The other day I was venting to my mother about how I wished I could have two hours at home by myself to get things done. How often times I feel like I can never do anything without two tiny people running circles around me. I’ve been told I’m “ruthlessly efficient” but multitasking took on a whole new meaning when I became a mom. Now with a very active toddler and a baby on the verge of walking, it can be difficult to accomplish any task while they are around.
Later that same day I was talking to a friend about an unrelated topic. During our conversation, she said, “I always tell people to be careful what they wish for”. She went on to share stories of people she knew who got something they wished for so badly, but not in the way they’d expected or envisioned. My friend had no idea of my frustrations of the day, and long after our conversation, her words kept coming back to my mind. I felt like it was a message I needed to hear.
At first, I reverted to my vent session with my mother and the mom guilt crept in. I felt bad about being frustrated and annoyed that I didn’t cross anything off my list that day. A list that of course is never-ending and honestly includes many items that are trivial in the grand scheme of life. My kids weren’t behaving badly that day; they just needed and wanted my attention. Shouldn’t I be glad they still want to spend time with me? Shouldn’t they take precedence over something like organizing my linen closet?
Then my perspective shifted.
I thought about how different my life would be without these two tiny people constantly running circles around me. I would have time to get things done but my life would be void of the joy they bring and the love I have for them. Every day, I have the privilege of spending my days with these two amazing people who are my world and beyond. Everything else can wait. They are what matters most. It’s a simple concept at its core, but one that is hard to grasp at times.
We all have days where we feel like nothing gets crossed off the list. It’s frustrating. Feelings of being overwhelmed, annoyed, and burnt-out are all valid. There’s nothing wrong with it and certainly, we all deserve (and need) time to ourselves.
I think all parents with young children have had someone tell them to enjoy it because it all goes so fast. I know it’s true and I genuinely try to soak in as much of this time as I can. Some days I do better at ignoring the to-do list and embracing this time I have with them before we’re off to preschool and over-packed schedules.
On the tough days where the to-do list is looming in my mind, I think of my friend’s advice. It’s another reminder that I truly wouldn’t wish for things to be any different than they are now. I’ll take the company, the help (sometimes!), the messes, and the unfinished projects. I’ll teach, snuggle, and play. The to-do list will still be there tomorrow. However, my kids will be one day older and a little more independent than yesterday.
Some day the house will be quiet and all the projects will be done. That day is not today, and that’s okay.