The moment you have kids the one message you hear the most from other parents is “enjoy the moments, it goes quickly.” Since so many people have uttered these words to me I’ve tried to take them to heart. It’s just been recently that I’ve truly understood what they’ve been saying. As my sister in law told me, “with kids, the days are long but the years are fast.”
For the most part, I’m a stay-at-home mom and my days are consumed by caring for 2-year olds and taking care of the house. Even though there’s more than enough work each day between changing diapers, dressing, feeding, separating fights, stimulating their learning, dealing with my labrador’s daily demands (and there’s a lot of them!), dishes and laundry (so much laundry…) I find myself getting bored mentally. Once the mental doldrums enter I start to answer work related emails or try to make phone calls during snack/Sesame Street time which never works. I get the pushing and tugging of little people on my heels, which makes me feel impatient that I can’t ever get anything done. My kids actually hate it when I venture over to the computer and shout “no mama!!!!”
The big question is, do I need to be doing this right now or am I just trying to do something that is mentally stimulating to my adult brain? I also have this strange need to keep moving, as if every second of my day should be completely full so I can feel productive. While some people strive in that environment I just find myself feeling scattered and stressed having less and less patience for my already challenging day.
My situation is a little different than many stay at home parents in that I do have a nanny twelve hours a week where I can completely devote certain hours of those days for work projects. While I do need to answer emails each day I can certainly do them during nap time or in the evening. So my impatience of never getting anything done likely has more to do with me not living in the moment. Trying to “squeeze” it all in creates a frustrated frenzy of energy that equates to one thing- more stress. Do I really need more stress? Ummm…no. The daily chaos of three 2-year olds provides enough of that energy. Why can’t I just chill with Elmo and the gang? It’s become such a challenge for me to just stop and sit and yet one of my biggest life goals is to slow down.
So here I am, listening to all those parent’s voices telling me, don’t miss out on this time…it will be gone before you know it. Afterall, they will only be 2 for so long and then it will be gone. We aren’t having any more kids so we won’t experience each age at a later date with another child and soon enough they will be in school most of the day. As another parent told me, you won’t know rocking your child may be the last as they quickly grow out of wanting that sort of attention. For that reason I’m trying to let go of my “to-do” list and multitasking and just live in the moment. I’ll likely remember moments of watching Sesame Street together, laughing at Super Grover 2.0 rather than answering an email that can wait until later in the day. I think this just might go a long way for my own health goals of decreasing unnecessary stress. So, here’s to a cup of tea and kicking back with The Street!