I’m thrilled to share a guest post with you today! In just a few years, Danielle and I’s oldest boys will both have grown to the age we were when we met – just seven years old. It seems crazy that we’re now both moms, taking care of littles. Danielle has four beautiful children and lives in Texas, so we rarely see each other. But when she shares anecdotes about her children on Facebook, I often laugh out loud. I hope you enjoy this insightful post from Danielle Henderson.
I couldn’t wait for him to be born. My son was taking his time coming into this world. He was almost 2 weeks late when the doctor finally decided we needed to induce, this boy wasn’t coming on his own. After 12 hours of labor, there he was, the most perfect baby I had ever seen. I couldn’t believe he was finally here, finally in my arms. 48 hours later, I wished there was a way to put him back, for just a little while at least. Our first couple of nights as parents were rough. My little man screamed and cried and ate constantly. When people told me that you don’t get any sleep once you had kids, I guess I thought they meant that you don’t get very much sleep. Turns out, they actually meant that you get no sleep, and I just wasn’t ready for that yet. Since then, we’ve added 3 girls to our family, and I’ve gotten used to the sleep deprivation that comes with being a mom. I’ve learned so much in these last 5 years. These are a few lessons that stand out to me
The days are long, but the years are short: A lady at my church told me this when my son was first-born. She said that she understood that I was tired, but that I should try to enjoy every minute, even in the middle of the night when I was up with him. She said it would be over before I knew it and that I would miss that special time with him. I almost punched her in the face. Hey, cut me some slack, I hadn’t slept in over a month at this point. Now, almost 5 years later, I understand what she meant. That little baby is walking, talking, potty trained, and dressing himself. He is in preschool and learning to write his letters and count. It feels like it took forever to get here, and it feels like it happened overnight. How is that possible? It’s just how it is with kids. That sweet lady was right. The days are long, but the years are short.
Kids really do hear everything you say and repeat it: I’m not kidding. I mean EVERYTHING. When my middle daughter was 2 years old, we were driving to the grocery store and someone cut me off. I muttered something about wishing bad drivers would stay out of my way, then forgot about it. We got to the store, I managed to get my 3-year-old, 2-year-old, and infant all through the parking lot and into the store alive. If you’ve never walked through a parking lot with toddlers, you may not think this is an accomplishment, but I’m telling you, this is big! So, I let the big kids sit in a shopping cart that looked like a car and they were pretending to drive through the produce department. All of a sudden, my sweet, shy 2-year-old daughter shouts at the lady in front of us “Get out of my way, you stinkin’ bad driver!” I almost died. That lady looked at me like I was the worst mom ever. I learned real fast to keep my mouth shut. If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all, right? Right.
Find the joy in every day: One beautiful, warm spring morning not too long ago, I let my 3 oldest kids outside to play in the back yard. They play so well together, and they would rather be outside than inside any day. I opened the windows in my house to let the fresh air in, and I started cleaning. I looked out the window every couple of minutes to make sure they were alright. One time, I looked out to see them jumping on the trampoline. Two minutes later, I looked out to see them all covered in mud, digging with their little hands in a mud puddle, wearing the biggest smiles. A clean house brings me joy, mud brings them joy. You see where we could have conflict? In that moment, I wanted to scream at them. I mean, I was going to have to give them a bath before I could even let them eat lunch. Didn’t they see that they were making more work for me? But, thankfully, I looked at them again. There they were, my 3 precious kids, playing together, smiling, and having so much fun. They weren’t doing this to upset me or to make my house dirty, they were just playing. So, I went outside, laughed with them, and took their picture so that I would remember this. Some day, life may not be so simple. Mud may not make them happy. One day, I will have a clean house, and I will miss the mess. For now, there is joy in mud, and I choose to see it.
What have you learned since becoming a parent?