Yesterday I went to the park. Donovan loves the park. I don't. But because I did it with my other kids and because he loves it that much, I took him. I thought, "I'll just sit and read a book while he plays on the playground." It sounded so lovely.
But that's not what happened.
You see, there are other mothers with toddlers at the park. Other mothers who are seeking friends, not only for their kids, but also themselves. Other mothers who are hovering over their toddlers while you are sitting reading a book. And when you don't stand up to help your toddler do everything, the other mothers do. Which makes you feel horrible because you really don't want to help them yourself. I figure, when the kid is old enough to go down the slide alone, he'll do it!
But let me be fair. This is not about the other mothers, I have no judgment toward them in the least. They were all wonderful, caring, kind and attentive. This is not about them. This is about me.
I'm just in a different phase in my motherhood journey. It's not the "other mothers" who make me feel this way, it's just where I am right now. It was a rough transition for me to go from "mom of little kids" to "mom of teenagers." Now I'm both, with a toddler. Having a tail-end baby has made me struggle a little bit with the joys of motherhood because my older kids are moving on and I'm still....here. I am:
cleaning up messes
trying to read a book with my toddler crawling all over me or sticking his book in my face
deciphering two-year old language (sometimes not too well)
going to the park
cleaning up messes
putting on shoes
cleaning up messes...again
Oh! And yesterday he "locked" me in the shower! We have drawers right by our shower. He opened one of them. Making it impossible for me to get out of the shower. So I started yelling for him to come save me. Eventually he did. And I laughed, that time. (It may not be so funny the third or fourth time.)
Toddlers are just so constant! And when I finally lay him down for the night, there are the teenagers ready to talk and have meltdowns and needing mom, just mom.
So, I say again...I think I need to just relax and accept that I am in a new phase. Sometimes a lonely phase because there are few people in this same phase with me. But it is a phase nonetheless. As the older women around me counsel, the kids will grow up and leave one day, so I'd best be grateful! And I am, when I really stop and take a breath. I love:
new words being discovered
helping explore job options
watching children become their own little people
family dinnertime (that will be way too quiet way too soon!)
hugs and kisses
There is joy in motherhood! Sometimes it just takes a minute to remember that. Mostly, for me right now, it's about accepting the phase I'm in.
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“The work of a mother is hard, too often unheralded work.
Please know that it is worth it then, now, and forever.”
Jeffrey R. Holland