Friday, January 21, 2011

a letter to a new mom (8 years later)

If I could time travel I probably would have no idea where to start.  Too many options of where to go and who to meet and all.  But there is one thing I do know that I would do if I could some how jump the space/time continuum.  I would write myself a letter, a letter to myself as a young 24 year old mother to be. 
Here’s what I would I would say.  I would tell myself the one thing I’ve heard over and over and over again.  I would tell myself that time flies, that sometimes the days are long but the years are so very short. 
I would tell myself to hold on tighter, to take time to read more books, to play pretend, to watch them more, notice the moments in the day to day mundane.
I would tell myself that one day I’ll see my two little girls riding around the block on their bikes and a lump will form in my throat.  And that I’ll have to contain myself from running after them and holding them down, in some vain attempt to keep them babies just a bit longer.
I would tell myself that sending them into ballet class is sometimes much harder than it should be, not because of them but because it requires me to let go.
I’d want my younger self to know that it’s okay to hold my baby all through service at church, even though there’s lots of folks who would love to take a turn holding my precious little bundle. 
I’d make sure I know that sometimes I might feel like I’m going crazy because I’ve had three kids in three years.  I’d want me to know that I’m not alone and it’s okay to ask for help.
I would tell myself not to be in such a rush to get from one thing to another.  To slow down and go at my kids’ pace, a few minutes saved at the expense of a lost temper isn’t worth it.
I wish someone would have told me that I’d be exhausted, overwhelmed, amazed, and overjoyed at my children-all in the same hour.
Mostly, I’d remind myself to treasure all the moments, to work hard at remembering and appreciating where my children are in each season of their lives.
So, dear me:  take time to treasure each moment with my kids.  I will start being better at this now, today.  And so I’m grateful for each new day, a new opportunity to savor where I am in life right now-even if I’m still a bit nostalgic for where I was. 
Yes, it has been hard to have three kids so close together and it took a really long time to come out of the baby/lack of sleep/just barely functioning stage.  Then there was the toddler stage and the constant answers of “no” and “why” to everything.  And the stage where everyone needed help getting shoes and socks on before getting out the door.
Then all of sudden I say “go grab shoes” and they do.  I get books to read to them and they end up reading them by themselves before I do.  I catch them making their own breakfasts and lunches.  And I realize that yes, indeed, they are growing up.  Whether I like it or not, there is nothing I can do about it.  What I can do is appreciate the moments, while learning to let go at the same time.  And encourage you guys to do the same.

7 comments:

  1. OMG, my pregnant hormones can't take it! Indy is 8 and I can't believe how quickly it's gone by. I miss my baby! I'm hoping to hold onto Han Solo's babyhood a bit more now that I know it will be gone in the blink of an eye. I'm sure though that he too will be 8 before I know it and I'll wonder where the years went.

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  2. "I’d want my younger self to know that it’s okay to hold my baby all through service at church, even though there’s lots of folks who would love to take a turn holding my precious little bundle."

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. You don't know how much I needed this.

    Thank you for permission to hold my three month old all through church service, even though there's lots of people who want to. Sometimes, I just need to.

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  3. just what I needed to read today... this week, really.
    I just gave birth to my third in as many years.. and it's been one of those days where I feel like I'll never say anything but 'no' again. Thank you for the reminder to savor it all, to enjoy my baby being a baby, my two year old a two year old, and my quickly approaching four year old right where he is at.
    What a privilege we've been given to be Mama to these precious kiddos!

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  4. Beautiful post Gina. I remember being a new Mom with a two week old baby sitting on the couch crying and realizing that this overwhelming feeling might sometimes subside, but it'll never completely go away. And with the addition of two more since then, I definitely know that the overwhelming feeling is slowing being replaced with a feeling of abundance. I feel that God has abundantly blessed me with my babies, and while some days it still looks overwhelming, more and more it's looking like a cup overflowing. How wonderful it would have been if I had that realization back then, but I am so thankful that God is revealing it to me now.

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  5. I agree with what Katie said. And thank you for this post! I am just starting the mothering adventure.

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  6. As a new mom to a ten week old baby, I really appreciated this post. Especailly the part about not feeling bad about holding my baby all through church though so many others would have liked to.

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  7. This put a lump in my throat. Such true words! I have a 12, 9 and 1 year old and each year seems to fly by faster than the one before. I'm trying to learn to appreciate each season ...

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