my own thoughts and fears. I cried because this was my day yesterday, my day today, and would be my day again tomorrow. I cried because I couldn’t see that it would ever. I cried because all the old ladies warned me it would end and I definitely wasn’t enjoying every minute like they suggested.
If I could, I would go back to that day of sobbing in my car and give myself a long hard hug and tell myself it’s going to be okay. You’re a good mama. You don’t have to enjoy this moment. You don’t have to enjoy any of these moments. Someday, you will look back and you will treasure even this day. It’s hard to imagine, but you will.
You will never regret these long, sleepless nights. You will never regret these endless days that repeat over and over, sometimes like a cruel joke. You will never regret stripping a bed of pee -soaked sheets or baking frozen pizza for the third time that week. You will never regret your car being covered in smashed banana and Cheerios. You won’t regret one single second.
I laid next to my oldest on his bed last night. His feet stuck out of the bottom of the fleece blanket I made him when he was only five. He told me about his struggles at school and how his siblings are driving him crazy. I tried not to give too much advice, but I probably gave too much anyway. I looked at his giant hands and I remembered when they were still tiny and lost in mine.
I will always miss and cherish those long hard days and endless sleepless nights.
There’s so many things that are easier about older kids, and so many things that are harder.
Somedays I just feel like hiding in my room and crying, but I know, even though it’s hard right now I will cherish these days.
Maybe not today, but definitely tomorrow.