Last week I was sitting with a handful of moms a few steps ahead of me in the parenting journey – moms who have kids who can stay by themselves for a few hours at a time, who don’t wear diapers or take naps and spend the whole day at school. Who dress themselves and can go to the bathroom without assistance.
As I listened to them talk, for a second it sounded really nice. On the hard, long days I dream about my children becoming more independent. I’m only about three years into this parenting journey and I’ve already forgotten what it feels like to have any semblance of independence or freedom with my time, my body, my head space.
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how very at home I feel in this stage of life. What once was foreign and difficult now feels familiar and comfortable – the physical exhaustion, the frazzled mind and disheveled hair, the expanding and contracting body stretched and changed from having babies. Juggling all the things all the time. Squeezing in workouts, quiet time, and trips out by myself in the margins and fringes of time made available to me when possible.
Oh, I’m sure the more seasoned mommas out there will be quick to tell me that the best is yet to come and there is so much more fun to be had as our girls get older, and for that I’m so thankful. But right now I want to stay in this thick, heavy, physical season of motherhood. Because while there are some days that I’m not sure I’ll survive, parenting a toddler and a baby is really the sweetest and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. It’s demanded so much from me, revealed so much selfishness and yielded equal amounts of personal growth.
My baby is seven months old and it’s gone so fast. Faster than the first, for sure. Collins is perhaps the most kissable, cuddly baby I’ve ever met. I want her to stay a baby forever, and at the same time I can’t wait to have conversations with her and know what she’s thinking.
My toddler is lanky and lean, talking all the time and having real conversations with us. It’s amazing! And yet I could be brought to tears wondering where my first baby went, realizing I will never be able to get that little baby Ainsley back again.
And that pretty much sums up motherhood, doesn’t it? Loving every season, anticipating the next, mourning the loss of the season that has passed. If I go on to have ten kids, you’ll know why!