Its the hardest job and the greatest privilege.
This one is for all the mamas with littles.
I see you.
Yesterday I had 3 small kiddos at my house, in addition to my own 4. It was busy,. And thanks to the 6, 7 and 11 year old boys (2 of them mine) quite loud and crazy. They weren't being bad. They were just being playful boys.
The girls played quietly for hours.
But those boys..... I know all about busy boys.
But I'm still in awe of their stamina to play so hard, so loud, and for so long.
Boys are amazing. 😬😂❤️
But it was when I took our three guests out to run some errands with me that I took a walk back into my mommy days that are already fading from my memory.
We went to Trader Joe's.
First of all, getting 3 kids in and out of car seats and boosters at every. single. stop. is super duper not fun. It adds hours to every stop. At least it feels like it.
I forgot about that.
I forgot about walking through the store with little kids who are just being little kids and therefore a little lost in their own world and they sometimes get in people's way. And sometimes those people get annoyed and give you dirty looks. Or say something.
I forgot about that.
I forgot that you have to tell the kids to hold onto the cart so they don't wander off. But not to climb on the cart because those Trader Joe's carts tip over like crazy. It's happened to me twice. With a kid inside. (you can read that story here)
So I'm hyper vigilant about saying, "don't hang from the cart. Don't climb on the cart."
Over. And over. And over.
I forgot about that.
I forgot how distracting it is to have lots of little voices asking me questions and talking to me while I'm just trying to remember what's in my list.
I forgot how carefully I have to watch them in the parking lot. I can't trust them to watch for cars and cross safely all on their own.
I forgot that when you have littles with you running multiple errands in one trip is exhausting. So if you need just that one thing from that one store you're like, "forget that. I'll go tonight when Daddy gets home."
I forgot about it all.
You see, I don't have to take my kids shopping with me anymore.
I can leave them at home with the 13 year old. Or I can leave them in the car listening to an audio book while I run in for that one thing real fast.
And even on the rare occasion when I have to take them all to the store with me, the only one who is a little bit exhausting is the 6 year old. The rest of them are old enough that they know how to walk through the parking lot safely, and not get in people's way in the aisles, or hang from the cart.
I'm in a different place.
It's a whole lot easier.
And it's made me forget about the days when I went to the store with a newborn strapped to my chest, a 3 year old in the cart and a 5 and 7 year old holding onto each side of the cart.
Mamas, those were days of hard work. And I know some of you are smack dab in the middle of those days right now.
And you're frazzled and you're tired because you are training your kids to just be grownup humans at the grocery store.
And sometimes you think you might lose your mind in the process.
Not because they're bad. But just because they're little kids.
And little kids want to run and jump and twirl and climb and sing and pretend and dance and day dream down the aisles of the grocery store. And some people don't have any space for that kind of stuff, because they just want your kids to stay out of their way.
It can be exhausting.
So I want to tell you that you are doing a good job.
Such a good job.
Mothering in the little years is one of the most physically and emotionally exhausting things I have ever done. Looking back, I don't even know how I survived. But I did.
And you will too.
But on those days when you're feeling especially burnt out, please remember I'm in your corner. I'm cheering you on and telling you that your work is meaningful and of great value. Even if all you are doing is taking your kids to the grocery store.
You are teaching them to be grownup humans.
And you are doing an absolutely marvelous job of it.
Keep on mama.
"Do not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest if you do not give up." Galatians 6:9
All my love to you mamas.