The Ultimate Mystery of Motherhood
Where does the time go?
If you are a mom, you know this is the single greatest mystery to your ever present and demanding role.
You don’t even have to be a mom very long to figure it out. You probably don’t even have to leave the hospital. Or be off the narcotics your doctor so graciously prescribed you.
I’m not sure when I began pondering this ultimate mystery of motherhood, but I can tell you I have almost every day since I started this journey.
It doesn’t matter their life stage, or even how many children call you momma.
“I can’t believe Brock is already a week old.” I remember thinking.
Next came, “I can’t believe he is 3 months and not a newborn anymore.”
“I can’t believe he is about to be a big brother.”
And then I started over with, “I can’t believe the twins are already a month old.”
“How are my babies already half way to their birthday?”
And just last week, “I cannot believe I have a pair of 9 month olds.”
I sent my dad this picture and he replied simply, “Wow time is really flying.”
Some things never change. Time just keeps going faster and faster, once you are a parent, once you are a grandparent, no one is exempt.
But just where does the time go? The months and years whiz by but the hours and days are strung together with often mundane, repetitive everyday moments.
That’s where the time goes.
Putting a baby in their crib and crawling back into bed. Only to hear a 2 year old holler “Momma out! Sun’s up!”
Crawling back into bed and turning on Curious George in an effort to get more sleep and some toddler snuggles.
Changing a stinky diaper and disposing of it in the closest thing to a hazmat bag possible, a Ziploc.
Putting on your husband’s t-shirt because that’s what the proud little person before you picked out.
Returning a granola bar that was carefully selected by your toddler to the pantry to get the cheerios because that’s what he wants now.
Seeing the pride in a little boy’s eyes as he returns a gallon of milk to the fridge and goes to the silverware drawer for a spoon to eat his long awaited breakfast.
Washing the caked on supper off the dishes that got left in the sink the night before.
Taking an empty cereal bowl from an anxious big brother as he darts from the kitchen as soon as he hears his brother and sister awake and talking down the hallway.
Lining up three kids to change diapers and clothes once you can get them to stop wrestling and flipping over and crawling away.
Witnessing the love your children have for each other as they smile and laugh and hug and kiss and start a new day together.
Turning on Curious George, then Handy Manny and finally Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood only to switch it all up for a Disney movie your oldest insists he can open and load into the Playstation.
Sitting down to feed your baby breakfast and making sure you get one on one, good morning snuggles with all your little sunshines.
Getting on to your 2 year old for carrying his brother, and then his sister, across the play room in a choke hold.
Hearing the words, “Here Bubba, play with you, push the button,” as he hands him his favorite toy in an effort to share.
Wrestling 2 sleepy infants in a rocking chair while a toddler whines and makes random demands for attention.
Successfully transferring said sleeping infants to their cribs and enjoying a sit down lunch date with just your toddler, complete with play dough and chocolate cake.
And it goes on and on.
Reading the toddler a book or two or three before making him a pallet on the floor in his room and covering him and each pillow and stuffed animal up just right.
Letting a destructive toddler out of his room after he decided he didn’t want a nap, and instead drug out all his toys and books and the entire contents of his closet.
Hearing the sweet coos of a freshly rested baby playing contently in his crib, and being greeted with his arms reached high to his momma as you go to pick him up.
Changing two little boys’ diapers as quickly as possible because the littlest one just remembered he’s starving now that he’s up from his nap and saw the lady with the goods.
Sitting down to nurse a hungry baby and making room for a wiggly toddler who loves your lap so much he insists there’s always room for one more. As long as it’s him.
Trying to stall a toddler meltdown because he wants you to put his brother down. But you can’t. Even though you’d love to as he claws and bites and kicks you while he nurses.
Feeling blessed as you witness brotherly love firsthand in the form of a ticklefest at your feet.
Starting supper with a bunch of random stuff because you haven’t been to the store in over a week. Just in time for sleeping beauty to wake up and want her supper.
Your daughter playing contently with her reflection in the oven door while you load the dishwasher.
Lining up the Pampers Posse to change yet another round of diapers because the hubby is out of town on business.
Hearing the door open to see a road weary husband smiling from ear to ear as your toddler jumps into his arms. Hooray for surprise homecomings.
Stepping over Cheerios to put dirty plates and high chair trays on the counter as the hubby gives the three little pigs a bath.
Snuggling a sweet smelling, fresh from the tub baby in her pink towel before you tag team new diapers and pjs with the hubby for all three kids.
Nursing two equally hungry babies while the hubby cleans the kitchen. All while your toddler forces you to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse over your Primetime selection.
Watching everyone’s favorite game of “Jump to Daddy” before finishing the night off with two books, goodnight kisses and the hubby rocking and tucking in each and every child you share.
Turning on the shower only to turn it off because a hungry little boy wants one more snack before calling it a night.
Talking to the hubby for the first time in days after all the littles are snug in their beds. And finally falling asleep next to my favorite, at least until the children reappear around 2 am.
I may have solved the ultimate mystery of motherhood but there’s nothing I can do about it. Nothing short of taking it all in. Knowing the challenging moments will pass. And so will the ones I want to last forever. Someday these moments, that turn into hours, then weeks and months and decades will be nothing but memories. I only hope that when this time is gone, it’s no mystery how much I loved these days. Most of them.