This isn't the first time I've seen this video but it really stuck a chord this time. I currently have a 4 month old and an (almost) 4 year old. I'm extra sensitive now to the fact that they will grow up way too fast, and since he is most likely my last baby it's that much harder to let go of.
I am sad they are growing up but, on the other hand, I often find myself saying, "I can't wait till he's out of his fussy newborn stage" ...or "teething stage"...or "busy stage"... Focussing a little too much on the hard parts and letting the beautiful moments pass by.
I really take to heart the advice and wisdom of moms...and grandmas who have been there and can look back and share what they wished they did differently, what they wished they focussed more on or what they are glad they did do. So from all of this, here are my lessons to myself...
Lessons to Myself
(The not so obvious lesson is last)
Enjoy those everyday moments. When you look back, it's the "everyday" things that make up the majority of your life and your memories. It's so easy to feel sorry for yourself in the rough times as a mom, like when your baby has been fussy all day... and you can't get him to sleep...and you are tired. That pity party can then just grow and grow until your day just turns into a bit of a write-off and you don't even notice any of the good times. When those tough times happen, stop those thoughts from over-taking you. Stare at that beautiful baby's face (or toddler's face) and think about all the things you are grateful for. Know that the tough moment will pass. And remember that you will miss these days once they are gone. (I know some of those days can be rough especially in the first few month, so feel free to have a bit of a pitty party, just don't let that be your go-to state.)
This video seems so sad because that poor mom is left alone in that quiet house with those empty chairs. Although it is sad for one stage of life to end, you have the opportunity to create a whole new stage of life that can be just as fun. I think that in order to not get stuck in the sadness and loneliness once the kids grow up, we first have to make sure that we don't define ourselves as being a mom and that's it. We need find ourselves again and gain independence at the same rate that our kids are gaining their independence. We need to find hobbies that we love, friends to spend time with, work on having a great relationship with your husband and work that is meaningful and enjoyable.
But...for the moment, I am all about attachment parenting...snuggling my baby as much as possible...being in the moment (or at least trying to). As my kids get older and more independent, I will grow my independence too. I will have a self-image that is independent from that as solely a mom.
I do believe, however, being a mom is the most important role we play, cherish that time, be present...just don't let that be the only role!
We need to cherish the time we have with our kids because before you know it they will be all grown up. But know that the next stage of life can be just as fun!