If you're a mama, chances are you've heard the phrase, "The days are long, but the years are short."
Maybe you hate cliche phrases so when you hear it you groan and roll your eyes. Maybe you just sent your baby off to school for the first time so when you hear it you burst into tears saying, "SO SHORT!". Or maybe you're up to your eyeballs in poopy diapers and temper tantrums and, if you had the energy, you'd say, "Yes. Yes, such long days!", but as it is you just nod and pull out the wipes. Again.
I'm a fan of cliche phrases, and this one is a hot contender for my favorite. It just hits me right in all the feels.
The days are long.
There are times when I feel like I'm in some sort of 'groundhog day' situation. Wake far before I'm ready. Change a diaper. Visit the potty. Nurse, maybe just one kid, maybe both. Throw on clothes. Repeat 5 billion times, "We can go downstairs in just a minute, I need to brush my teeth.... Yes I DO Sam. I DO have to brush my teeth.". Make breakfast. Empty the dishwasher. Pull a load of laundry out of the dryer in hopes that I might fold it at some point. Break up 86 little arguments over trains. Kiss 27 boo boos... It is now 7:30am...
There are days when I'm ready to throw in the towel by noon. When bedtime seems like it's NEVER.COMING. When, by the time my husband comes home, I'm so touched out and wound so tight that I snap at him when he asks what is for dinner because I simply CAN'T handle his hand on my arm and CANNOT answer another question (sorry honey!).
There's also days where everything is just so joyous that I feel like my smile has been hot glued on. Where I tick everything off of my to do list AND make up a fun, silly new game to play with the kiddos. Where I'm tempted to skip their naps because we're having such a good time (not that I ever do that, naptime is sacred around here 😉). Where my husband comes home and I chatter his ear off about all the fun we had and all the awesome, amazing, and (let's be honest) SHEER GENIUS things our kids did. But even those days are long. Even those days I look at the clock and have that, "HOLY COW ITS ONLY 9!" moment. The days are long.
But the years are short.
First let me say that I realize with a 3 year old and an almost 11 month old, I haven't even BEGUN to understand the magnitude of the second half of the phrase. I'm starting to get the idea though...
It's so easy for me to get caught up in the 'groundhog day' feeling, that I don't always think about the fact that I HAVEN'T been doing this same routine forever. All it takes is reading an old journal entry (or blog post), or readisomething from a couple years (or even months) ago on Facebook to make me jump and think, "WHOA! Remember when Kate went down for a nap before Sam and I even went downstairs in the morning?". Or, "Oh my goodness! I used to nurse Sam on the couch watching Boy Meets World every morning."
Then there's pictures. Pictures absolutely slay me. I'll look at a picture from when Kate was born, less than a year ago, and tear up because Sam looks like such a BABY! Or pictures of Sam's first Christmas. Or a video of the first time Sam made Kate laugh. Or a picture of when James and I first met...
I'm gonna go ahead and throw out another cliche here... WHERE does the time go?! My baby boy who used to sleep swaddled next to me on the couch walked down the stairs without holding the railing this morning holding 2 books and a truck. My baby girl who nursed for an hour right after she was born is too busy trying to walk and yelling, "No no no!" at her brother to nurse longer than 5 minutes.
The days are long, but the years are short. Keep your heads up mamas. Change one more diaper. Wipe one more nose. Take a deep breath and read that story 1 more time. It's ok to feel like your day will never end. It's ok for part of you to wish it away. It's ok to think, "I will NOT miss this!". Just remember that there are some things you WILL miss, and you might just start missing them sooner than you think. So soak up the snuggles. Run your hand through the baby curls. Relish in the slobbery kisses. And rejoice in the fact that someday the sleepless, teething nights will also be a memory 😉