I am a full-time, stay-at-home mom. I spend all day, almost every day, with small children. I gave birth to three babies, all of them boys, in under four years. (The most recent addition came just ten months ago.) The details of my day-to-day life revolve around the three little ones who need so much of my help and crave so much of my attention.
In the middle of this stage, it's difficult to imagine that it could ever be any different. My life feels like an endless cycle of wiping runny noses, doing laundry, intervening in brotherly quarrels, preparing meals, helping children eat (while nursing the baby), vacuuming up little bits of food scattered all over the dining room floor, cleaning messy faces, tripping over toys, wiping poopy bottoms, folding piles of laundry, brushing little teeth, washing dishes, bathing little bodies, and collapsing into bed at the end of the day, praying for a night of uninterrupted sleep and hoping that the next day's cycle won't start before 7 a.m.
I keep telling myself that it's just a stage. Little by little, the children will learn to do things for themselves. The constant fatigue will pass. I will not always feel perpetually distracted. The mental fog will lift (I hope). And one day my husband and I may be able to enjoy being spontaneous lovers again. I know these things, but it's difficult to imagine a life like that. But just the other day I realized that in one short year, we'll be getting ready to send our eldest to kindergarten, and I noticed that day by day he's becoming more of a little boy and less of a small child. Then I looked at my other two precious ones and was newly motivated to savor all the moments of their childhood, from kissing their boo-boos (real and imaginary), to cuddling them close (when they wake me up in the middle of the night), and watching their wonder and excitement as they discover the world around them (while making a horrific mess in the process). It's just a short stage, and when it's over, I know I'll miss it.
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