Over the course of the last year I have had people tell me to “Embrace the Journey”. I find myself always wanting to skip forward to the next phase, which will make my life “easier.” Whether I am wishing for bedtime at breakfast or for Friday on Monday morning, I am wishing my life away.
I am told these years are priceless and although I know that I will look back years from now and miss them being so little, I can’t stop thinking….if we were only at this stage, or that stage, things would be easier. I am plagued with guilt over it every day.
I sit here and wonder what the “future me” would say to the “present me” and here is what I came up with.
Dear Present Jamie,
First of all, you have aged really well if I do say so myself. Apparently all those years of not washing your hair and throwing it back in a ponytail really kept it healthy and shiny. On a more negative note, your blog is not that funny any longer because the kids are all grown and aren’t giving you any material.
You get up each day now at your leisure after a full nights sleep. Although this may seem wonderful to you, it is not all it’s cracked up to be. It turns out that having 2 toddlers fight over who gets to snuggle up closer to you in the mornings is a feeling that is irreplaceable. You may no longer have to deal with carrying Lane around and changing her diapers, but you no longer feel anything near what you felt when you walked into her room in the mornings to see her smiling from ear to ear like you were the only person in the world she wanted to see.
Breakfast time is very quiet and you get to watch Good Morning America and Kelly & Snookie (she ended up taking the place of Regis), but it turns out that they aren’t as interesting as the “real life” drama that used to be in your kitchen. Don’t get me wrong, you DON’T miss cleaning up bowls of cereal that have spilled all over the place and your spotless house is quite nice. You don’t yell as much and never trip over toys on the stairwell. I have to tell you though that the constant quiet is not as great as you expected. It actually feels kind of lonely.
You no longer have to repeat yourself 50 times a day because there is nobody at home to repeat it to, except for Pete, and he still doesn’t listen that well. You actually enjoy it now when he picks up the wrong thing at the store because it gives you SOMETHING to bitch about. (He, by the way, has not aged as well.)
If I could give you one piece of advice I would say to listen to what people keep telling you…”embrace the journey.” Your life is hectic and stressful and funny and goofy and these are some of the best times you will have. You do not realize this yet.
Continue to dance with your kids all over the house, and when they want to do a marching band every half hour say YES because you mean it, not because you don’t want to deal with what they will do if you say no. Don’t be annoyed that they are hungry every 20 minutes or that they won’t leave you alone for two minutes because soon enough they will hardly need you at all.
Laugh at the fact that Chase chooses to wear wrist bands and a pirate eye patch everywhere you go and that Reese thinks that everything tastes too “spicy.” Smile at Lane’s constant need to climb on everything and take comfort in the fact that you get to catch her when she falls. Don’t get so annoyed with Chase and Reese bickering back and forth and focus more on the times they hug one another out of the blue, or ask to get the other a treat when the other is not there.
Stop wishing your life away. Keep finding the humor in things and that will get you through this tough time. Your kids are only young once and they need you to be a happy and strong Mommy.
If you have to take away just one thing from this I hope it is the fact that your hair really does look AMAZING in the future. If that doesn’t help you get through each day, then I don’t know what will.