Yesterday on my way to work, the song “It won’t be like this for long” came on the radio. Well before I knew it, I had tears streaming down my face while I sang at the top of my lungs. As I drove, I thought of the difficult years as a young mom. The hardships that came around every curve. The days that I thought would never end. The sleepless nights and early mornings…the odd jobs, the broke down vehicles, the canceled insurance, the bare cabinets, my precious children wanting things that I could not provide.
Looking back we were at the ball field all the time. Well, not really, because travel ball wasn’t a thing in our area back then. So I guess we were at the ball field for a few months every year. I loved that time so much. No social media back then, just good ole sit with other parents and chat. Very few of the parents even had cell phone during that time so we had each other’s undivided attention at those practices and games. In fact, I was in such deep conversation once that a foul ball hit me right square on the forehead! Us moms would have our cameras and we would take pictures until our film ran out. Usually, I didn’t have the money to develop my film so it would be months until I saw the pictures that I had taken. Those days of cheering for those boys still ring in my ears if I think hard enough. I cherish every moment on those fields. I do believe it was 9 years total that we loved us some baseball. Yes, it won’t be like this for long….
The school days, the projects, the class parties and field trips, I tried my best to be there for everything. There were so many times that I searched couch cushions and underneath the car seats for change to roll up, so our kids could have field trip money. There were times that I cried in the mornings before taking them to school because I was so exhausted from worry and lack of sleep. Since there was no social media, I thought that I was alone. I didn’t know anyone who talked about their feelings back then. I chose to laugh loudest over my circumstances, making jokes, if I felt the urge to break down. This was my coping mechanism. I pushed myself to unhealthy lengths, mentally. I thought those days would never end…
As the kids found different interests in their young lives and forged new friendships, I tried desperately to make their every request made. Many times that was difficult. Many times they just couldn’t get what they wanted. As a mom, that brought more hurt than I ever could have imagined. I just wanted those days to get better. I truly thought those difficult days would never end…
One day, so many years later, things got better. One day all those tearful prayers that I sent up were answered. One day I was able to sleep all night long, peacefully. One day I was able to get a long, hot shower with no interruption. One day the cabinets were full. One day the car had a full tank. One day the house was quiet.
Oh my sweet young momma’s out there. I see you. I feel you. I was you. I am you. It’s so hard right now. You want to be super mom. You sign your kids up for everything, no matter how exhausted you know you will be. You get upset because you can’t do it all. You can’t expect to work, be an active mom and have a spotless home. It’s taken me lots of years to choose what battles to bring me down. A messy home no longer brings me down. There are days that I wish I had just one night with my 3 kids sitting with me on the couch watching a movie. The spilled drinks, the smashed cookies on the floor, the laughter, the comfort of warm little bodies loving their momma….
It won’t be like this for long, Momma. There will be days that seem to never end. The kids will have extra curricular activities, they’ll need to eat, they’ll need help with homework, the laundry will be piled high, dirty dishes will fill the sink , doctors appointments will need to be made, bills will need to be paid… But suddenly it’s years later. Your sweet babies are grown. At some point you had cookies and milk with them for the last time. At some point you wiped their rear for the last time. At some point the sleepovers are no more. At some point, you watched him hit his last home run or wrestle his last match. At some point you watch her cheer or cut flips for the last time. At some point you drive them to school for the last time. Eventually those never ending days do indeed end. And when they do, you will feel a sense of relief, but you will also experience a longing for the bond that you had with your children during that time.
Oh Momma, it won’t be like this for long….I know.