Happy Halloween! With Milo’s birthday just a few days ago, this is a sugar-filled weekend in our home every year. I love it. 🙂
We had a sweet little celebration for him and now we’re getting ready to go trick-or-treating tonight as a family. Can’t wait to see those two little brothers in their costumers.
I was on a quick trip last week to see my mom compete in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships, so I had four quiet flights to sit and think and just be for a while. I was pondering life in this present moment and how different it feels from just a few years ago.
After all, I’m only 3 years into parenting, so it’s been a relatively short amount of time, and I sometimes feel like my brain hasn’t had the chance to catch up to the massive life changes that have occurred. I’ve learned many lessons in those three years of parenting, and here are a few of them:
1. Everything is a phase.
I always knew it in my head, but now I know it in reality. Pregnancy? Temporary. Breastfeeding and traveling with a pump and waking up early to feed the baby? It ends. Every single part of it, from birth recovery to crazy toddler tantrums to potty training, is just a phase.
And it feels like it’s the “new normal” until it’s not, and it’s over. I remember taking Milo to the park when he was 14 months old, and he would wobble around, sprint off to the parking lot, nearly fall head-first down stairs and ladders and slides, and it was a crazy workout for me to just follow him around and keep him safe.
The other week we were at the park, and I watched from a distance as he climbed the tallest ladder, went down the fastest slide, and then turned over to me and said “mommy, did you see that?!” Yes baby, I saw that.
I remember, during those early days at the park, watching moms sit on the bench on the side of the playground, sipping a latte and watching their boys run around from a distance and thinking, “how lucky are they??”
And now I can (almost) watch Milo from a distance. He still needs my help occasionally…thankfully! Because I really love being with him. And I understand better now that in the very near future, I’ll be one of those moms sitting on a bench nearby and watching him play.
2. Balance doesn’t last for long.
Can I tell you something? This is the hardest stage of life Nate and I have been through. Parenting little ones is tough! We’re constantly re-evaluating how things are going, coming up with new systems and schedules, discussing the things we can do to better navigate our way through these years.
And every now and then we find balance!
But it doesn’t last for long. Which I guess is the whole point of balance, right? You find it, then you wobble, then you find it again. If you were in perfect balance 100% of the time, it wouldn’t be balance. Balance literally means that there’s a place to wobble on each side, and you’ve found the center…but the wobble is always there trying to pull you. And then you wobble, and then you find balance again.
There are so many things to take care of. We want to nurture our marriage and keep it strong. We each want to have a social life and be with our friends. We value exercise, and hobbies like cooking and reading, and we want to travel and explore and stay strong in our careers. But to be honest, lots of those things are lower on the priority list because parenting takes up most of the time.
It’s hard. It just is. Parenting is a full-time gig and so all of the other things are tucked into the free moments we can find.
I’ve learned this lesson now, so it doesn’t make me sad. But while I was learning it, I felt sad a lot of the time because I missed lots of the things I used to have time for.
3. Texting back is the hardest.
Haha. Why did no one tell me this at my baby shower? “Welcome to parenthood, where texting back is nearly impossible.”
I had sent a text to my neighbor the other week telling her we were eating pizza on the front yard for dinner if she and her daughter wanted to come over. They showed up a few hours and she said, “sorry, I never texted back. But we’d love to join!”
And I told her: “all good! I mostly just text people in my head these days..”
Anyone else? Texting back is just really hard for me right now. I don’t think it will be this way forever, but right now you just shouldn’t expect a text response from me. Haha.
What about you? Any funny/interesting things you’ve learned in parenthood?
PS: one of my most-read blog posts, 4 Words That Have Changed My Parenting Perspective
Haha! Yes to texting back! The struggle is real. The only times I think about replying to texts is when I’m literally juggling babies and shoes and cups and car keys. I always tell my friends to text me 2 or 3 times and I will eventually get back!
The struggle is REAL.
Beautifully written, Kelsey. As an empty-nester to three boys, I can certainly tell you that everything is a phase. In the midst of it you might feel like the days will never end, but I’m on the other side of it and and tell you that I would gladly go back and experience any phase all over again. Thank you for sharing your beautiful family with us!