Other mothers out there parenting small children, let me hear a war cry...
Maybe you don't have a war cry, but you probably need one. I suggest "Eshet Chayil" It means woman of valor in Hebrew. It is a praise and blessing in the Jewish community. Women say it to one another and often times husbands say it to their wives (they actually sing it out of Proverbs 31, I love that). I learned about it here. It's a wonderful blog, and the woman did a 'woman of valor' series that I adored.
Needless to say I'm thinking of getting Eshet Chayil tattooed... That's my warrior cry. (And I am convincing my sister-in-love to get one with me.)
You know how people always say to you, "Enjoy these times!"
"They go by so fast."
"You will miss it!"
Some days I want to slap those people.
Here are just a few moments from my daily life on the front lines that I dare say I will not miss.
Getting ready in the morning. That is if I get ready in the morning. Those few mornings a week I can muster the gall to leave the children unattended for a few short moments so that I may be privileged enough to wash their sh@t, vomit, mucus, and other nasty germs off of my body. Only to be interrupted at least a dozen times in the ten minutes I am naked in the shower. With whines of needing juice, complaints of siblings, injuries that need band-aids, and requests for new batteries in whichever toy they are currently thrusting at my exposed body.
This morning as I dressed I had one daughter under my dress, playing peek a boo with another daughter who was clawing her way up my tights. As my son continually asked questions about the plans for the day, and our almost two year old ran off spraying my perfume all over the house.
I dream of the day when I can get ready uninterrupted. When I can take a shower, and maybe even deep condition my hair, without the door slamming open and several children piling in as my warm air escapes.
I will not miss serving all five of my children all day long. You know those love languages we speak of. You know what's lowest on my list, acts of service. I was never that girl offering to get drinks for people. Or cleaning the house when my mom was sick. Or even getting my sister a glass of water when she lie dying on the couch of the latest flu to hit school. And now all I do all day (and night) long is make sure other people are happy. A lot of them. Do you know how many glasses of juice, milk, or water I get every day... At least 30. And every single time, I am having to explain why it can't be juice every time. Or why they can't have juice boxes at home. And then I'm wiping butts and bathing people. I am brushing teeth, and picking up toys. I am finding pacifiers all day long. And I am tying shoes, and buttoning pants, and zipping coats, and giving medicines, and vitamins, and applying lotions, and doing laundry. I never want to do any one else's laundry. I will not miss the laundry.
I will not miss cleaning the bathrooms twice a day due to the massive amounts of toothpaste I find EVERYWHERE, and the urine that is found in very odd crevices of the bathroom. I will not miss the bathrooms of a mom who has five small children.
I will not miss the noise level. There is always a loud crisis occurring in my home. And at some point, I BELIEVE, there will not always be two children yelling and/or crying at THE SAME TIME.
I will not miss the comments I get from strangers. And the looks when I have all five children in a store, three in the cart, two holding on, and no room for groceries. I won't. When we ever go anywhere when my kids are teenagers I plan on just going incognito. People will think I am the teacher, or the bus driver, or the older weirder girlfriend. They'll never know I'm the mom. The kids will all look the same age, and it isn't too obvious that they are from the same family, so we will be much more socially acceptable.
I will not miss the trash. Daily I am cleaning up massive amounts of trash. Today there was styrafoam ALL over the house, little balls of it. Yesterday it was small bits of crepe paper. Very small bits. I don't know where they find their supplies, but once they find it, they secretly plan how to best make a mess with whatever odd object they have stashed away. And then they go through the house spreading it.
I found a toilet paper roll torn up into thousands of pieces this afternoon... in my sons pillow case.
I promise I won't miss the diapers. Or having to bathe them all.
I won't miss the schlep. The coats and boots, and mittens, and diapers. We recently flew commercially to Pittsburgh. And I schlepped five children's necessities through airports during the holidays. I won't miss it. The extra outfits in case of accidents, the toys, the teething rings, the medicines, the sippy-cups, different ones for each child. And don't forget the wipes, and the diaper rash creme. The strollers, and car seats, the wraps, the blankies.... And they all have different allergies of course, so the snacks, different for each child. I swear this was me walking through DIA.
I won't miss it.
I know I'll miss things.
I will miss morning snuggle time in our queen bed, all eight of us (yes the dog comes up too).
And I will miss reading them books on my lap.
And I will miss them thinking I am smart.
I will miss singing them songs.
And I will miss the way they play with me. Doing my hair, and rubbing my face, and piggy back rides, and cradling, and all those things.
And I will miss other parts.
But the first few nights that I sleep through the night without having to nurse a baby. Or help someone to the toilet. Or calm a child crying from night terrors. The first morning I wake up and realize that this season is over... I will smile. Because I think it will get so much better from here.