Parenting Littles: It Won’t Be Like This For Long

Parenting Littles: It Won't Be Like This For Long

As a mom of a toddler and preschooler, I find my mind circling back to this line from Darius Rucker’s song often.

Taking care of littles is so much work.  They depend on us for everything yet want to show what independence they can, which often results in tantrums, messes, and battles over the silliest things. Some evenings, my patience is like a thin sheet of ice.  By the time I get everyone to bed, I revel in the quiet and finally having time to do what I want for an hour or so.  (That is, unless there’s laundry, cleaning, or meal prep to do.)

And then I think about how one day my kids will be grown.  They will be teenagers who want to hang out with their friends rather than play with me. They’ll move out and won’t call my house home anymore (though I hope they know they are always welcome).  They will be out living their own lives, and I will have much more freedom to pursue my own interests.

But I know when that day comes, my heart will ache for the return of these days.

The big smiles that greet me when they wake.

The sweet hugs and snuggles.

The cute way they pronounce their words.

How they do something over and over when they know I find it funny.

How adorable they look when they are bundled in their snow gear or covered in bubbles at bath time.

The way their faces light up when they are excited or master something new.

How my hug or kiss can stop their tears.

Their sweet artwork.

Seeing their personalities develop as they grow and learn.

One day, I won’t be the first person they come to for everything.

They may be too embarrassed to give me a kiss or a hug.  Their problems will be so big that as much as I will want to, I won’t be able to fix everything.  But I hope they know that they will always have a place in my arms. I also hope they can look back on these days fondly and remember my love and care. And maybe they will pick up the phone to say hello to their mom.

I have a ritual to check in on each of my children at night before I go to bed.

I so love watching them sleep peacefully.  Seeing their sweetness (and hopefully getting enough sleep) refills my patience tank so that we can make it through another day.

My son is teething, and lately, he has been calling for me more often at night.  I recite these lyrics in my head as I walk down the hall to his room and scoop him out of bed.  We settle in the recliner in his room and I rock him back to sleep, thinking about how a second cup of coffee the next day will be on order. I listen to his sweet breathing and can tell when his body has softened and he’s fallen back asleep.  And often, I rock him a little longer.

Because I know it won’t be like this for long.

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