Motherhood Personal Posts

Who Knew Babies Came with Time Machines?

OK not so much a time machine as a time speeder upper. Having children seems to turn your life clock into a ceiling fan. Yet simultaneously, time creeps at a snail’s pace.

Waiting 9 (10) months, forever. Labor, forever. Midnight to 5 A.M. with a colicky baby – an eternity. I didn’t notice this as much when my oldest child was little. I didn’t have a twinge of sadness at every milestone; it was exciting, maybe because I was a new parent, maybe because I assumed she wouldn’t be my last. My middle child is almost 5 – older than my daughter was when he was born. Where did all this time go? My daughter is 9 – halfway to 18 as my husband pointed out.

I’m hyper aware how short the time is that my children will be children. Even though my youngest is only 2, I feel like I’ll blink and he’ll be an adult. I just registered my middle for Kindergarten. It seems like yesterday he was a baby sitting at my feet while I registered his sister. Now she’s in 3rd grade. Looking back at her baby pictures taken from a film camera (or terrible quality digital) it seems like a lifetime ago.

My husband and I met in 1998 when I was 17 years old. At the end of this year, we will have been together 16 years. We talk about things that happen in the 90’s and think oh yeah that was 10…no 20 years ago. My Dad says oh just wait until you say oh that was 20, no…30, no…40 years ago!

Everyone tells you to savor the moments because they will be over too soon, but that’s tough since as the saying goes “the days are long but the years are short.” Now & again I’ll have a picture perfect moment where the sun is shining and we’re running around playing hide & seek in the back yard. I have one of those “wow” moments where I feel so grateful to be alive and just want to capture this moment. Of course, a millisecond later the thought is interrupted by screeches of “HE’S LOOKING AT ME!” Ha ha.

I’ve had times where I have quite literally panicked at the idea that my kids are growing up way too fast and I’m not enjoying it enough and it’s going to be over soon. I have to calm myself down by realizing that though it feels that way, it isn’t over in a flash. It happens gradually and we have plenty more time left with them.

Sometimes I feel like I’m wishing my children’s lives away when I’m calculating the months until my youngest will be in school, or everyone sleeps through the night. Since we won’t be having any more babies, I am very aware that every time I rock a little one, or rub someone’s back as they fall asleep, it could very well be the last time. I won’t realize when my son says “pick-up me fuhst Mommy” for the last time in that little munchkin voice.

I feel extra panicky about my boys growing up. If I cultivate a good relationship with my daughter, I hope that even as an adult, she’ll still need me. Maybe we’ll go shopping together, have lunch or she’ll call me when she has something to talk about. My boys will grow up, become men, and no longer be my little boys. I know it’s a big assumption that they will get married, or that they will marry a woman, but for the sake of simplicity, that’s the scenario I’m imagining. When they get married that woman will take my place as the #1 woman in their lives (if I haven’t already fallen down the totem pole), as well it should be. Hopefully they’ll chose a great woman who won’t look at me as the monster-in-law, and I’ll still get to be a part of their lives, but it’s definitely different than a daughter.

I’ve had two people recently tell me that I look much younger than 32. Of course I was pleased but then I thought hey, since when is 32 old? I spent most of my life wanting to be older and look older. Somewhere around 26 I started looking my age, and then the fight against time began. 😉

I’m realizing how fleeting life is. Today I’m sitting here wondering where my 20’s went. Tomorrow I’ll be saying “hey, where’d my 50’s go?” But hopefully I’ll have grandchildren then!

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Maria is an aspiring "fit mom" of 3 children, writing about cloth diapers, going green, and her life as a single mom. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development, and other services.
  • Karla B
    May 9, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    I’m already realizing this, and my little is only 6 months old! I look at him and think, “When did you get to be so big! How are you already answering me?!” It’s sad and exciting

  • Kayla Stutler
    May 1, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    You totally hit the nail on the head there! There are times when I feel like I just blinked and now my kids are another year older. I noticed it more with my second baby compared to the first. I think it’s just being more busy than I was the first time around. I feel really guilty sometimes because I’m not as dedicated to documenting the second born as well as my first!

  • April 30, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    The time does go so fast. In the 18th my oldest turned 18, 10 days later I gave birth to my newest baby. The comfort is that even thought the baby years, toddler years (and so on) disappear, the years that come are also wonderful. I really enjoy having teen daughters and it was very exciting this week to see pictures my oldest brought home from her first solo trip to explore another (bigger) city.

  • April 30, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    I know what you mean. I am only on my first baby but I guess I am sentimental but I have a lot of thoughts like these. I always worry if I will remember all the special little moments with her. However, I hope if I every had a daughter on son in law they would be just like another one of my children. I guess my mom and grandma(her mil) had that kind of relationship when I was growing up so I thought that was just how it was supposed to be. It was until I have been an adult I have seen so many relationships the other way. To enjoying every minute of life’s journey.

  • Shalaina S
    April 30, 2014 at 11:44 am

    I completely understand how you feel. My lodes is wrapping up the second grade and the thought brings me nearly to tears. Meanwhile my youngest is already pulling to stand. I’m trying to soak it all in, yet I find myself wishing my middle baby could hurry and express herself more clearly or was old enough for school so some days wouldn’t be as hectic.

    I hadn’t even considered my little man not needing his mommy once he gets married,. I guess I just haven’t allowed myself to think too far into the future. I’ll have to start praying for a loving daughter-in-law. One who wants my involvement as much (if not more so, lol) as my own daughters.

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