To the Stay-At-Home-Mom of Littles

Hey, You – the Mom of Littles –

The one who stays home and just drowns in baby and toddler and motherhood all the livelong day –

I have to tell you something.

Don’t worry, I am not going to tell you to cherish these days. I know you already cherish them. I know you know that they are a blessing, and they grow too fast, and the days are long and the years are long – or something to that affect.

You know all that.

I’m here to tell you that I’ve lived it and I’ve come out on the other side.

mom of littles sits with baby and toddler on couch

Look at me. Let me take your coffee cup out of your hands – you’ll need to microwave it again anyway after we finish this conversation – and look at me. I am holding your hands in mine and I need you to hear me: They. Will. Get. Bigger.

Friend, I remember it. I remember driving by the elementary school close to my house. I remember doing the math and looking in my rearview mirror at the tiny infant in the backseat and thinking that by the time both of them were in that school building it would be 2021…and I would be 37…. and that felt like FOREVER. It felt like an eternity.

The next time I will get consistent, multiple hours of alone time on a daily basis will be in 2021” I said to myself…. In 2015.

mom with her baby and toddler

I did the same things you did. I tried to entertain with playdates and Tuesday/Thursday preschool programs. We went to Chick-fil-a and the library. We watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and strolled around the neighborhood in a wagon.

collage of mom of littles and baby and toddlerI made turkey sandwiches and mixed bottles, I willed myself to get everyone {myself included} out of pajamas several times a week and I tried to do something productive during nap time.

baby and preschooler in grocery cart

Listen – I once did a Facebook Live from the backseat of my Ford Explorer where I asked for help from my mom friends. It was a sheer act of desperation.  My one year old fought me with every fiber of his being and was arching his back like a dang contortionist to avoid being buckled into his carseat. He screamed so loud I thought certainly someone would call the police on me. I turned to crowd-sourcing solutions via livestream. “Bribe him!” “Hold him down with your knee!” “Do the chest clip first!” they all chimed in. I was at my absolute wits end.

preschooler and toddler in superhero capes and maskspreschooler and toddler stand outside, smiling

Then big sister went to Kindergarten, and while that was precious and wonderful – in a weird way that made it harder. Having just one at home somehow made it seem like he needed more of me. His playmate was gone. We had some behavior setbacks and when she got home from school she just wanted to rest and he just wanted all of her attention.

We powered through. Year after year.

And here I am, standing at the other end of the long, dark tunnel – hollering to you, with my hands cupped over my mouth – shouting “I made it! It’s beautiful!”

They both go to school! Every day! They get on the bus at 7:30 in the morning and they get off the bus at 3:30. So what do I do in the in-between? All kinds of things!  I have a job, so I work in my office. In silence. I go to lunch. I run errands – like going to the grocery store, alone. I eat lunch in my kitchen, quietly. I call friends and family members. I clean up the house and fold laundry. I eat treats and I don’t have to share them. I even miss them when they’re gone and get very excited when I know the bus is headed home.

And that’s just school days! On the weekend we have transitioned, too. They wake up and don’t always come to get me. Sometimes they wake up on Saturdays and play quietly together while my husband and I get to sleep in. No one needs help buckling up in the car – they can do all of that themselves. They can open and close car doors. It’s truly shocking.

They can make basic snacks on their own. Last week they walked down to our neighborhood park alone {I can see it from my office window} and played while I worked and then after 30 minutes {as set on Big Sister’s watch} they headed home.

Y’all – they even bathe unassisted. I say “take a shower” and she takes a shower and emerges with washed hair and fresh pajamas on. I mean – what is this sorcery???

The tantrums are few and far between but the hugs and cuddles haven’t stopped yet. I am so glad those haven’t gone anywhere.

They are big, and growing, and I emphatically do not miss lugging that infant carrier around. I just don’t. I’m so glad I have friends who have tiny babies that I can snuggle when I’m missing that squish.

For now, I relish in the joy that is seeing a child poke their own hole in their own Capri Sun.

Moms of Littles – I see you. This is a season. A long, exhausting season. Just know that there will come a day… a day that they don’t need you for every.single.thing.

You got this. And you’re doing great.


 

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Jenny’s family has deep Houston roots. Raised in Cypress, this Texas girl married a Louisiana boy. While they loved their time in the Baton Rouge area - they eventually moved back to Houston in 2008, first living in the Galleria area, then slowly working their way further and further West down I-10, eventually landing in Katy where they’ve been since 2015. She has a passion for bringing people together using the power of Social Media. Today you can find her making a fool of herself on Instagram and raising Ellie {2012} and Jack {2015} with her husband Grant. She loves all things comedy, pop culture, macaroni and cheese, and writing about what brings us all together. The only thing in life that she can guarantee is that as you are reading this, there is laundry in her dryer that she is avoiding.

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