Thursday, August 28, 2008

Other Moms

I've had several interactions with Other Moms that go something like this:

"How old is your son?"
"Enjoy them while you can. They grow up so fast. My son is 32."

And I store that away. I mentally add it to my To Do list.
1. do the laundry.
2. go to the drugstore for bandaids.
3. enjoy my children.
4. tackle the dishes.

And I do enjoy my children. I laugh at them and with them and about them. I sit and look at them. I listen to them. Take them in. Sometimes I hold Isaac and think, "Ok, Robyn. Now's your chance. enjoy him. Right Now. He won't always be 3 months old." And I try. But I'm not really sure what I am aiming at.

I think for a while I was trying to keep them the age I was appreciating them at. "Andrew! I love that you are 18 months old." Now maybe he'll stay 18 months old a little longer.

I think for a while I was trying to soak in the details so I could remember them. "Look how Andrew eats corn on the cob! Remember that!" But, as Isaac unfolds I realize that there is a lot about Andrew's infancy I've forgotten.

So, although I think I'm enjoying my children, I wonder if I am doing what the Other Moms have in mind. Am I 'enjoying it while I can?'

I've read Other Moms say things like, "When the house gets noisy and chaotic I think, it won't always be like this. I will have plenty of days in a quiet house." And I like that. I feel like I can relate to that one. "Isaac kept me up a lot last night. But most nights, over the course of my life, I will get a full night's sleep." I find that perspective really helpful. A coping strategy really. And a way to take things in stride. It makes the noisy house and the sleepless night not seem so bad.

I guess this is one of the reasons why I scrapbook. So I can have stories and photos of what it is like. What they say. How I feel. So I can step back and step up and enjoy my children at their various ages all throughout their lives. Because Other Moms are right. They will not always be the age they are right now.

What do you do to 'enjoy it while you can'? Whatever it may be for you....


erin said...

When our cat, Nutmeg, was a kitten we had "kitty olympics" every night. We'd wisk her feather-on-a-stick through the air and she would jump several feet, somersault, and come down on four little paws. I wish we'd taken some cool action shots of that because now she can't get that serious air time. Still cute though and no longer pounces me at 3:00 am.

Loralee said...

I feel like I have to remind myself an awful lot. I often let myself feel overwhelmed and have to stop and say to myself that there is really nothing to be stressed about. I have to breathe and just let Timmy splash through that (seriously muddy) puddle or laugh everytime he grabs a dish I just washed to put back in the dishwater (he loves doing dishes). It's okay that everything I do takes nearly twice as long as it would otherwise, 'cause, well, this is my job.

Like I said though, I have to remind myself of that fact way too often. I wish it were easier to just savor the moment.

Tara Whalen said...

I can understand now what the other mothers are talking about. I was home. I took care. I was there... for the first two. Now I am preoccupied. Priorities have changed. And I am missing out. But try as I might, now that I have taken a step forward for me, I can't seem to go back. I almost feel as if I am hurrying my baby along one minute, and holding her back the next. She is happy and healthy and enjoying life, so what am I worried about?

There's nothing like mom guilt.

un-nerved said...

Sometimes when I catch myself wishing to be in the future, I try to take in what is a miracle in that moment. This is easier say, when I'm driving home from work, than when I'm having menstrual cramps. Knowing about the future is a wonderful and necessary coping strategy.

un-nerved said...

PS Humans (fortunately) forget the bad along with some of the good.

debs14 said...

Oh there will be more sleepless nights to come but for different reasons! The kind that are caused by your child having passed their driving test and gone out for the evening with friends and you wake with a jolt - it's 2am and they still aren't home ... then you hear the tyres on the drive, the key in the door, fridge doors opening and closing in the kitchen, a voice chatting into a mobile phone and you can finally relax. So can I add to your list 'Enjoy knowing where your child is, who they are with and what they are doing' because it won't always be that way! Being a parent - toughest job in the world!

Anonymous said...

I hear this all the time too and it makes me think and makes me very concerned that I'm not remembering every detail. Things get so busy and hectic as a mother, especially when you work at home and try to actually acomplish things like scrapbooking, that I don't feel lik I'm taking every little detail in. Sometimes I sit back and think, "wow, i have great kids" or "this was really cute" and I just pray that I will remember those details forever. And sometimes I wish I could just box up my kids as they are now and not let them change and other times I pray for us to get to the next stage in life, in hopes that things will get easier.

I guess all moms are in the same boat.


Melissa said...

I was afraid you were going to talk about the comment that some moms say- "Just wait! You think it's hard now- when they're 5 (or 9 or 13 or 16 or 21) it'll be so much harder!" It's like when CHris and I were engaged ("Just wait! Things are great now, but that'll change!").

I so prefer the "Enjoy them now" comment from other moms. It's a good reminder for me, too. someday my kids are going to be MEN. They will do what they want to do. They might call me once a week if I'm lucky. They might move out of state (although ATticus recently told me that he's going to live in my house when he's a grown up. And he's going to marry my mother). They might have wives that don't like me.

I'm trying to soak in the moments- Enzo's irresistable chubby thighs, Atticus' laugh, all his questions, and the moments I have to share with them each day.


Marlorie said...

I think I've heard that comment at least ten times and I've only been a mom for 17 days. Each day I look at my newborn to see if I can soak in how much he changed overnight just so that I "enjoy it while it last".