Last week as I was out grocery shopping I saw a friend walking into Walmart with her 3 little ones and pregnant with #4. As I watched it brought back many memories when I would go out with a car full. These days with teens I have the privilege of built in baby sitters and only taking one or two if any! As I watched her with admiration (and how much fun they will have in a few years) the thoughts of those days came flooding back to memory. First, was the prep to get out the door. Timing was crucial to avoid naps or cranky times for them or me. Next it was how to keep the chaos going the same direction. How do I remember my grocery list, keep the children obeying, baby not crying, and moms sanity all together. Not an easy task! And we wonder why we are tired as young moms/or older ones...LOL! I miss the days of going out as a crowd (5-6 young ones) at the same time I am thankful for the memories and glad I am past that stage!
If memory serves me right very few of those trips ever turned out well without someone having a melt down. One of my meltdowns was when I took 4 kids to the grocery store in a car (not a van...a CAR) They were 5, 3, 1, and newborn. We made sure all diapers were dry, grabbed a couple of snacks, a bottle or two and buckled kids in their seats with stroller in the trunk. I was proud of myself for venturing out without my mom with all 4 kids. Kids were doing well so I went ahead and bought a weeks worth of groceries. I finished just in time because we were smelling 2 dirty diapers, and the meltdowns were fast approaching. I get all the way out to the car and open the trunk......stroller is there! (a double stroller so it takes up the ENTIRE trunk!) I try to get the kids in the car with the groceries and diaper bags.....which took much planning! They were so young and they would not understand NOT eating the plastic bags, or crushing the chips, squeezing the bread, or cracking my eggs. Hince the beginning of mom falling apart! I think through tears and prayers I eneded up piling groceries every possible place I could. There was not one available space left! We made it home...got them all in, changed diapers, put lunch out, while they ate I unloaded the groceries while the nursing baby was screaming for his meal. PTL for naps.
Back to my friend...I wanted to walk over to her and give her a hug and tell her....enjoy this....your gonna miss it one day. But I knew with all the little ones she needed to get on her agenda and get it done. Instead I just walked to my 12 passenger van and prayed for her. (now I have a car that would hold everything and I am by myself...something is backwards about this!) Praying that she would enjoy her moments with your young children no matter how tiring it will be. Praying that while in the store someone would give her a kind comment and that her children would listen well to a mom that is giving her life to raise them.
Watching home movies yesterday it is amazing how you can forget how hard it is to be a mom to little ones. It is tiring, exhausting, never ending. What we don't realize is those days do end. All too soon it will be a distant memory that will bring laugher instead of tears and you will be the one encouraging other moms in that stage of life.
As a mom of 8 I am learning to enjoy my moments. IF I always wish for a different stage of life I will miss the one I am in. Enjoy your moment...hang on...all too soon it will be gone and new ones will be created! Dig out a couple of old family videos and remember how quick the days change. This might give you the boost to hang on another week!