Disclaimer: Uncharacteristically sappy article lie ahead which may incite unexpected emotions. Proceed with caution. I claim no responsibility for the warm and fuzzy feelings that may overcome you while reading.
As I write this, I’m staring down at my newest little one who is approaching two days old. Embracing her in my arms, I watch as she peacefully sleeps while trying my hardest not to move. My eyes are glued on her as I inspect every inch of her tiny, precious face and all of her itty bitty distinguishing features. When a hand or foot peaks through her blanket, I can’t help but to trace the never-ending wrinkles that cover her unbelievably small toes and fingers.
It’s only been two and a half years since I had my last child, yet I’ve forgotten just how small they start out. Completely enamored with her, I sit still in the quiet room breathing in that intoxicating new baby smell, wishing I could pause time to make this moment last longer.
In a few short hours, we’ll be discharged to go home to reality and figure out our new normal filled with a never-ending routine of chaos, constant feedings, diaper and outfit changes and other numerous improvised moments in between. I can’t lie and say that’s not in the back of my mind, but right now this moment is everything.
The addition of this little lady makes us a family of five. My other two children are two and three-years-old. Suffice it to say, my hands are full and definitely have my work cut out for me.
It’s only been a few years since becoming a mom, but in that short period of time, I’ve grown to appreciate moments like these and realize how truly precious they are. Knowing just how unbelievably easy it is to get wrapped up in the everyday, I’ve come to realize these errands, tasks and never-ending to-do lists aren’t what’s important but rather distractions from what is.
As you read this, I’m sure your rolling your eyes accompanied with a deep sigh. You’re thinking I must’ve had a lobotomy to be so completely out of touch. I’m not perfect – far from it.
In the midst of the chaos and craziness, I’m not thinking how quickly this time is passing or how they’re only this little for so long. When you’re in the trenches, you’re more focused on trying to survive than embracing the moment. While trying to handle dual toddler meltdowns or after a rough day at home with the kiddos, it’s hard to maintain this perspective. All too often, my husband comes home to me requesting a break and needing him to take over.
When my son throws his full dinner plate on the ground after telling me it’s ‘icky gross’, I’m not thinking about the bigger picture and how fast time flies. When my boys are screaming and throwing a fit at the store prompting a nice lady to approach me and remind me how quickly they grow up, I want to tell her to STFU and time isn’t moving fast enough.
Motherhood, especially as a stay-at-home mom, is filled with a rollercoaster ride of emotions. I didn’t know a person could experience such a wide range of, what seems like, every emotion imaginable all in a single day. Then I became a parent. There are good days and you better believe there are bad. Not every day is filled with sunshine and rainbows, but there are those unexpected moments in this beautiful experience of raising kids that makes it all worth it.
Although this is my third go-around and have been in this exact spot twice before, this time feels so different. I didn’t have previous years of parenting to reflect upon. At that time, I didn’t fully understand just how precious this time is. Nothing can compare.
I’ll never get this moment back. The newborn smell will fade. She’s going to get bigger and in the not-too-distant future, I’ll be running after her while she’s too busy attempting to keep up with her brothers. While juggling the demands of all three little ones, I’ll be trying my best to equally divide myself and give them all the attention they deserve.
Routines and schedules will start to evolve and dictate our everyday lives. School pick-ups and drop-offs, activities, practices, games and events will promise to keep us overwhelmingly busy. More often than not, it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to keep up with everyone and everything.
Knowing how quickly it’ll go, I’ll continue to sit right here – spoiling her with kisses and hugs and inhaling her sweet smell while truly enjoying this moment.