This is motherhood: long days and short years

This is motherhood: long days and short years

Recently, Margs came down with her first full fledged virus. You know, leaky nose, cough, fever, staying up all night because she couldn’t sleep bug – this is motherhood I thought to myself as I rocked her back to sleep for the 6th time that night. Turns out, baby girl was dealing with hand, foot and mouth disease and was incredibly uncomfortable because of sores in her mouth and under her feet. I looked at this tiny little girl and I remembered all those sleepless nights of her infancy and a twinge of guilt came over me.

this is motherhood

How many times did I wish time away? Countless times.

How many times did I will time away and hope she’d age and grow out of her neediness? More times than I can count.

This is motherhood isn’t it? When things are tough we tend to wish time away – hoping for times where baby needs us less so we can get our coveted sleep. Then, brief moments like rocking your sick child snap you back to reality and you realize that a time will come when they wont need us anymore. What then? I’ll miss those moments I’m sure.

Motherhood is such a complex journey isn’t it? In some ways I feel like I’ve been on autopilot cruising first through her infancy and now into toddler-hood. I stand here now and look back on her early days and question if I truly savored every single moment. Is it even possible to do so when you are so deprived of sleep?

We savor what we can while we simply try to survive, am I right?

Motherhood is mostly about unconditional love, partly about survival and often about doing our best when faced with uncertain and utterly exhausting new situations.

The days are so incredibly long aren’t they? A sick child makes every 24 hour period feel like an eternity while the years seem like they fly by in an instant. It seems that suddenly, I have a nearly 17 month old toddler who climbs, jumps, sings and calls out to me when she wants my undivided attention.

In some respects I’m not sure how we’ve managed to get here. How did we make it through months and months of little to no sleep? How did we manage? I suppose the easiest way to answer this question is to admit that we accepted that this tiny girl will only be little once. We’ll eventually get to a point in our lives where we’ll crave her neediness and have to accept that she’s a grown child who doesn’t need to be rocked for comfort anymore.

Until then, the days and nights will surely be long but I’m trying to savor these moments because I know that this tiny miracle will not be little forever.

How do you savor the moments? Have you caught yourself wishing time away?

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14 Comments

  1. April 24, 2017 / 9:25 am

    I feel guilty All. The. Time. Because there are certain moments I don’t want to end (hello, newborn baby) and moments I could completely do without (attitudes and temper tantrums). I know it’s all part of the mothering package, and I will certainly miss it when my kids are out of the house… but it’s hard to cherish it all because I certainly won’t miss ALL of it. *sigh*

    • April 24, 2017 / 7:27 pm

      This is very true. I think in some respects we need to be honest with ourselves that not all parts of motherhood are wonderful ya know? I think the perception is that we need to enjoy every single moment but in reality not everything is wonderful ya know?

  2. April 24, 2017 / 9:35 am

    I wished time away when I was pregnant – I wanted her here now – but once I held her in my arms I realized I missed being pregnant with her.

    • April 24, 2017 / 7:26 pm

      I did this too. I guess given the circumstances I did what I had to do to put my mind at ease but in retrospect I didn’t enjoy it the way I should have.

  3. April 24, 2017 / 11:32 am

    I find myself wishing time away constantly. Last night, at 1 am, as I was trying to get my youngest back to bed for the fourth time, I was wishing she would just sleep through the night again. I found myself angry with my husband for not waking up with her instead. I also believe I should feel guilty. I should feel guilty because my oldest is 13 and I do not miss those sleepless nights I had with her. I do not miss holding her hand each time we crossed a street or walked to the park. Instead, I am glad she is able to go to the park without me. I am glad she is trying to do things for herself. I think this is a mixed emotion topic for all parents. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the topic. It helps 🙂

  4. April 24, 2017 / 1:08 pm

    I was just ruminating on that the other day. I often feel like I’m just waiting for naptime on weekends or bedtime and I feel guilty that I’m wishing away my time with them.

    I totally understand this feeling and I think most parents have that. You’re luck to b the mama that notices that feeling and in turn can cherish the moments as you can.

    And I hope Margs feels better soon, we had HFM and it was rough.

  5. April 24, 2017 / 1:15 pm

    I regret wishing away time but I did. Hurry up was the theme. I can’t wait until baby sleeps through, sits up, crawls, walks … now looking back I’ve no idea what the sense of urgency was. My advice to any new mom is enjoy the moment because even a long day is gone

    • April 24, 2017 / 1:16 pm

      Before you know it. I hope your little one feels better soon.

  6. April 24, 2017 / 7:22 pm

    I regret wishing time away, I did not enjoy the first 3 months of motherhood at all. But then I reminded myself that time goes by very fast, so what I do now is make sure when I am with him I put my phone away and focus on being present.

  7. April 24, 2017 / 7:34 pm

    Yes. This. I feel this often. I definitely have caught myself wishing the time away, but I’ve also made peace with the frequent night wakings (my 8 month old still wakes 6 times a night) by being very aware and mindful of the fact that this is temporary, and when it’s over I’ll miss it. So when I rock her to sleep in the middle of the night I make sure to hold her extra tight and whisper I love yous into her sleeping ear and make every precious second meaningful.

    • April 24, 2017 / 7:36 pm

      That’s wonderful that you’re conscious of it! It’s taken me far more than 8 months to really come to terms with this. I think that deep down we all do the best we can ya know? Clearly, on especially hard nights we’ll probably be exhausted and tired and frustrated that we’re missing out on sleep. BUT, being aware that it’s okay to feel that way sometimes helps in its own right I guess.

  8. April 24, 2017 / 11:09 pm

    I struggle with that balance too. Slowing down helps:)

  9. April 25, 2017 / 11:44 pm

    Yes, it’s hell a lot of the time – I’ll just say it like that. I wait for naptime to come every day… but with an older toddler who doesn’t nap anymore, I don’t get a real break. It’s hard to get through every day with the attitude of “Ooh, what wonderful thing can we do now?” But on most days we keep our artwork, take photos and videos, and make sure we laugh and run around.

    • April 26, 2017 / 7:26 am

      We need to just take it one day at a time and one moment at a time I think. Thank you so much for stopping by Katherine and sharing this with me!

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