Where Have All My Babies Gone?

“They grow up so fast.”

Older women always said this to me when my kids were little.  Sometimes they’d sigh, sometimes they would elaborate, but always there was a wistful longing in their voice. If they added anything it was about how precious little ones were or how wonderful my life must be.

I didn’t believe them. In fact, sometimes it annoyed me.  Like the time I was trying to take two toddlers potty because their Daddy was preaching and the hungry baby was crying.  It is hard to fully enjoy the moments when the demands overshadow the delight.

Technically, I knew it as true, but practically, there was not even a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. When you have two or three little ones that can’t feed, potty or dress themselves, there isn’t even enough time in the day to think on this phrase.

Every night could be an eternity, if you’re up with a fussy, nursing baby.  A  bed-wetter adds hours of laundry to each day. Diapers, potty training, laundry, meals, dishes, shopping, laundry, meals,  dishes, shopping….it’s a never-ending cycle of demand on a woman who never gets enough sleep, water, food or adult conversation.

In the midst of all the work, is the glorious reality of having beautiful little people adoring you all day long. 

Little fingers reaching, patting, pulling. 
Little voices singing, crying, calling.  
Little feet, running, falling, escaping. 
Little hearts learning, sharing, loving.

Like a perfect storm, intense love and hard work collide in a young mom’s life.

And then, it’s over.

My kids grew up, just like everyone said they would.

But it happened too fast.

I wasn’t ready.

One day I was handing  them toilet paper and teaching them to wipe, the next day I was handing them  car keys, the next day, boxes of all their belongings as they pack their cars.

If I had believed the older women I would have hugged and kissed them more.

Love Notes to Mom

 

I  would have saved EVERY note that said I was the best mom in the whole world or that I was loved and turned it into a book to read to myself every night at bedtime when they were teenagers.

I would have listened more when they wanted to tell me all their secrets.

I would have praised them more and been more gracious with their mistakes.

I would have slowed down time by not wishing they would grow up faster.  Because when they no longer need you, they no longer need you.

Young moms,  live your life as if you are my age looking back.  When the demands are high and your patience is low, how do you want them to remember that day?

As you’re faced with the decision of how to spend an hour, make the decision that will leave  you the least amount of regret.

Because, we older women are right.

They grow up too fast.

Making your home sing Mondays

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17 Responses to Where Have All My Babies Gone?

  1. denise June 3, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

    God-timing for this post today… I am currently laying with a sweet baby girl on my chest who will not nap during the day unless I am holding her. My exact thoughts before this post came via email were, “I think I’m drowning.” because of all the other things I “need” to be getting done. But now I’m going to (try to) lay here and cuddle with no regret.

    • Mindy June 3, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

      Wise decision, my beautiful friend. No regrets. Enjoy every minute, every snuggle. It’s not “I HAVE TO” but “I GET TO.” You are such a great mommy! Hope to meet your little one and your dear hubby.

  2. marydpierce June 3, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

    I knew this when my son was born, and it STILL went by fast. I did save a lot of stuff, though. It’s so much fun to look at.

    • Mindy June 3, 2013 at 10:42 pm #

      I have a file cabinet full of stuff and am toying with the idea of creating a digital scrapbook. I bought all the paper and albums and realized it is NOT ME. Haven’t made one scrapbook yet. But, yes, fun to cherish those memories and treasures.

  3. rejoyful June 3, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

    You are so right!! I loved reading and was nodding my head at the same time. I wish I knew more how true this was when mine were younger! Thanks for sharing such important Titus 2 teaching!

    • Mindy June 3, 2013 at 10:44 pm #

      So fun to see your smiling face today in the comments! Thank you for commenting, I love to hear from my dear sisters.

  4. bdd3 June 3, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

    As I have been going through and sorting way too much old stuff, including cleaning out a storage shed, etc. I have been finding notes from my children from various times in their lives. The best part of it is if I were to show the notes to them it would cause so much embarrassment to them. What a fun thought. I have even come across something I did for my mother back in the 1950’s. I even get comment now that tell me they still know I am around and that they still love me and appreciate me for all those years I tortured them. Yours love you as well.

    • Mindy June 3, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

      You will never know how much I needed to hear your comment today. Thank you, friend.

  5. Amy Letinsky June 3, 2013 at 10:33 pm #

    needed this today, as i type one-handed and juggle two kids for the first time on my own!

    • Mindy June 4, 2013 at 5:30 am #

      You’re definately at the stage where the demands are high. I know having babies with health issues makes it even more challenging. Savor the moments when you have time to sit down. 🙂 You are so blessed!

  6. Laura McLellan June 4, 2013 at 12:38 am #

    Beautiful words Mindy! God-timing for me as well. We just left our two oldest at Storybook Camp yesterday. **tears** Trying to savor some sweet moments with the little ones here. Too many times other things grab me away. I will remember your wise words. I LOVE the little notes in your picture. Made me cry. Thanks for the encouragement. I am so blessed to have read this!

    • Mindy June 4, 2013 at 5:32 am #

      Thank you for sharing your heart. Your precious family reminds me of mine so long ago, sometimes I stop on FB just to look at your pictures. You are such a wonderful mom, I’m thankful your are cherishing the moments.

  7. Darlene Nemeth (@DarleneBNemeth) June 4, 2013 at 4:13 am #

    Beautifully written. I feel the exact same way.

    I am now raising my sweet granddaughter who just turned five today. Too fast. It all spins by too fast. Last night she told me she was sad because it was her last day being four – she would never be four again. I need more hugs and kisses from my little honey bunny.

    http://darlenebnemeth.blogspot.ca
    http://mylittleshopoftreasures.blogspot.ca/

    • Mindy June 4, 2013 at 5:33 am #

      Darlene, how sweet you get to be a part of your granddaughter’s life. That was another conversation I had on Sunday with the Grammas. Not only do our kids grow up too fast, so do our grandkids. My oldest is also 5. Thank you for sharing today!

  8. Kristie Sundeen June 5, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

    I hear this all the time and know they are right, but that doesn’t make it always easy to remember in the moment when too many hands and voices are calling you! I will say this though. Your comment on when they no longer need you I don’t think applies. We no longer need you on a everyday fashion with basic needs and necessities. However, we will always need our mothers. Especially when we become mother’s ourselves. We need the emotional support and voice of reason as we move through the changes of adulthood that you have already gone through. The day an age may have changed the basics of your experiences still give us insight into what we must and have yet to learn. P.S. My kids are 3 1/2 and 18 mo. I know some days I wish for them to grow up and I have to remind myself that I don’t really wish that!

    • Mindy June 5, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

      Kristie, what a beautiful comment. Thank you so much for sharing your heart, especially since I’ve watched from afar since you’ve been potty trained to the time you are potty training. Thank you, too, for the reminder that my kids still need me. In the middle of the Emptying Nest Syndrome, it is sometimes hard to redefine my parenting and understand my kids’ needs at their various stages of life.

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