There’s a blog post that went viral last week titled “This Stage of Life? It’s Hard” from the Austin City Moms Blog. I linked to it in my Links & Likes post on Saturday, and I could relate to SO much of it. (The first four paragraphs? I could have written them myself about this stage of life I’m in RIGHT NOW!!) Over the last year, as I have adjusted to life as a mom of two, I’ve found a lot of comfort in recognizing and accepting that these years are supposed to be hard. These years – with little kids – are hard for everyone. In fact, if they weren’t hard, it would probably mean I was doing something wrong.
The post was a good reminder that “we’re all in this together,” and it made me think a lot about my own experience in this young motherhood stage of life…
On the one hand, I feel like these are the years I was made for. I’ve wanted to be a mom (and a teacher) my entire life. My earliest memories of playing involved setting up “house” and taking care of a baby. I started babysitting when I was 11 and worked many a summer keeping kids full time. Obviously I’m totally in love with my kids; but, even beyond that, I’ve always been “the mom” of my friend group – organizing fun events, carrying extra bandaids in my purse, and being “responsible” even when no one else was. My dream car when I was a teenager was a Volvo station wagon (truth), and I’ve always kind-of dressed like a mom. I like a busy schedule going from soccer to swimming to music, and I live for things like planning birthday parties and stuffing Easter baskets. No one was surprised when I started driving a minivan. My personality just works with mom stuff.
Quick funny story: When I was in high school and had recently been dumped by my first real boyfriend, a friend of his told me – presumably to comfort me – that I wasn’t really the kind of girl guys liked to date, I was more the type they ended up marrying and having kids with. At the time, it did NOT feel like a compliment, but it actually was quite accurate and proved to be true – I did, in fact, marry and have kids with my very next boyfriend. 😉
So, there’s all that. But then, also, on the other hand, I can’t help feeling like these are not my best years…
These are my tired years. My chubby years. My messy-house years.
These are the years when the only real conversation I get to have with Jeff happens over the phone on our lunch breaks or via email during the day. These are the years when vacation means a full week of packing, and I come home more tired than when I left. These are the years when some of the things I want to do just can’t be done right now, because there simply aren’t enough hours in a
Even when I look at pictures of my mom when I was little, I can’t help but think she really has “gotten better with time.” She was – of course – still beautiful in her early thirties, but she too had the circles under her eyes and extra pounds around her waist that I sport now. (Sorry Mom!) I didn’t appreciate it then (and I don’t expect my kids to any time soon either), but she, too, sacrificed things like a regular gym schedule, fancy furniture, leisurely meals at restaurants, and relaxing vacations in favor of chasing little kids, playing taxi-driver, rocking sick babies, and building sand castles back then. If I asked her, I don’t think she would change a thing about those days, but her life is pretty darn fun – and she looks great – these days too!
I’m not complaining about these years. They are important and wonderful years – years I truly value and will treasure for the rest of my life – but I can’t help being a little excited about the next stage as well. I look forward to the days when I have time to exercise more regularly, sit on the porch with Jeff and chat leisurely about our day, and sleep (oh sleep) until I wake up on my own. Some of those things, I know, will come sooner than others, but I like knowing that there will be a stage for that stuff too.
At first, I felt a little guilty saying that I don’t think these are the “best,” years; but, really, I’m glad I’m not peaking now. How terrible would that be for the rest of time? I’m glad that – in the midst of these hard years – I can be fully thankful for the stage of life I’m in and, yet, still fully confident that the best is yet to come.
What about you? How do you feel about your current life stage? What about the ones still ahead?