Saturday, August 28, 2010

I know I'll miss this

I read something last week that gave me a new perspective on my current phase of parenting. A new-found ability to be patient with my kids. A renewed appreciation for the chaotic moments that occur in my daily life as a mom.

My friend, Lisa, wrote a post linking to a story of a mom with five kids under five titled, "I'm gonna miss this."

If you have a minute, head over to that blog and read the whole post. Basically, the writer talks about a moment she had a few years ago that changed her forever. She realized that too soon, her kids will be grown and she will miss all of the little things that seem to send us over the edge every day.

I read the story and was so moved that I forwarded the link to Mike. Then the little kids woke up from their naps, Ryan came home from school, and the whirlwind of my life resumed. The words I had read were quickly forgotten.

Actually, that's not completely accurate. Later that afternoon, as I was driving down the street, hearing Ryan ask a gazillion nonsense questions and Kaylin whine about being hungry and thirsty and Jason fuss because I'd woken him early from his nap, I thought, "Hmmm...I doubt I'll miss THIS..."

The next day, I walked downstairs to a typically busy Thursday morning. The kids were helping Mike make his lunch for work while simultaneously packing Ryan's school lunch. Remnants of formula and bottle guts were strung across the counter. Someone had abandoned their attempt to set up breakfast for the family, leaving cereal boxes, an open milk carton, bowls and spoons everywhere. The makings of sandwiches (bread, mayo, turkey and butter knives) were scattered all over the kitchen table, not to mention the left-behind crumbs. The kitchen looked like a bomb had gone off.

Then Jason began squawking, impatiently waiting for his breakfast.

As everyone cheerfully went about their business, my chest started feeling tight, my palms were sweaty, my breath shortened and my fuse became short. Kaylin sang her way through the task she was completing, "I'm putting away the turkey...the turkey...the turkey. I'm putting away the turkey..." Jason's shouts for attention became more insistent. Mike directed Ryan to get his shoes on and backpack ready before continuing what he was doing.

No one was doing anything wrong, yet I felt my stress level rising. I finally blurted out, "Can everyone just eat breakfast without talking so I can get Jason fed and quiet and attempt to put this kitchen back together and get myself something to eat, pu-lease???"

The room was immediately silent.

Until my darling husband looked at me smugly and said, "By the way, that article you sent me yesterday was great."

I shot him a look. "I'm sure that's supposed to be a jab of some sort, but I'm so overwhelmed right now, I don't have a clue what you're talking about."

"Don't you remember? The 'I'm gonna miss this,' link?" he replied.

I tried to think of something witty to say, but my mind went blank. I just grunted and turned away as his words set in.

"Someday I WILL miss this," I thought. (That probably sounds cheesy, but that's honestly what went through my head at that exact moment.)

It was then that I truly got it. I understood exactly what the author of that post was talking about. Again, no one was doing anything wrong. Everyone was in great spirits, no one was fighting or tense or having a rough morning. (as I apparently was) It's not their fault that I have an anxiety attack when I can't see the tops of the kitchen counters. How dare I take my personal stress out on my sweet, unsuspecting family!

It was as if a light switch had been turned on in my head. My heart rate decreased, I took a deep breath and my tention disappeared.

And for the rest of the day, actually...the rest of the week, I was able to enjoy my family again.

I don't know the woman who wrote that inspirational post, but I hope I never forget her story. I am so sick of how quickly my tensions rise when everything doesn't go exactly as I planned it in my head.

I'd love to look back at this post someday and think, "I don't even remember what it's like to be that Type-A!"

I think I need a 12-step program. "Hi. My name is Katie. (Hiiiiiii, Katie...) And I'm a recovering uptight mom with a Type-A personality. I haven't barked at my kids in 47 days..."
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The Maid said...

I also read the original post on that same blog.

Her bloggie name is "MckMama". Her real name is Jennifer McKinney.

She is at

It has been heavy on my heart this past week myself. ;)

You are definitely going to miss it...but there are times I wish I could "blink" and miss some very specific things! ;)

(Is it a full moon, because the arguing and whining and "ITS NOT FAIR" song has been playing a lot around here!!!)

Have a great Sunday!

Allison said...

Boy am I glad I decided to check out your blog again. This was a great one. I'm going to post a link to her post on fb. Have a blessed weekend!

Tracey said...

Ever since kids have been returning to school and I see all over Facebook and blogs that mom's are melting down because their kid is off to 2nd, 5th or whatever grade it may be I have been thinking strongly about this very same subject. In the midst of my daily chaos I try to stop and remember that one day my babies won't want to sit on my lap anymore and read (hopefully that won't happen) or that I won't hear my babies call "mommy this" or "mommy that" a million times a day or they won't want me to kiss them all over making them laugh until they cry. So, yes, I have had a better perspective of the chaos and have "chosen" to relax about most of it and enjoy every. single. second!

HeathahLee said...

As I'm taking care of my Mom as well as attempting to homeschool my 10 year old son (which hasn't started yet...sigh....), I know I WILL miss this...when the cancer has taken her and I want to talk to her just one more time. Right now it's so easy for me to get caught up in the moment of potty chairs, a dozen medicines I can't pronounce, and repeating what I've told her for the third time.

Thank you for reminding me that I WILL miss this.

BethAnne said...

Thank you reminding me to enjoy ALL of the moments with my 4 yr old and 16 month old!!
I have been praying that I will also be more patient with my kids, especially in the car while my son asks a gazillion questions and my daughter screams for her milk! :)

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