Mother’s Day Musings

I’ve had a lovely Mother’s Day so far. I slept late (8:00 a.m. counts as sleeping in these days), snuggled with my husband then enjoyed breakfast in bed while editing chapters nine and ten. A beautiful, quiet morning with no children in it whatsoever.  Is it bad that the nicest way I can think of to spend Mother’s Day is to ship my kids off to their grandparents’ house?

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I’m a firm believer that each stage of parenting comes with its own trials and joys.

With a newborn, you have lots of breaks while your little bundle of joy sleeps or plays happily in that expensive swing you bought, but you’re not allowed to sleep more than two or three hours at a time, leaving you stumbling through life in a sleep-deprived haze.

Wait a few months, and the five or six hours of sleep you’re getting at night feels like a luxury, but you’re going to need every bit of that energy as you chase your crawling/toddling explorer around the house, thwarting disaster at every turn.

By the toddler stage, you’re a pro. Sure, your little darling still needs almost constant attention, but you’re getting a full night’s sleep and a couple of breaks each day during nap time. But don’t get too comfortable–the terrible-twos/throttle-them-threes are just around the corner.

Never. Ending. Drama. That’s the stage my youngest is in right now, and as reluctant as I am for him to grow up, I can’t wait for this particular phase to pass. Anybody know of a never-ending font of patience I can tap in to?

My eldest is finishing preschool this week. He’s growing up way too fast. Video games, go-karts, sports, reading, arguing. LOTS of arguing. I appreciate the fact that his increasing independence gives me more time for myself and my goals, but I can already feel the precious childhood years slipping through my fingers.

And so, I’m enjoying a few hours to myself, without the demands and frustrations of mothering two small children. But I’m also missing their sweet, smiling faces, their little arms wrapped around my neck and their excited voices calling, “Mama! Mama!” when I walk into the room. As life-consuming as motherhood can be, it’s all worth it.

Anybody care to tell me what I have to look forward to over the next few years?

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24 thoughts on “Mother’s Day Musings

  1. Russell keeling

    I’d love to tell you what you have to look forward to. Unfortunately, my future vision is not 20/20. I can, however, recall a few images from the past that suggest good things lie ahead. The first image that comes to mind is of a beautiful little three-year old girl entering Disneyland and almost immediately finding herself in conversation with Cinderella. A few days later I see myself trudging up about a hundred steps with said little girl on my shoulders so we could follow her older brother down a winding water slide at a Yogi Bear campground. Then doing it over, and over, and over again. I can still feel the burn in my legs.
    I also remember pulling our van off the road road so I could use duct tape and a beach towel to construct a partition in the back of the van to stop the brother/sister fighting. (Didn’t work.)
    So many images. Amusement park rides. Marshmallow roasts over a campfire. Mastering “Twinkle, twinkle little star” for a fitsr band concert. Making up stories while listening to rain on our pop-up camper. First date. Graduations. Practicing driving on ice on an empty parking lot. Many outstanding accomplishments and a few disappointments. Then the joy of time with grandchildren.
    All in all I’d say you con look forward to more stress and more fun than than you could find on the world’s best roller-coaster. Enjoy the ride.
    Dad.

    Reply
  2. skizholmes

    Awww, the day’s of a young mother. I remember them well, but being a grandma is even more special. When I get tired, I get to send them home. 😉 Love your post.

    Reply
    1. S. D. Keeling Post author

      When I regret how quickly my boys are growing, I remind myself that I’ll probably have a turn as a grandma someday. There are definitely days I’d like to have somewhere to send them after a few hours!

      Reply
  3. clankids

    Recently I dropped off my oldest for his first day in middle school. I was more nervous than he was. I wanted to cry, but I held back. (How embarrassing to have your mom crying while she drops you off at school). I’ve got two more in elementary school though. While I enjoy the independence I get because they are getting older and more independent themselves, I miss the days when they came running yelling, ‘Mom, mom, guess what I did today!’ The conversations are more grown up too, dealing the friends and school. I’m not looking forward to the kids becoming teenagers though. Oh the horrible stories I hear. I think they will stop aging at 12. Sounds good to me =) (By the way I’ve never heard of throttle-them-three’s, too cute)!

    Reply
    1. S. D. Keeling Post author

      I’d never heard of the throttle-them-three’s either, but trust me, with my three-year-old, it fits! Okay, okay, he’s an awesome little guy, but oh, my, can that kid throw a tantrum.

      Reply
  4. Sara Kay Jordan

    Oh, I remember life with a three yr old. WOW I miss it and I really don’t. 🙂 I think every stage of parenthood has something new to cherish. You miss the old days, but the now is always good. And yeah, it only gets more hectic. Sleep while you can!

    Reply
  5. Beth Carter

    Look forward to the sulky teen years although I think it’s worse with girls than boys. Then, once you ship them off to college (and everyone is in tears), you will become a cherished friend again. Best friends. It’s all good. Every single phase. Great article!

    Reply
  6. Melanie Stinnett

    I love this post. I have a two year old and a three month old at the moment. They are so sweet and so draining at the same time. Worth every second for those precious smiles. I love to watch the ‘light bulb’ go off for my two year old when he’s figured out something new. I know that things will get more tough as we go along but I hope that all the special moments will just multiply.

    Reply

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