if i hear one more mother of grown kids tell me how much i will look back on these days with small children and miss it, i think i will explode. i get it, you miss those sweet moments when your babies were little. i know, they are all grown up now. i know you look back on your days with small children and smile. let me just possibly offer that your hindsight is less than realistic. i'm sure one day i'll look back and remember only the sweetness of my kids when they were small. right now however, let me just give you a peek into my last 12 hours and see if you can recall some of the not-so-pleasant memories.
i got my infant son to bed at about 10:00 last night...he's still a night owl. i finished cleaning up the kitchen from the "movie night" popcorn, switched over the laundry, folded a load of laundry and then went upstairs to pump breast milk for my son, knowing we'll be out and about with all five kids the next day and i won't have time to sit and nurse. i then put the milk away, switched over the laundry again, folded another load of clothes and got upstairs at midnight to discover one of my sons had woken up because he wet the bed, and soaked it through to the mattress pad. after stripping the bedding, putting down some new blankets for him to sleep on and getting him back to sleep, i got in bed pretty close to 1:00. i woke up when he came back into our room in the early morning because he had wet the bed...again. this time it went onto the mattress. at this point he woke up his roommate, my other son, and any chance of more rest is out the window.
i stripped off all the bedding, got his clothes changed, and spent the first part of my early morning cleaning a mattress. after that, i again switched over a load of laundry, folded one, got the kids their breakfast and went upstairs to pump...again. after pumping, i cleaned up breakfast and spent the next bit of forever cleaning up a cup of spilled apple juice that landed on my kitchen floor. after mopping the floor about 20 times, i switched over the laundry (lots of bedding to wash), got the kids dressed and then got to deal with my five year old picking on the two-year-old (who also has a broken elbow right now) and making him scream and the eight year old who, when asked to help me pick up, said, "why do you always treat me like i'm the maid."
i'm still unshowered, wearing an over-sized nascar t-shirt, haven't had breakfast and it's almost 10:00.
twelve hours of awesomeness. yep...i surely hope i don't remember days like this when my kids are grown.
so, if you have grown kids and you're tempted to say those words...stop and try to remember your worst days. then do one of the following:
1) offer free babysitting. tell the mom you want to come over and watch her kids so she can go somewhere and get a cup of coffee by herself. offer to come early so she can take a shower first. if you're out of practice, bring one of your older kids. when you leave, ask them how many kids they want and how soon they want them. you're welcome.
2) bring over a meal. sometimes after a day like today, thinking about what i'll cook for dinner is the straw that breaks the camel's back.
3) if you go to church, offer to work in the children's church or nursery. i always see moms working back in the childcare section of a church. seriously...sundays are some of our only days to dress up and look nice. they are also some of our only chances to mingle with other adults or listen to an intelligent sermon. give us a chance to enjoy it.
4) bring over some cookies or a special treat for the kids. sometimes the smallest gesture can brighten someone's day.
5) i you have the means, shower a mom with a anonymous gift card or small gift. five dollars to spent at starbucks, a manicure or pedicure, a movie ticket, a new pretty coffee cup, a pretty lip gloss, small things can make a huge difference in brightening someone's rough day.