You know how when your kids are making you crazy, and somebody says, “Treasure them, it goes so fast,” and you kind of want to punch that person? You'd much rather someone say, “Hey Supermom, let me entertain your kids while you sit down and drink this hot latte I just made.” And that obviously never happens. But I also think “Treasure them, it goes so fast” is annoying because deep, deep, deep down, we know it’s true. And we feel guilty for not savoring every moment—as though that were possible. Come on.
I love my kids, but I don’t think they were made to be enjoyed every single second. Sometimes, though, when they’re sleeping, I’m able to take a step back and realize that the very things that irritate me on a daily basis are eventually going to be cherished memories. For instance:
1. Every time I try to fill or empty the dishwasher, a baby climbs inside
When little kids are underfoot, the simplest tasks turn into Olympic events; afterwards I’m sweating and feel like I deserve a medal. But when chores become simple (and solitary) again, I suspect I’ll miss the chaos—and the photo ops.
2. Bedtime requires so many stories and songs, I feel like I’m performing a Broadway show seven nights a week and twice on Saturday
You know what I’m talking about moms: Bedtime is a cute fest, but one that’s hard to enjoy because by that point you’ve been momming for 12 hours and wish someone would put you to bed instead of the other way around. Except … one day it stops. My older one still likes stories but already hates my singing voice. I'll cry real tears when the little one no longer wants to hear my off-key but heartfelt lullabies.
Someday, I’ll miss having kids try to get into my bed. I’ll probably start trying to climb into theirs.
3. I go to bed with just my husband and wake up in a clown car
How many people can you fit in a king-sized bed? A lot, as it turns out, but not so comfortably, what with all the squirming, kicking and cover stealing. Right now, sleep is precious, but then again, so are snuggles. Someday, I’ll miss having kids try to get into my bed. I’ll probably start trying to climb into theirs.
4. Someone usually cries when I leave the house
This kills me, because ooooof the crushing guilt, but at the same time, it’s nice to be beloved. I assume at some point my kids will not even look up from their phones when I close the door.
5. My older daughter whines that she needs more Mommy time
I get it, girlfriend, you don’t like sharing me with your baby sister. But do you know how annoying it is for a SAHM to be accused of not putting in the time? It's like I'm getting a bad review from my impossible-to-please boss. Plus, I know damn well that by high school you'll be giving me the cold shoulder, and I'll be begging for You time.
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6. My body is on loan
My boobs belong to my baby, and my back is nearly broken from carrying her. My hands’ primary jobs are making braids, wiping snot and holding on for dear life during “One, two, three, wheeeee.” My lap is covered in tushies, my nose is bruised from accidental head butts, and someone always seems to be poking me with a wet finger. Yet someday, when they’re like, “Ew Mom, get off me,” I know I’ll miss all the contact. I might have to put chocolate chip cookies in my pockets to keep them close.
7. “Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy!”
That’s my name, and boy it is worn out! The volume, oppressive repetition and nonsensical desperation (I’m right there next to you, kid) all drive me insane, but what happens when my little people aren’t at home anymore? Nobody will call me “Mommy” for weeks at a time, if ever—they might just call me the more grown-up and irritated-sounding version, “Mom.”) Prediction: Hearing random little kids call out for their mommies at Target or whatnot will occasionally break my heart. On second thought, maybe “Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy” isn't so bad.