Do you ever wonder if these years with young kids are the best years of your life?
I’m sure you’ve had a stranger come up to you and say, “Enjoy these years, they go so fast!”
I thought I’d write about this topic because just last week after dinner I looked over to Clint while we were playing with the boys and I said, “does it ever scare you these could be the best years?”
Always the optimist and light-hearted one in our marriage he said, “No I don’t. I think the best years are ahead.” (He really loves these years, he’s just trying to make me feel better.)
I think it took me awhile to get this whole motherhood thing. I’ve finally accepted the craziness and messiness of motherhood and am now in the place that I can’t quite get enough of them. They are my little buddies, and they are each others’ little buddies, and every day we explore or learn something new and I kind of never want it to end.
Take yesterday for example – Shep discovered he had lines on his hands. He asked to see my hand and Clint’s hand and talked about it all day. It was beyond adorable, and I was so impressed by how observant he was, plus laughing a little because it was so hilarious and something I never thought twice could be the center of entertainment for him that day.
I never want him to stop exploring the lines on his hands.
Some people look back on their college years and wish for the freedom and youth of that time. But I really don’t. With college, I couldn’t wait for graduation day and for the freedom to have my very own job and real paycheck. No more waiting tables for a completely unknown amount of tips every day (praying I didn’t spill beer on someone, because let’s be honest, I was a terrible waitress). Finally graduation came and my first job came and I really enjoyed that kind of independence.
Dating was terrible – I hated not knowing if that person liked me and playing the game of waiting for a call and seeing if they were remotely normal along the way. Thank GOD Tinder wasn’t invented when I was dating because I would have never survived that. Thankfully, I met my husband on a Chipotle patio one night and before he knew it, we were starting our lives together.
The time of my life was really fun and exciting and enjoyable – weekend trips, dates that ended in dancing until late hours and relaxing mornings watching Netflix and brunching. But soon that felt a little too self-indulgent for me, and I knew once we got married starting a family was something I wanted fairly soon.
Messy, imperfect days
We had Shep and Beau within 21 months of one another, and I could say that my motherhood style and approach has changed dramatically over that time. Instead of fitting motherhood into my own dreams and path, I think I’ve started molding them together a lot more, and not being afraid to put my kids first, ahead of career dreams, knowing this is a season. Knowing it will fade away way too quickly.
Some days I feel a little panicked about how incredible this season is. How I don’t mind them needing me as much as they do. How I need them as much as they need me. Falling into motherhood like this can completely change your life, and for me it really has. For my sisters and friends scared of taking the leap into motherhood (not saying they are, I just know I was), know that it does completely change your life like everyone says, but in the most incredible and powerful way possible.
So what if these are the best years?
During these slow days and fast years, I’ll be:
- Making sure I take lots of pictures, and find ways to save our favorites.
- Singing our favorite songs in the car when we’re stuck in traffic.
- Playing with my kids every day, even when there are chores to do.
- Reading them the entire book, answering their questions and pointing out new things together.
- Letting them be the wild boys they are, and loving them through it.
- Being thankful I have a messy house to clean up, and sweet little kids who love making messes.
- Giving myself grace to be the best mom I can be, not a certain type of mom.
- Letting go of guilt when I fail.
- Saying yes to quality time with my kids instead of obligations that don’t bring me joy.
- Being inclusive of other moms, and taking time to nurture quality friendships.
- Saying no to being everything to everyone, and knowing being someone who’s present and real is enough.
These days aren’t perfect, but these may be the best years. Happy Mother’s Day to all you incredible moms, aunts, grandmas and friends. It takes a village!
On to the link-up!