Dear Mama of Little Ones,
Right now your days may seem long, and you nights seem too short. This is a very busy season in your home. Children from birth to age 3 are rapidly learning skills — feeding themselves, crawling, talking, walking, learning cause and effect from dumping things or throwing things. They seem to always be hungry. They are little sponges who soak up the things going on around them. By lunch time, you are spent. You have fed them, dressed them (sometimes more than once), taken them to potty several times (or changed their diaper several times). You have fixed them drinks and fed them a snack. You tried to get the dishes in the dishwasher, but your helper wanted to do something else. You managed to get the laundry switched. Maybe you will get it folded before bedtime. You have played with your little one and read books. You have helped them pick up their toys even though it would be faster if you did it without their help. You wonder if it is time for a nap, but you want to feed them lunch first. Who says you can’t have lunch at 11:00? You find your coffee cup in the microwave. You’ve reheated it three times already, and you still have not had a chance to drink it. You have answered the question WHY almost a thousand times already. You check your calendar to see when story time is at the library. You need a shower. How does anyone get up before their little ones to actually drink their coffee and get a shower? Little ones have a radar. They know when your feet hit the floor in the morning. They wake up ready to get on with the day. They don’t know you need a few minutes to go to the bathroom and wash your face.
You aren’t paid with a paycheck. Your pay comes from sticky hugs and kisses. Your pay comes with giggles and grins. Your pay comes from the love you have with your child. Every day seems to run into the next one. Will your house ever be picked up and clean again? How do other moms do it? You can sing the theme song to several children’s programs. You can recite 10 different children’s stories. You don’t need to see the page anymore. You can tell it from memory. You look at the clock again. Is it still not nap time yet? You desperately want to brush your teeth and your hair, but you still haven’t gotten around to it. Every time you think you will make it to the bathroom, someone needs you. You finally get to the bathroom, and your little helper follows along. You wonder if it’s time to start potty training. You get your teeth brushed finally. Now it’s time for lunch. Oh, look! There’s the breakfast and snack dishes right where you left them. You fix a quick lunch and while the children eat, you try to eat quickly and get the dishes done. You wonder what’s for dinner. Finally, lunch is over (and with it another stack of dirty dishes), and it is time for a nap. You get the little ones down, and now you have a little time to work around the house, but first, you want to squeeze in your shower. You shower quickly. Then you realize that the little ones are awake already. The laundry is still in the dryer. The dishwasher needs to be loaded from lunch and started. You should have started the crock pot before your shower. You know that the next few hours will be busy, so you take a deep breath and dive in. It’s time to play, read, and snuggle. This is time you will never get back again, and you wouldn’t have it any other way.