Mom life: The days are long but the years are short

I’m nursing the baby to sleep (again) and am wondering how our oldest is starting Kindergarten. Life has been a big blur since I had kids, and if I didn’t email them pictures, stories and videos of our days together, I’m pretty sure each of these memories would have been a big, disorganized mess in my brain. Five years ago, I was holding my oldest in my arms relishing in my new mom glory days. Loving every minute of the simplicity of caring for one adorable baby and questioning each milestone as it came up. “Am I doing this right?,” I’d ask my mom and friends. I’d spend countless hours doing tummy time, encouraging her to roll over and trying new foods. There are thousands of pictures evidencing our first two years together. Then her brother arrived and there are thousands more of the two of them. Now,  here I am, cradling my last babe, reflecting on the quickness of our lives and how each day is FLYING BY quicker than the last.  I still have hundreds of pictures capturing our every day moments, but life seems to be moving THAT FAST that I’m not catching all of it.

How did I get here?, I keep wondering to myself. I feel like I’m still a kid myself and I have three of them? I feel like I blinked and have suddenly woken up to the fact that they are growing up. The blur of having two young children two years apart is slipping away from me and life with the bigs is getting easier. They are more independent, running up the stairs to get their socks and putting their sneakers on. They race to the car to buckle themselves into their car seats (I always tighten and Check them!) and they rarely announce, “I need to go potty,” because they’ve gotten up and gone. They button their raincoats and successfully use their own umbrellas. Their sippy cups that filled my cabinets have been tossed and their crib is getting one last go with their younger sister.

Once our son was born, life got quicker and I never sat down. When one of them needed something, a second later the other one did too. The first eight months were the three of us, trips to the park, Target, countless walks and various playgrounds. Wagon walks, picnics in the park, fitting in a run around the neigborhood bc they both sat so well next to each other in the BOB. My husband just said to me yesterday he thinks they are too big to be in the double BOB together and his words stung, too big for our double  stroller?! That can’t be -they are only three and five! He explained that he had just pumped the tires up again and walked them both over to the park and told me how difficult it was getting to push- they went from being a combined 30+ pounds to close to a 100.  These days, they’d rather ride their bikes or scooters there anyway.

During the blur, I remember counting down the hours until my husband would walk in from work, so I was no longer out numbered and could get two minutes to clean the floor without one of them throwing more food down on it. Dinner time was complete mass chaos those early days. I somehow successfully made dinner most nights, juggling a baby in my arms and a toddler demanding every ounce of my attention. The house was constantly a mess and we didn’t have a clean up routine because no one listened anyway. If my husband made it home in time for bedtime I felt some relief because I had help and he would walk in on the madness and hit the ground running.

Now here I am, wondering how our days in the blur have turned into years and appreciating the the calm after the storm.  The sheer chaos of having two kids under two have somehow passed and we are able to enjoy our little family, with the bigs becoming the best of friends.  They have spent the Summer running, jumping, building, and swimming together.  They have built a hundred forts and destroyed the playroom. They don’t call on me for help every few minutes because they’ve got each other and work quickly, familiar teammates knowing what the other one needs before they even realize it. When they do start arguing, and beating the hell out of each other, I intervene as the referee and  they demand, “we weren’t fighting,” because they know they will be separated if they were.

I realize just how quickly these days are passing, and how they are turning into years. Five short years ago, I was rocking my first baby and tomorrow, she’s starting Kindergarten.  The days at one time seemed so very long and I didn’t know how I’d survive.  Now I’m wondering where the years have went and how I’ll survive the big day tomorrow- sending our oldest off to Kindergarten. I squeeze the baby a little tighter, as I wipe the tears off my face, and know it’ll be okay. After all, I have another five years before I send my littlest off, and then I’m sure to be a mess.

Good luck mamas! Be well.

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