I get it. It’s spelled wrong. But I’m in the mourning phase of motherhood where I am crying daily that my kids are growing up. That oxytocin is wearing thin and my kids are outgrowing my arms and my lap as I write this. I swear I lie in bed staring at my kids praying to God they can stay this little, even if the day was hard. When the day is hard and I’m empty and yelling, my kids still love me and want all of me. When will there be another phase of my life that someone loves me that much? My 4 year old is still itty bitty but he’s becoming independent. My 6 year old is already pretty much independent and this is the first year where she doesn’t want to hold my hand in school. That’s our goal as parents, right? To let them become independent- show them they are enough, they are worthy, they are strong and capable. Give them the tools to embrace their strengths and weaknesses and fly high. But what about us mamas? Daddy’s? Parents? Guardians? No one is there to help us be prepared for when they grow up and “not need us as much.” No one prepares us for when they fly.
We spend almost all of the beginning stages of motherhood exhausted. Nursing, giving everything we have, making sure they are safe and comfortable, bathing them, putting them in car seats (God that is exhausting in it of itself), crying with them, breaking up fights with siblings, going to the doctors, holding their little hands when they are scared, getting them through being sick and then getting sick yourself but can’t rest because your mom and dad can’t take care of you- because we flew away awhile ago. But those little hands in your hand, those little fingers wrapped around yours, the little voice that yells “Mama,” the late night rocking and singing them back to sleep, the cuddles and sleeping in the same bed- everyone was right because they don’t last forever. Those moments can rock you- good and bad- but they are sooo short compared to life.
I feel so emotional that I’m already missing them being little even though they still are, but something about knowing it won’t last forever kills me. It literally rips my heart out and breaks it into a million pieces. Kind of like when they are born. You didn’t realize you could love someone so much that it literally breaks you. I’m already mourning the loss of my babies which sometimes distracts me from enjoying them now. I will say though, I am good at savoring the moments even when they are annoying and screaming and crying. Some mamas had a rough go around and wouldn’t want to go back to that phase but for some reason God blessed me with too many feelings all at once all the time. Or maybe this is what motherhood did to me- just extracted my heart into pieces and injected it with immeasurable love because holy crap am I so in love. And now I don’t want this phase to end. I would even go back to the nursing phase if I could. The diaper phase if I could. The losing my identify for them phase if I could. It’s unpopular but I felt so loved. Don’t get me wrong, I still feel loved but I can feel them growing up and fading away from these phases where we all love each other unconditionally.
My sassy and fierce 6 year old is starting to find her voice, but she’s also discovered her anxiety- enter phase number 26. My 4 year old loves his mama with all his heart but he’s also finding his voice and understanding more than he doesn’t always need me. I just pray to God that He keeps their little hearts safe. I know they won’t always be happy and I know they won’t always “love” me how they love me now, but I pray they always go back to their heart and remember the mama who gave them everything she had, even if it means sacrificing her own happiness at times.
To my little babies that are now 4 and 6, there are a million words in the English language and I can’t find one to describe how much I love you. So I will remind you everyday that I love you a million skies, just like my dad and his mom used to say. Although my 6 year old soulmate reminds me everyday that “she loves me up to the moon and down to the moon.” Even when I’m buried in my stupid phone, or rushing to work, or yelling at them to hurry up and get dressed, or when I’m crying because I do once a week and try to teach them that it’s okay and we are human, even when they have an accident and I’m half asleep and make them sleep on a sheet (you know you’ve done that too), and even when I’m in an argument with Daddy and my little soulmate reads my heart and rushes to my side (which kills me). They love me in all my forms and all my emotions never judging me and I know it’s coming. Maybe that why I’m mourning the loss of this phase that will be gone before I know it.
My advice to you- whether you’re quarantined for days and want to jump off a cliff or that you’re potty training and your toddler is peeing all over the floor- this too shall pass and it will pass faster than you realize and faster than you actually want. Teach your babies all the emotions instead of hiding them. Teach them that it’s okay to cry and laugh and feel the feelings you feel. Hug them when they need it and don’t be afraid to explain to them about their feelings, even when others tell them they need “tough love.” Parent the way your heart guides you. It’s not wrong and you won’t mess them up.
Now more than ever it is important to be kind and show love- which will look different for everyone. We are all in this together whether we have kids or fur babies or husbands (😂) or significant others or neighbors. We are all going through something- whether it’s the mama who is mourning the loss of her babies because they are growing up and entering a new phase, whether a mama is actually mourning the loss of her baby/babies (Jamie is the strongest mama I know and I don’t know why God picked her and I think about her everyday), or whether a mama or dada is feeling empty, etc. Whatever the season, there is a reason. We got this. I got you.