I seemed to have reached some sort of honeymoon phase in motherhood, and life with my two little boys has been wonderful lately. I can’t believe how much I enjoy being a mom (really! I didn’t think I would love it as much as I do!) and I’m savoring these days.
These boys are just so sweet. Dayton is in the chunky baby stage right before crawling begins. Since he can’t move, the yummy rolls just keep accumulating. After I nurse him, he snuggles in nice and close and smells so good. I love that I can hold his little self and make all of his troubles disappear with a cuddle or some milk or a soothing shhhh. It’s all so simple right now.
Milo is hilarious. Why didn’t I realize that 2-year-olds are soooo funny? A few weeks ago, he figured out that he can play pretend with his stuffed animals and talk with them. He says, “mommy, make Moose talk? Make Lamby talk?” And I make a silly, falsetto voice for the “friend” he wants to play with and Milo talks back to it. He always furrows his forehead and wrinkles his nose when he’s talking to his animals, and tries to copy the voice that I’m giving it for the day. It’s all so odd and wonderful.
We went to a north Austin brewery over the weekend as a family, just to get out the house. While we were sitting outside on the patio drinking our beers and eating bratwurst and reuben sandwiches (Milo sitting on top of the picnic table unpacking the contents of the diaper bag), I felt this deep surge of love and contentment for this stage of life.
When Milo was in his first year of life, I didn’t loooove love love it. He was so sweet and cute, of course, and I loved him. But day-to-day life felt monotonous. I was also in that excruciating transition that not enough people talk about: going from not-a-mom to a mom, which is a life-altering identity shift which takes much longer than 30 minutes of pushing a baby out. I think I felt slightly resentful during that first year of motherhood, and I missed my freedom and autonomy and ability to be away from a baby or a breast pump for longer than 4 hours.
Now that Dayton is in the infant stage, I’m remembering that it all ends. Nothing is forever. These babies will grow, and one day (not too far away!) I won’t be able to pick them up and snuggle them. Every now and then, I imagine 45-year-old Kelsey with her 15-year-old son, and I tell her “don’t worry…I’m picking Milo up and holding his little body while I can!
When I’m having a hard day and I miss the autonomy of my old child-free days, I think of a much older (hopefully wiser!) Kelsey looking back and telling her 31-year-old self to just enjoy the adventure.
Someday I will have more time and freedom, but I won’t have these babies. It’s a 100% guarantee that time keeps moving and the baby years eventually end, so I’m going to love these years while they’re here.
And so, I choose to be right here, loving it. I choose to love running in circles through the jack-and-jill bathroom upstairs, and the hours and hours of nursing Dayton, and the silly talking animals and the 100 “cakes” we build out of foam building blocks.
There’s so much joy in these exhausting days. That’s all.