Yesterday, I went to my second MOPS meeting. I decided to give the whole MOPS thing a try because I have been feeling a little sluggish lately.
The days kind of blend together in a whirl of diapers and feedings and potty-time and non-stop cleaning and laundry and oh, hey, my husband’s home, dinner and baths and bedtime and holy crap, I’m exhausted beyond belief.
Sometimes, I feel a little lost in it all.
I feel like a bum for not ever putting on an actual outfit or doing my hair or leaving the house beyond my backyard. So, I thought MOPS may do the trick, forcing me out of the door and into a pair of jeans (that almost button). While I am not really a crafty gal (this is pretty apparent by my attempts on the blog, no?) it was nice just to go somewhere and drink coffee and sit with other moms who get it for a few hours.
While there, I chatted with a lovely young mom who also has three kiddos and started pretty young. It was like looking at my life, fast forward three years. With a calm smile on her face she gushed about how life had changed from the stage I am at now.
“I feel like my life has a good balance now,” she said. “I sleep eight hours a night! And when I want to leave the house, people can put their own shoes on. They dress themselves, feed themselves, potty themselves. It feels so easy now!”
I felt a stirring in my heart. It dawned on me that this–this time in our lives–with the littlest kids, with the constant breastfeeding and the 24/7 physical demands, this is a busy season. As soon as one kid is down, the other is awake; as soon one meal is cleaned up, the next is beginning; as soon as one kid is changed, the other has to go potty. It’s never-ending and while I try hard to stay upbeat and positive and cherish the small snatches that I can, it is exhausting. It’s hard to step back and appreciate it all, because sometimes you feel like you just can’t stop or it will overwhelm you in a mess of crumbs and dirty diapers.
I read recently a blog where someone described this stage of motherhood as comparable to chickens slowly pecking you to death. While I do feel that’s a bit extreme, I get it. It’s just the sheer amount of little things that need to be done, over and over, without a break.
In talking to the future mom version of myself, then, I did feel some hope. Maybe the truth is, the preschool years are just hard. Nothing more, nothing less. You do what you can and you enjoy what you can, but really, it’s just a busy, busy time. And while I know that the future holds bigger kids with big issues (not looking forward to that), it helps me to be reminded that this time in my life really isn’t forever. That some sort of balance may be lying just beyond the horizon.
So with that in mind, we can all throw balance out of the window and try to memorize those little voices and breathe in those little scents with their hugs and treasure being their #1 all-time favorite person.
At least for today.