Tonight, for the last time…I kissed my five year old goodnight. Tomorrow morning when she wakes up she will have magically transformed into a big six year old. My poor heart can’t handle it.
It seems like just yesterday Struan was demanding that I take a pregnancy test, it seems like just yesterday we were rushing to the hospital to have our FIRST baby, it seems like just yesterday she snuggled up next to me for late night feedings….
Yet here we are SIX years later. This girl changed my world. She showed me what really mattered in life. She helped shape and mold me into the person I am today. I am better because of her. She is the reason I belong to a super special group. A group that isn’t something all women are blessed to be a part of, The Mommy-Hood Gang.
In my SHORT six years as a Mommy-Hood Gangster, I have to say I have been in some pretty rough neighborhoods. There have been moments where I have wondered if I was truly cut out for the job. Moments where I have told God I understand if He took her away because I wasn’t doing good enough.
But there have also been those incredible moments, where I sit there and think to myself, I don’t know what I did so right in this life, to deserve such a beautiful spirit in my presence.” If you know Adeline our little Lion, you know exactly what I am talking about.
She is the best combination of Sassy & Sweet. She loves EVERYONE with everything that she has.In fact she informed me that all she wants for her birthday this year is for people to be happy. Don’t get me wrong she is stubborn as hell, and can give you a good run for you money. But she is mine, and as much as I would love to say I have taught her everything she knows…
The truth is..she is the one who has taught me. She has taught me MANY life lessons, but in honor of her turning the BIG Six…I thought I would share my Top Six favorites.
- Learn To Laugh…A LOT! Lord knows you are going to have your good days and your bad days. There will be days when it seems like everything is falling a part. Days where you want to run away to the zoo. Days where you have to decide whether you should LAUGH or CRY….My advice…LAUGH!! Laugh as much as you possibly can. Laughing makes cleaning up the mess so much easier.
2. You Can NEVER Take Too Many Photos! Try to limit the number you share on social media, there will be those friends who block, or delete…but trust me when I say THESE will be some of the only things you will have left. Cherish them. Your memory will only last so long before it starts to fade, capture moments! Lots of them. Be the Mom whose kids roll their eyes and groan because Mom is taking ANOTHER picture. Trust me when I say, they WILL thank you later. Even for the embarrassing ones.
3. Fed Is Better Than Nothing. Having PB&J’s for the FIFTH time this week? Don’t be ashamed & don’t feel guilty! Repeat after me…FED is better than nothing! I can remember as a NEW Mom thinking that I had to have ALL of my -ish together. That I had to be the PERFECT housewife, which included a spotless home and home cooked meals every single night. I set myself up for failure. For far to long, I punished myself for not being perfect. I’ve since learned to RELAX! Remember the basics…food, water, clothing, shelter. Your kids have all of that? Then you have done your job! Stop worrying that little miss Susie Homemaker down the street makes gourmet meals every single night…and you are throwing cold cereal out on the counter. WHO CARES?! Kids won’t remember 99% of the meals you cooked, but they will remember the time you spent together eating those meals. So let yourself off the hook will ya?
4. Perfect Doesn’t Exist…Find Joy In The Little Things. I tend to be an unrealistic person with huge expectations. I have an idea, and I want it to go exactly how I thought it up in my head. For example the Zoo trip we took a few weeks back (see previous post), back in my newbie Mom phase I would have counted that day a failure, because it wasn’t perfect. But I’m here to say PERFECT most definitely does not exist.
If I have learned anything from my kids (especially that girl right there) it would be to find joy in the little things. No matter where you are in life, no matter what they day might look like there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for. I have multiple photos of Adeline standing in this exact same pose, in different types of weather, and her face is exactly the same…FULL of WONDER & JOY! Shouldn’t we be a little more like that? Excited for what they day may bring, and full of gratitude and joy for the simple fact that we are alive and get to experience it.
5. Pick Your Battles. If I have learned anything in this journey, it’s to pick what’s really fight worthy and what’s not. Your kid wants to rock yellow and orange shorts, with a green plaid shirt, and an owl hat LET THEM! Who cares about the looks you MAY get!? If your child likes it, and feels confident, let them ROCK IT! Individuality is something we should celebrate, so let them be who they want to be. Trust me when I say, it’s not worth the fight. You will have many more battles to come, save your energy for those that truly matter.
6. Never Be To Proud To Ask For Help. I have been BLESSED to be raised by an incredible Tribe of strong, confident, compassionate, and loving women. They all shared a piece of themselves with me, and I wouldn’t be half the person I am today if it weren’t for them. All of them. They say it takes a village to raise a child & I believe in that 100%. So take some pressure off, stop thinking you have to be Wonder Woman and do EVERYTHING on your own.Because you don’t.
Never, ever be afraid to ask for help. Never be to proud to accept what others have to offer. Never be ashamed to admit when you feel defeat. There have been so many times I have called my mother in the middle of the night begging for help. Many times I have leaned on friends in time of need. My kids have been raised by an incredible village of people, and I know that I couldn’t have given them everything that they have if it weren’t for those people and their examples.
Six years. Six years I have been a Mom. Six years of tears, heartache, joy, excitement, and so much more. Six years I would never trade for anything. Six years I wish I could get back. Six years I wish I could freeze in time. Yet, I know that as much as I want time to slow down, it’s only getting faster.
So instead of trying to slow time down, I will take time to slow myself down. To enjoy the moments I have, to take time to study the little things like her little freckled nose, or the way she throws her head back when she laughs, and to savor as much as I possibly can. Because ready or not, she is growing up.
And that my friends is the HARDEST part of Motherhood, slowly letting them go. Knowing that every single year you are loosening the grip just a little bit, only for them to eventually let go and do things on their own.