Mentoring

Dear 30-Year Old Mother Of Young Children

Your days are long, aren’t they, precious? You are so tired of telling that 3-year old to pee-pee in the potty you could scream.  And you often do.  You wonder when your newborn is going to sleep through the night so that you can sleep through the night.  You never knew just how precious sleep was until now. You dream of days when you can walk through the grocery store alone.  You will hear another woman’s baby cry and you’ll be overjoyed because it is, in fact, another woman’s baby…not yours. You might even start skipping as if to say, “I am sorry she is crying, but your baby can cry the whole time for all I care because I don’t have my children.  I AM ALONE!” You count the hours down until the afternoon nap.  You will battle with them for a bit as they fight off the impending sleep, but you know the battle will be yours.  They doze off and you pray that the next 120 minutes will actually feel like 240.  You complete the household duties that never seem to disappear and then sit down for a much-needed, much-deserved rest before the natives awake. The dreaded time frame from 4:00 – 6:00 in the late afternoon is not to far away.  You wonder what you’ll do to calm the cries this time.  It’s commonly referred to as Arsenic Hour because you don’t know whether to give it to them or take it yourself.  But you make it through, manage to prepare a decent meal for your family, and bathe and bed them so that you can grab 20 minutes of time with your husband before you doze off due to sheer exhaustion. It won’t always be this way. When that youngest turns five and heads off to kindergarten, you will wonder where the time went.  Sure, you will enjoy your 2.5 hours of freedom each morning because your city only has 1/2-day kindergarten, but your eyes will light up as you see his cute, little self bouncing toward you in the carpool lane. You’ll inquire about his day and hope he shares every ounce of it with you so that you will not miss a thing. Your older child can brush her own teeth, dress herself and even make herself some lunch.  You offer to help her and she graciously replies, “Oh, no thanks, Mom.  I’ve got it.” And you smile a little because you are proud of the little lady she is becoming, all the while holding back the tears that the child that once peed on your hard-wood floors now goes to the restroom like a normal child and even makes her own meals. You will enter new seasons and what once drove you over the edge will now be a distant memory that brings a smile to your face.  You will wonder where the days went when your sons foot begins to get as big as yours. You will not even be able to remember the last time you didn’t sleep through the night.  There will be no more diapers, wipes, sippy cups or pacifiers.  The faces that once stole your heart away will begin to look like little people.  And those little people will start looking like young adults. So, hang in there.  Some days all you feel like doing is hanging.  And that’s okay.  Try your best to enjoy each day to it’s fullest with these priceless gifts you’ve been given.  Because trust me when I say this, you will miss this. I sure do.

29 thoughts on “Dear 30-Year Old Mother Of Young Children”

  1. Thank you for this! I really needed it! I so often wish these times away and now that my firstborn is 3 and about to head to pre-school, I look at her and wonder, how did she get so big!

  2. Thanks! This 32 year old mother of four year old twin girls and a two week old little boy needed to hear this. Especially the part about sleep! It will return someday, I know. And these four year olds that drive me crazy sometimes will be in kindergarten all too soon. And I’ll miss them. Lord, help me cherish these sweet early years that you’ve given me with my kiddos.

  3. What a wonderful letter! My children are almost 12 and 9 now. and you are so right, those years go by WAY to quickly!

    I found your blog yesterday through a comment you left on Anne Jackson’s video. It is such a wonderful resource for recovering couples. I have been writing our story of recovery for a few months now. I am thrilled to find yours and the Davis’ blogs. I am going to write a post linking back here today…expect your readership to go up by at least 3! 🙂

  4. My boys are 16 months now. And I can honestly say that I have enjoyed every minute of every day so far! Even those sleepless nights! Yes, I said it! The Lord taught Mike and I a valuable lesson the FIRST night of their little lives. I have a friend, who had a child that died the day before his due date. He was born on the boys’ birthday (Just 4 years prior). The morning of their birth, I grabbed my computer while they were being transitioned into the NICU and I couldn’t see them for a few hours and just happened to read their blog that day. It was a tribute to Paul (the baby) – the husband was writing out things that he has learned since his death (Since then they have had two little girls). One of the things that he said was that he is thankful when his little girl throws up on him because it means that he HAS a little girl to throw up on him. That statement stuck to me like glue. Every single time that Mike and I woke up at 2 am to do a feeding we would crawl out of bed and say “Thank you Lord that I get to get up at 2 am – because it means that we have babies to feed!” It changed everything for us. Even now, when we have those sleepless nights due to sickness, I will get up 4 times a night sometimes, and say “thank you that I get to get up and suction out a little nose, because that means that I have babies that are in need of being suctioned out!” 🙂

    What is my favorite season of the boys lives so far (not like we have had many yet)? Whatever season they are in!

    I love being those boys mommy!

  5. this is so true cindy. my 1 year old, claire, was born missing a part of her brain and has a devastating seizure disorder, i know the medical odds are stacked against her and she most likely will never do the things typical kids get to do but she is a precious gift from Jesus and i cherish every moment. even with the many stressful, heartbreaking moments i go through i remind myself that i am BLESSED to be her mommy and i love her just as she is.

  6. Wow! This came at just the right time. Yesterday was my day that came crashing down around me. I need that reminder that someday soon they will be too big to want my help. I am praying daily that I will cherish every moment of this season of my life, the good and the not so good. Thanks Cindy!

  7. I needed this SO much. I’m just 27, but it still applies so well to me with my 3 yr old and 1 yr old. Even the details about nap time are so true for me. Thanks for reminding me what an amazing blessing I have under my roof.

  8. Well, I have to say, I’m REALLY loving having all four of my children in school ALL day. I know, shameful. Give me two weeks, but there is nothing like sending them off to school at 8:20 knowing I have until 3:20 ALL BY MYSELF! I don’t have to go back at 11:30 to pick up my youngest and then figure out how to keep her happy/entertained until her siblings get home. No, I can lunch with a friend, play tennis, take a nap, read a book, and clean my house – without interruptions! HALLELUJAH! So, while your post made me feel a little guilty, I’m relishing my new found freedom for now. Heck, I paid my dues. But, truly, it was a good reminder that I WILL miss those days – just not yet. 🙂

  9. Hahahahaha. Oh wow. Okay, I’ll trust you that I’m gonna miss this, but only because its YOU saying that.

    I’m forwarding this to Greg. He thinks I lack boundaries with the kids, hence my pathological crankiness. Whatever, dude.

    75 minutes to arsenic hour and counting…

    I love you Cindy Beall!!!

  10. When did you come to my house?
    LOL –
    This is hilarious. I love my girls (3 and 1) to pieces but I have told my husband several times that I’m either about to commit suicide or murder 🙂

    You’re the best!

  11. I must admit, I have no children of my own. Although, I have many friends who can relate and please believe I have forwarded today’s posting along!!

    Thank you for continuing to be an inspiration to those in all walks of life!!

  12. It’s SO true. I remind myself of this often, but admist the craziness of having a 4 and 2 year old, some days I forget. Thanks for the reminder Cindy.

  13. Wise woman, CB! You are so right. It is such a short season…even though my season was long 🙂

    And after that season, you get to enjoy grands!! It’s a wonderful season in my life right now.

  14. Cindy, seriously, it’s too early for me to cry. Channing goes to kindergarten in 2011 and I’m already dreading it. Asher doesn’t even wake up at night anymore and he’s using actual words…well, sort of like words. You’re right, it goes by way too fast.

  15. so sweet and true. most days I am just so tired but I know it passes quickly. Thanks for the reminder and sweet perspective!

  16. did you write this for me? 🙂
    I am just emerging (notice I didn’t say “waking up”) from long night caring for newborn twins. It’s hard for me to believe that I’ll miss this…ever.
    Thanks for the encouragement. Looking forward to sleeping through the night someday in the future.

  17. Right now, I have a hard time believing that I am going to miss this someday, but thanks for the encouragement!!

    at 6, 4, almost 3, and 18 months they keep me busy and sometimes drive me a little crazy!! I love them to pieces, but I am looking forward to them being older (which I know brings a whole nother set of problems!!)

  18. As I am reading this, my child is talking nonstop and getting on my last nerve! This helps, it really does.

  19. Thanks so much I needed that! I have two little girls 9 and 5. I teach at the same school as my 5yr old. Yesterday was her first morning of Kindergarten and WOW how time has gone. My 9 year old helped fix lunch, did her own hair! I am so proud! I was so busy rushing through our morning routine that I failed to see the young women she is becoming until I read this! Thanks!

  20. Oh my. . . looking for kleenex on my desk because I’m all puffy and red-nosed. Thank you, thank you, thank you for that. Mine is 1 1/2 and I certainly have those days where I think “can’t you just hurry and grow up and give mommy some free time?” But I have more days where I think “slow down!”

    This was such a beautiful letter. . . and how’d you know I’m about to be 30??? 😉

  21. I just turned 30 this year and I have no children. I’ve always wanted to be a mother but so far it’s not been in my cards – which I suppose is a blessing because I’ve not had the best of luck in relationships in the past and being a single mother doesn’t sound at all like a good plan for me.

    I’ve often read how hard it is to be a mom and what mothers go through and it makes me doubt my conviction to one day be a mom – giving me thoughts of “Can I do that?” “Do I have what it takes to dedicated my entire life and every once of energy to another being?” But often then I see a mother with her child together I know that has to be me one day.

    I pray that God gives me a man who wants to have a family with me. I’ve been in a relationship with my current boyfriend for almost two years now. He’s not popped the question nor given any indication that he will. It breaks my heart because I’ve never had such a wonderful relationship. He and I get along so well (I think we’ve fought maybe three times in the two years we’ve been together), we have so much in common, and we have so much fun together! He really is a dream but I am starting to wonder if he’ll ever want the job of husband and father. I don’t know what to do because I DO want to be married and I DO want a family. I pray that the answers will come.

  22. I miss it so much I want to have just one more please pray with me that God bless us with another. My kids are 12, 10, & 9

  23. We couldn’t seem to get pregnante for 12 years. We had lots of faith that my father Jesus Christ was going to send us our bundle of Joy. An his word doesn’t come back empty!!!! Now, we have a gorgous 2 year old daughter that is driving me Bananas!!!! LOL!!! But, Your words have given me a different lens to see things. It get’s overwhelming at times; especially, when you don’t have any family members to help you get breaks. I just want to thank you, for such a beautiful posting. I really needed to hear words of encouragement!!!!!

  24. What a precious time to remember. It does pass far too quickly. I’m sitting here all weepy at the memory of my now grown children as babies and toddlers. Laugh a whole lot, pray even more, cry with a grilfriend when you need to do so, and hold your husband very tightly. In my life that’s made for four terrific kids who are now solid Christians and contributing members of society and a happy husband.

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