The first 5 years are the hardest; hang in there!
It gets better!
One day you’ll look back and miss these days; treasure every moment!
Everyone who has made it through the early years of motherhood says these things. Like every.single.one. Without fail. In fact at this point, my eyes just glaze over when I sense the comments coming because my brain literally cannot process them for the billionth time. Or I want to say, “Sorry, what did you say? I couldn’t hear you over the screams of my tantruming toddler”. I know they all mean well. I know they are trying to offer encouragement. But right now, whilst I am in what everyone endearingly refers to as ‘the trenches of motherhood’, those things seriously mean nothing to me. It’s like trying to tell someone who is getting a limb amputated while conscious, “Don’t worry; it’s going to get better!” They can’t process anything beyond what is currently happening to them, because it is all encompassing. They can’t see the future because the present is suffocating them. I can’t see into this mystical future these people are propagating because my present situation is all encompassing.
It’s poop. Like, literal poop. In all different stages of development. And not always neatly contained in a diaper or toilet.
It’s always having butts to wipe, even though they aren’t mine.
It’s crumbs of all different sorts that end up everywhere. In the nooks of the car that are impossible to get to. All over all of the floors. In my bra.
It’s bathroom counters that are forever covered in sticky toothpaste, despite my constant cleaning.
It’s hiding the toothpaste from the baby, who sucks it straight out of the tube whenever she gets her little paws on it.
It’s crayons that disappear to be later found in the dog poop.
It’s constant interruption.
It’s never being able to sleep.
It’s hearing a non-stop chorus of “MOOOOOMMMMM!”
It’s screaming. So.much.screaming.
It’s whining and tattle-telling.
It’s tears. And the kids cry all the time too.
It’s a constant battle of wills as I fight in the name of naps and sleep schedules and veggies at dinner, while the rebellion fights against me at every turn.
It’s also beautiful.
It’s kisses and cuddles and huge bear hugs.
It’s sparkly eyes because they believe the world is a magical, good place.
It’s dance parties in the middle of the day.
It’s all the time in the world to just do nothing, which is actually the best.
It’s love that is so full and deep that you swear it will kill you.
It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But it’s also totally worth it.
So all you older, wiser parents–keep telling us how worth it it will all be one day. We may be too tired to hear you, but tell us anyways. Because you’re right, of course–this is both the worst and the best. It’s chaos and beauty. It’s messy and lovely. It’s…it just is.
As for those of us who are still in the trenches…make some mud pies every once in awhile when you remember it’s supposed to be fun. I mean, it is fun, of course. When the kids aren’t screaming. But most importantly–remember that you’re not alone. There’s a whole regiment of us down in the trenches together. You don’t have to go it alone.