These Days Are Shorter Than They Seem

Mama, I see you. You’re tired. You feel defeated. Maybe you’re unsure how you’ll carry on.

You haven’t had a full night’s rest in days, or maybe even months, and you can’t remember the last time you washed your hair. You’ve lost yourself somewhere between diaper changes, school runs, chasing toddlers and running errands, and it might feel like there is no end.

I promise there will be time again for a clean house and Pinterest meals, and there will be time again for you.

These days are shorter than they seem.

Let the children be little, let them be adventurous, let them simply be. Ignore the dishes a little longer to enjoy the sounds of a house filled with the beautiful crescendo of laughter and squeals, and the pitter patter of their adventurous feet.

Let them love their cherished stuffed toy or blankie, let them love it where ever they need to, until it’s been loved to the brink of falling apart and you painstakingly put it together again.

These days are shorter than they seem.

Relish in their simple joys, their innocent view of the world, and acknowledge every tear. Dance, jump, and get in on the fun, fill their hearts with all the joys you would have wanted as a child. Make the memories count.

Say yes. Yes to forts, and make believe, and tickle fights and snuggles. Say yes to fun and games and stories and magic, and yes to hours spent together cuddled up on the couch.

Admire their faces, study their smiles, enjoy their giggles and glee. Listen intently when they speak because even with so few words they are telling you the most important tales of their hearts.

Let the hugs last a little longer, and hold them a little tighter, look up from your phone a little more; you don’t want to miss the moments that matter.

These days are shorter than they seem.

Those chubby arms that reach for snuggles and those soft cheeks that beg for kisses will grow and change; they won’t reach for you the same, Mama. You might not miss the messes, but you will miss those adorable mischievous smiles that greet you when you catch them climbing the furniture or playing in your makeup.

One day they will say farewell to their beloved stuffed animal or blankie that was their constant companion since birth, and tell you they are a big kid now.

And seemingly one day after that, they’ll no longer need you quite as much. Their giggles will change, their faces will change, they will start to live life their own way. And though you’ll be sleeping more and doing a little less, some part of you will long for them to be little again. You’ll look back at their pictures and wonder where the time went, how they grew so fast, and ask yourself if you could have enjoyed it more.

I know it’s hard, but laugh through the hard times, cry if you need to, and forgive yourself often. Remind yourself that this is one short chapter in a book of many, and it’s the only one you get to write for your children.

These days are shorter than they seem.

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