Lisa Hughes Tyson
I was grocery shopping yesterday and I saw a young mom with three children in tow. One in the baby seat of the basket, one sitting with groceries, and one walking along beside. The youngest was crying because the one with the groceries took her toy. The one who was supposed to be walking beside the basket was trying to “help push.” The sweet young momma…well….she was probably thinking “I am so excited that Mother’s Day Out, Pre-School, and Elementary schools are all out and I get to do the grocery shopping with all of you every week!” Or something like that….
So here is a thought for my young momma friends in the trenches with littles....when an older mom looks at you and tells you to “enjoy every moment when they are little”, you might want to look at her and ask her what on earth does she want you to enjoy right now? The screaming fit? The “he/she touched me”? The “can I get a toy or candy or gum or…”? There were days that I would have gladly allowed that seasoned momma to enjoy all of my little treasure for me for a few minutes while I ran my errands in half the time with twice the peace!!
When a momma of “bigs” tells a momma of “littles” to “enjoy every second”, what she really means is “I know what it’s like when they aren’t little anymore.”
We know they throw fits. Those don’t stop—but they are over different/scarier things with bigger/scarier consequences.
We know they fight nap time to stay awake WITH you—but we also know there is a time they are really never home.
We know they only eat 4 things—but there is a time they eat more with their friends and family dinners have to be treasured and protected.
We know they “only want momma” sometimes—but we know mommas move to the background. That is okay because we are supposed to move to the background. It just is hard to accept not being “needed” in the same ways. Independence is a mixed bag of blessings.
We know that the days are long when they are little and at home—but we know that the days are longer when they go from school, to sports practice (in their own car or with a friend), to their rooms to finish homework before they go to sleep and start it all again the next day.
We know that they want to do things “all by myself” and if you just helped a little it would be faster (and probably cleaner)—but now “all by myself” involves cars, and friends….and a freedom of choice and independence that keeps you on your knees in a way that makes you afraid to stand up.
We know it’s hard to have “littles”—it’s hard to have “bigs” too. So, when we say to “enjoy every minute”, give us some grace. They do grow up and it’s awesome. But there really is nothing like the days when they are all at home. Or all at the park. Or all eating lunch together. Or all...The “all” gets smaller and smaller until it’s just “us” a lot of the time—which is cool too. It’s just different.
My friend, Lisa Eaton Clark, talks about measuring time in “summers left” before they leave the nest. That leaves me with 1 and 6—and they will fly. My oldest is already gone and comes home just to visit. Nothing will change the fact that you are the mom. Your kids will always need you. It does not change overnight but it does change and one day you realize that they aren’t little anymore. So mommas of littles, “enjoy every second.”
~ Lisa Hughes Tyson