I wish I could have a conversation with myself two years ago. I had an 18 month old and a newborn, and life felt out of control. The newborn was extremely clingy and fussy, and wouldn’t nap. I know in the scheme of things, it could have been much worse, but in the moment it felt like I was a prisoner in some sort of horror film that I couldn’t escape. Looking back, I am pretty sure I had a mild case of postpartum depression. But I digress…. That was a tough year. I couldn’t think past that day, that hour, or fathom life could be anything other than what it was-tough. Both my kids were very dependent on me, and any time I took my eyes off them it seemed like they made it their mission to try to kill themselves (I wish I was exaggerating. Normal household objects became an invitation to a funeral). I couldn’t imagine a time when my kids wouldn’t need me so intensely.
Now, here I am, two years later. My two-year-old and five-month-old are napping, and my 3.5 year old is having rest time in my room. I can ask my oldest to go and brush her teeth and she will, sans any help from me. I can ask my two oldest to clean up their playroom, and they will (grumbling, but it will get done). I can trust them to play without any supervision, and expect that they will follow the established rules and not hurt themselves.
I often joke with moms that have kids older than me how it feels to have them so independent. How nice is it to just walk into church and they go into their classroom on their own? (Said satirically, but with a heavy dose of desperation.) Because while it may not be as hard as it was, I know for a fact that it will get easier.
I wish I could go back and give myself a hug and tell myself that it will get better. They won’t need me as much. I will get through the really hard times.
And to be completely honest, I already miss it.