Motherhood is a funny thing. Emotionally, it takes you through so much; nothing can really prepare you for it. When your baby is born, your heart starts living outside your body. And bizarre things begin to happen when your heart lives outside your body. And even more bizarre things happen when you see this little heart of yours grow.
You go through a series of "I can't wait for this baby to grow up" moments and a series of "Oh my God this baby is growing up too fast" epiphanies. And sometimes, as funny as it sounds, you can feel these two contradictory emotions in the same day
In the middle of all that exhaustion, you forget to press the pause button. Not the one you have no power over—I'm talking about the one you CAN control.
When they wake up way more often than you would like them to at night and time seems to be going very slowly, all you want is for them to grow up. So you can sleep. Uh-huh.
And then, almost like as if they heard you say that, they do grow up—all too quickly. In what seems like no time at all, they are on their bellies trying to babble "mamamama." Or "baabaabaa" (like the sheep). Or whatever they feel like babbling.
And in a couple of years after that, they will say things like "I will buy you your own TV." Like my preschooler just did when we were trying to negotiate changing the cartoon on TV to anything adults can watch. Like the news. Or even Animal Planet.
My preschooler has been acting like quite the grown up lately. Like when he says things such as "Are you fine?" when I hit my toes to the edge of the bed for the millionth time. He promised to nurse me back to health when I sneezed once ("I'll take care of you, mama", topped with a tight hug). He even said the most grown up of all things the other day "Mama, I don't want to grow up; I want to stay small. I don't want to become big boy. Big boys are naughty boys." Of course he was referring to the older kids he often plays with, and with whom he has a love-hate relationship, but when you take it out of context it sounds pretty deep. Coming from a three year old.
In moments like these, all I want to do is press the pause button. If only I can find that button.
Motherhood leaves you physically and emotionally drained, for most part. Think going for three back-to-back Zumba classes. That's the level of exhaustion I'm talking about.
And in the middle of all that exhaustion, you forget to press the pause button. Not the one you have no power over—I'm talking about the one you can control. And here's how you do it.
Pick up those 10 books he's been asking you to read to him. And don't say no when he says "one more." Because now is all you got.
Stop whatever you are doing. Just stop. The laundry can wait. So can that email. Just stop and watch your baby giggle. And grow. Go, play hide and seek. And sing "Old MacDonald Had A Farm" with your baby, even if your singing voice is so terrible it can raise Old MacDonald from the dead. Or pick up those 10 books he's been asking you to read to him. And don't say no when he says "one more." Because now is all you got.
Time is precious. So hold on to their childhood, they will be buying you your own TV before you know it. So that they can watch their own channels and, as for you, you'll be looking for the rewind button.