Tuesday, October 24, 2023

We didn’t know how good we had it.

Back in the day I relied heavily on my circle of blog friends to slog with me through the trenches of early motherhood. I maintain that I may not have actually survived the chaos of raising 3 boys, 3 and under, if it wasn’t for some of the most amazing women I’d ever meet, yet, unbelievably, never in real life. 

Try explaining that to your teenager while also telling them, that under no circumstance, are they allowed to chat on Discord with strangers. I think we’d say that’s the “pot calling the kettle black?” 

My boys would probably say, “that’s cap.”

My boys. Wow. How time flies. They’re 13, 11 and 9 now. It’s been a while since I’ve come back to this space. 

The days of sleepless nights swaying with a baby on a hip or crammed in a bed with two toddlers sprawled out between my husband and I are long gone. Nobody asks for a bedtime story or twelve, everyone can make their own lunches (and even a dinner or two) without assistance and I can actually leave all three of them home alone for hours at a time. 

If you’re wondering, why yes, that is precisely what freedom sounds like. The light at the end of the tunnel that so many of us yearned for in the early days of motherhood.

I’ve arrived.

But ask any mom of a teenager (or two) or one of us smack dab in “middle motherhood” and we would tell you without skipping a beat that we’d go back in time if we could. 

Because as much as I hate those, “just wait until” moms… just. wait. until. 

Mothering big(er) kids comes with bigger worries. Bigger problems. Bigger hurdles. The wins are huge! But so are the hurts. What’s worse is that these hurts can’t be soothed with a pack of fruit snacks and a paw patrol bandaid. Believe me, I’ve tried.

And oh the attitudes. Give me angsty toddler sass 18 hours a day, I’d roll around in it. Bathe in it, even. It’s the “I’m 13 and know better than you” that makes my head spin. And if I hear, “nah, bro! that’s cap” one more time? I’m going to scream. 

Not like anyone would hear me though. They’re too busy wearing AirPods all over the house. 

We didn’t know how good we had it. 

It’s the blows to their self confidence while you sit idly by and wish to absorb as much of their hurt as you can while your own heart is breaking in two- watching them steel themselves, pick themselves up off the proverbial ground and try, try again that, I think, stings the most. Letting them fail is one of the hardest lessons of all, even to learn as a mom, especially to teach as a mom.

Take me back to the long days spent pushing a double stroller around the park, packing more snacks and bribery treats than that weird middle aisle of Walgreens. The constant juggle of multiple schedules, dinners eaten in the car and on sidelines and in bleachers and email exchanges with my husband updating calendars while we sit side by side on the couch… all in an effort to raise well-rounded miniature adults…. is almost too much.

Is it too much to ask? 

Take me back to the Paper Crown Years. ❤️

Coming soon, friends. Coming soon.

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