The Next Person to Utter the Phrase "You Will Miss This Someday," May Witness My Head Exploding

Picture found here

Sometimes I think the quirks of motherhood are a cruel joke made up by a man somewhere.

For instance, I have noticed that just when you figure something out and mentally give yourself a high-five, the children go CHANGING ON YOU.  It is true.  I swear it.  You figure out nursing and then they start eating solids.  You discover a working sleep routine and then they start teething.

And of course, there is the eight month old crazy time.  Is it just me or do otherwise easy babies suddenly turn difficult around this age?  My baby number four couldn't have been easier.  She was a dream, and frankly, after two years of hourly wake up screams from her older sister (AKA #3, AKA Crazy Girl), I deserved an easy baby.

Then of course, she turned eight months old.  Thus begins teething, first colds, separation anxiety, and lots of developmental milestones, and the previously easy-peasy baby flips a switch.  Rather than ooohhhing and aaahhhing at me, she whines.  If I put her down she crawls after me whimpering.  If I walk out of or into a room she screams and cries.  I AM COMING RIGHT BACK BABY!!!  I SWEAR!  Why doesn't she know this?  I ALWAYS COME BACK!

The eight month milestone was a few months ago and still she despises going to anybody besides me or daddy. (Even grandmas!  WHAT?)  She gives me sad, pathetic looks if I dare set her down.  She is, in other words, needy.  She is currently sitting at my feet crying.  I put her down because she was crying.  I have four kids and I still haven't figured this mom thing out.

Insert here the phrase:

"You will miss this some day.  Enjoy it."

Now, I feel guilty for not enjoying "it" whatever "it" is. 

Maybe you are thinking, "Why doesn't she just baby wear?" or "She should be grateful to have kids," or "Shut up, woman!" (For the record I DO baby wear- a lot, I AM grateful I have kids and I KNOW I should shut up.  But right now I am taking a small moment to do something called VENTING.  It is where I get to use big letters and complain on my blog.  You are not required to read.)

People say this to me, "You will miss this someday" when they see me with screaming, misbehaving, tired, kids in the grocery store.  They say it when any young mom complains of sleep deprivation or piles of laundry or mud fights that dirtied your freshly mopped floor.  In fact, I hear this echoing in my head anytime I dare secretly complain to myself about something going on in my life.

I know they mean well.  I know people miss their babies.  I know that there is lots of awesome going on in my life right now.  I know that it will go by quickly.

And yet, I reserve the right to have a difficult time with it all without guilt.  

I do not believe that I will miss it all someday.  There.  I said it!  I think it is a bunch of hooey!  I don't believe for a moment that I will ever miss the two years of 4 hour nights of sleep that my third child gave me.  I don't believe that I will ever miss scraping together money to buy groceries or wondering how we will pay rent or having cars break down on birthdays or having more debt than income.

And I don't believe that anybody misses that crap.  

So please don't tell me that these are "the best times of my life" because that REALLY depresses the hell out of me.

I will miss being needed and loved.
I will miss be the number one most important person to my babies when they move on and find somebody else to be their number one.
I will miss breastfeeding and the euphoria of a great birth.
I will miss the excitement in my two year olds voice every time she discovers that "Mr Moon" is still in the sky.
I will miss being able to fix their problems with a hug and being the resident expert on everything.
I will miss having someone fall asleep on my shoulder even if they leave green snot behind. 

I hope someday I have the wisdom to appreciate every moment, even the sleep deprived, stressed out, misbehaving kid ones.  But I don't have that much wisdom yet.

Right now I love some of it and feel overwhelmed by some of it too.  Right now I don't want the things that keep me up at night to be blown off like they don't matter.  I want to be able to enjoy parts of my life and still wish that some of it was over.  I want to love the kids and hate the messes.  I want to enjoy my moments with them and enjoy some moments alone.

Mostly, I want to be a mom and still be a human being with the occasional flaw, moment of ingratitude, or the occasional yearning for something else.  It would also be nice if everybody was asleep at 8pm and stretch marks became sexy.

Disclaimer- I baby wear all the stinking time.  For real.  If you comment that baby wearing would fix all my problems then we won't be able to be friends any more.  I also reserve the right to someday use the phrase, "You will miss this someday" on young mothers.  I plan on being a very irritating old lady and farting in public and speaking my mind at will. 


Paala said…
You know, I think baby wearing might solve most of your problems. You should give it a shot. ; ) Also, I hear you on the won't miss not sleeping and screaming kids at the grocery store. And eff anyone who doesn't understand that a mother just needs to vent sometimes.
MandaRoo said…
I love you! Yeah I got the "Just wear him!" all the time. My son loved being worn. Until 8months. Then he started being able to wiggle free. Or pull my hair. Or dig his fingers into my mouth.

Now he's 15months old. And getting to a scary age again. One where even though he's 22lbs he only wants to be held. And read to. And if you don't do it he throws books at you. There are things I might look back on and giggle, but miss? Meh.
Kiera said…
Ah - 8ish months. It's when they start being even more mobile and feel insecure. It's hard and I understand where you are coming from! Thank you for this post. I also won't miss the times I want to pull my hair out, but I will miss being "mommy"
Avtar Ram Kaur said…
I feel the same way. It drove me crazy when I had 3 under 3 and the lady at nursery school would say *all the time* that she misses those days when her boys were small.

For what it's worth, my kids are now 9, 7 5 and 2 and it's so much easier. I would not willingly re-live my first 5 years of parenting. It's still challenging now (hormones, ahoy!), but not in the same grueling, non-stop way that it was when I had so many smalls at once.

Having older children around to entertain the baby takes a gigantic load off my shoulders. (disclaimer: I am still the mom and I never dump the baby off on my older kids, but I do encourage them to play with her!)
AmandaRuth said…
Ahhh! This goes hand-in-hand with "Just wait until she's a teenager."

Mari said…
I love this blog! You are a breath of fresh air!
Jeanna said…
I completely agree and am always so glad to hear another mom accept that there's stuff about motherhood that isn't bliss and sunshine and daisies. You might enjoy this other awesome post on the subject that also really captures it quite well:
Carry on, warrior!
Mama Runner said…
I lady from church saw me at the grocery store with four kids, two who are potty training, and said, "These are the best years of your life." I *almost* said, "Wow, retirement must really suck!" Then went on Facebook and said it there.
HollyS said…
Love love love love this post, especially the disclaimer at the end! I will totally be the lady saying it, but I sure get sick of hearing it. I am the only person at work with a baby, the next youngest "kid" for the office is 17! I have more grandparents at my job than anything else and all of them say to "enjoy it". I also happen to still have the 6 mo that is happy and hasn't hit the scary 8 months yet but I still dislike hearing how much I will enjoy it when I am cleaning up a baby that managed to get his poo from his chin to his knees (HOW do they DO that?)!
momto5 said…
you know, there are all sorts of things that i won't miss. i won't miss my middle sons anxiety attacks. i won't miss not sleeping for more than 2 hours at a time for YEARS. it is ok not to miss those things. i still love my kids, i still love being a stay at home mom. it is totally ok to want some stuff just to pass. you know i use to work as an RN and there is alot of that job i miss, but there is some stuff that i will never miss in 1000 years. lol
i love that you are honest and speak it. so many blogs (which i love to read) only show the rainbow and butterfly side of mothering and when you are up to your arm pits in a mess, crazy kids, sickness, whatever you can feel like a complete failure because "everyone else" seems happy and content and has perfect angel children. and you think... what did i do wrong? my house is a mess, my kids are at each other throats, the baby won't stop crying even in the sling 24/7 and at the breast all day, i haven't slept well in a decade. it is refreshing to hear happiness but also reality. thank you
Enjoy Birth said…
My babies are growing fast, my youngest is now 6. I miss certain parts of when they were younger. BUT I do NOT miss the hard parts. The parts when they were all crying at once at the store, or that needy period you are experiencing now. So I agree, you will not miss those parts. The parts you will miss are the sweet, funner ones. Like when they love to snuggle with you. Like when they say the cutest things! I miss having a baby who falls asleep in my arms. My arms feel so empty!

In so many ways it is "easier" now. It is certainly less draining and exhausting. But there are other challenging things. I am sure I will miss parts about having kids this age. But it probably won't be the hard things. Sullen pre-teens who want to sulk in their room all afternoon for instance.
Rachel said…
Amen, sister!! I'm sending this to all my new mama friends. If I had a nickel for every time someone said this to me, I could pay my rent without worry!! LOL
Jennifer said…
I guess its different in the Bay Area ( ca), because I have only heard this once. I will miss all the snuggles but there is so much I will not miss. I have a 9 year old with special needs I homeschool as well as a 2.5 year old and have many more years to go.
Unknown said…
Don't you miss the days when you could baby wear all day long and that fixed all of your problems ;) Because I sure do!!!
Tom and Juli said…
I will never miss wiping poopy butts.

Anonymous said…
LOL! It is so true! Especially the part where you feel guilty about not enjoying every moment! We just moved our three boys abroad and it has been awfully hard..... of course the entire time I feel guilty that I am not enjoying it more, that I am not that fabulous mom who dives right into new languages and laughs off the mistakes... oh well, we are all doing the best we can right!?
Anonymous said…
Four months was my favorite age (my kid is 7 years old now). They can hold their head up, they can smile and laugh, you can plop them down on a blanket or in their bouncy seat and walk away without separation anxiety. Basically you are getting the hang of having a baby, out of the scary "what do I do with this newborn?" stage, but yet the baby still can't get into a whole heck of a lot of trouble. Four months rocks.
Kris said…
I actually don't mind getting that one so much... I completely get where you're coming from with it, but still... Personally getting that response just seems so much nicer than the "why aren't you controlling your kid?" looks/comments (usually from those with none lol).
Anonymous said…
So funny about the baby wearing thing. I have a 9 month old and she's in the stage you described. Just whiny. I don't babywear all the time. Yesterday I finally gave in and put her on my back in the Beco. She was happy while I was moving but I needed to sit down and work on something and she just whined more. Ugh. Then I sat down on the floor and played with her and she was so sweet and happy. I just wished that I had all day to do that with her and that someone would come do all the things that stress me out.
Unknown said…
I won't miss the drudgery one bit. Not even a little. In fact, I'm planning on having plenty of grandchildren so that I can enjoy all the bliss of children, without the sheer burden of responsibility. I'm going to be a HORRIBLE grandmother, I'll spoil my grandies rotten. It's my reward for slogging through parenting.
Butterflyden said…
My son is fifteen months old and I totally love this post. I will miss the cuddles and snuggling with him, but the colic and not sleeping more than an hour at a time for a year. Now he is at the point that he is mobile and wanting to do everything himself including breaking anything any everything he can. He has started hitting and figuring out how to throw fits so he has been learning more what the word no means and yells it at me...I won't miss the fits but rocking him and cuddling him and him coming up to me getting in my lap and giving me kisses will always be in my heart or when he grabs me and says "my mama". But as for the other stuff including wiping his poop all over his crib I so won't miss that...and I babywore and co slept the first eight months and then he was ready to be in his bed which made me sad but he is finally sleeping which I thought would never happen!