Have you ever been in the grocery store, wrestling three kids while trying to stay calm and collective. One child has taken off down the aisle, another one is trying to climb out of the cart, and the third one is pulling things off the shelf. And some nice and kind older lady comes up to you and says “Someday, you are going to miss these days”? You smile and nod politely while trying to pick a box of spaghetti that one of your children has spilled all over the floor, rescue another child that is now hanging out of the cart and screaming for you to help. You give the lady a quick wave as you go to chase down your third child who now out of sight and probably three aisles over all while thinking “Whatever, Lady!”.
Does this happen to you too? Because it happens to me. ALL THE TIME! And not just at the grocery store. Anyplace I am carting my three young children around. At the mall, at church… everywhere!
The thing is I know that I should be soaking it all in. These three little ones. I know that they keep getting, bigger and older and growing every day. Last week I got sad because we had to give-up the idea that all three of my kids could take a bath together every night. They are too big. The boys are too old. While I was bathing Zooey, all alone, I was enjoying the peace of just one in the bath vs. three, but I felt a little sad because already we have moved on to the next thing. And I worry that I didn’t savor what it was before we moved on. There have been so many baths that I got frustrated with the splashing and the fighting over toys and space, and soap in their eyes. I couldn’t wait for them to want to bathe alone. And now here I am missing it?
So how do we do it? Keep our sanity while soaking it all in. How do we savor these days and not wish them to hurry by, knowing that we will look back and miss it?
I know am going to miss the footie pajamas, and the reading of “Goodnight Moon” (x 1 million), miss the sticky hands, and the bear hugs, the “I love yous” and Lego creations taking over the kitchen table. But here is what happens, it’s 5:30 pm after a long day at the office and I am already waving the white flag of surrender and we still have dinner, soccer practice, homework, Boy Scouts, bath-time and bedtime to deal with before I can just sit down for longer than a minute and think. We rush through dinner, and homework, and complain about going here and there, I snap at the kids or my husband and we go to bed grumpy, worn out and emotionally drained. And I think about that nice lady at the grocery store…. Someday I am going to miss this? That lady is CRAZY!
So what to do? What can we do as busy moms to make sure that we are soaking it all in? How do we savor these days? Here is what I do:
- Slow down. How many times do you tell your kids to hurry up? I am very guilty of this. Hurry up and get dressed, hurry up and get your homework done, hurry up and get in the car. Hurry, Hurry, Hurry. It’s really an awful feeling to always be in a hurry. So taking a moment to breath, to slow down. Try not use the words “hurry up”. Now I live with a couple of slow-pokes who sometimes need a push to get going. But there has to be a better way then yelling “HURRY UP”, right? We often have contests in our house. “Last one out the door is a rotten egg” type of thing. At the present moment my kids buy this. They get moving. Its a game and its fun to them. Although, I know the best thing to do is put a little cushion of time in so that we don’t have to hurry, lets face it, that doesn’t always happen. Making whatever we are doing a game, keeps it fun and light and less aggravating.
- Don’t over schedule. I am the watchdog of my family’s time. Right now Ethan is doing Boy Scouts but that is the only activity outside of school that my kids are in. Owen wants to play baseball in the spring. I would like to get Zooey going in dance, but probably when she turns 3. We have already decided that the kids are not going to do more than one activity at a time. Even with one activity x 3 kids, it will be a lot. Sometimes its good to not be in anything. Your kids don’t always need to be in things. My boys look forward to a Saturday that they don’t’ have to go anywhere. They love these days and look forward to them and I do too! Don’t over schedule. Yourself or them.
- Document. If you have spent any time with me, you will find that I document a lot. I always have a camera in my hand, either my phone or my DSLR. For me documenting helps me be present. It helps me to live in the moment I am experiencing. Not thinking about what I need to do in an hour, or tomorrow or next month. At that time I am concentrating on what is going on right now. I am telling my kids “I see you” and “I am listening to you” you have my attention.
- Go outside. We spend a lot of time as a family outside (weather permitting) Often times it is in our own front yard. We make a point to get outside and away from the computer, the TV, the hustle and bustle and just hang out and play. These are some of my favorite times with my family.
So, I won’t miss wrestling my kids in the grocery store. I won’t miss the drama of a two-year old who isn’t getting her way. I won’t miss the fighting between brothers over everything under the sun. But I will be sad when the “Last one is a rotten egg” trick won’t work anymore. I will miss the excitement of cheering my kids on when I am on the sideline watching them score a goal or whatever amazing thing they are doing. I will be sad when they are too embarrassed to have their mother follow them around with a camera all day long. I will miss hanging out in the driveway on a summer night with bikes and balls and running and laughter around me. I know that these days won’t last long. Already it’s going so fast.
And suddenly I stop and think, maybe, just maybe, the lady at the grocery store is right after all, Someday, I will miss these days.
I know one day I will be the empty nester who approaches young mothers in the grocery store and lets her know that someday she is going to miss these days. I am sure I will be that lady. That Crazy Lady.
What do you do to savor these days with your family? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below.
Did you like this post? Share it with a friend who might like it too
Please check out my new page The Busy Mom Syndrome where I will share posts related to being a busy (and super) Mom.
Make sure you don’t miss a single post from me…subscribe to my blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. (sign up in the menu bar to your right). Thanks!