A few months ago, I wrote a post about being ‘in it.’ It. This phase of life with small children. The intensity and the needing and the wanting and the constant. Babies on my hips and little bodies snuggled close in thunderstorms. Needing to constantly provide for every basic need and every other little thing.
In that post, I wrote of my love of ‘it.’ My fear of moving out of ‘it.’ What comes next? Will I be able to handle the next phases? Is this time of raising babies my peak? Will I figure out broken hearts and mean girls and homework? (I’m unreasonably terrified of homework.)
Lately, however, I’ve begun to excitedly look forward to being out of ‘it.’ I’ve been feeling ready for the next phase. Much like I used to look for promotions or new jobs when I was younger and career driven. I’ve mastered most of the pieces of this current job and the rest I don’t really care for so let’s move on to some new challenges.
The trouble is, of course, as I wrote back in May, that my exit ramp out of ‘it’ is not coming up anytime soon. At one and four, my littles will keep me in this place for at least another 2 or 3 years. Yes, I think it will be at least that long before everyone is fully potty trained and safely beyond the tantrum phase and officially no longer resembling a baby or toddler.
2-3 more years.
Just last night, I commented on a friend’s blog that I don’t like playing in the snow. Which is true. I’d rather, as I wrote there, be the one inside making hot cocoa (with marshmallows and maybe whipped cream) and baking cookies that will still be warm when they retreat into the house, all pink noses and and soggy gloves. As I wrote it, it felt like such a nice, dreamy little place. It felt like that is my mama sweet spot right there. Baking cookies and making warm and cozy. In my mind, I carried the dream further. After they’ve shed the snow boots and gloves and hats and are snuggly with cocoa and cookies, we’ll do an art project or watch a movie or play a game or read a book. Or make more cookies.
Someday, I’ll make a pretty good snow day mom to my school-aged children.
And I’ve been craving this kind of thing a lot lately. Kid stuff. Not baby stuff. Not toddler stuff.
And on the one hand, it’s wonderful. To not only be free of this fear of what comes next but to be excited for it. To already be thinking about it and planning for it and envisioning how I will thrive and how I will be the mama I want to be and the moments and memories I will create for my children. These dreams make me happy.
But on the other hand, there’s the 2-3 more years. And I feel like I’ve lost my excitement for where I am now. The toddler stage that I love so much with all of the awakening and newness and excitement of words and walking and I’m doing this for the last time now and here I am wishing it all away for a dream of a future that will be here before I know it.
I don’t want to spend this time while I’m in it worrying about being out of it or looking forward to being out of it. I want to enjoy this time and celebrate this time.
I know. Don’t we all. And we try. And I suppose at some point we have to acknowledge that not all times are for celebrating and enjoying every blessed moment. Some are built more for living and learning and experiencing. And that’s ok. It’s ok to not love every particular piece and phase and moment. It’s ok to look forward to the moments that are coming. It’s ok to look at the someday version of me while I work on the me of today.
It’s ok to muddle through today’s snow days and look excitedly forward to future snow days.
Not every moment is my mama sweet spot.