It's a hard pill to swallow. Knowing that those sleepless nights that seem to drag out and the days packed with tantrums end as quickly as they started. And then we are left with the documentation to keep, but babies just don't keep. Right now I'm sitting on the field at my son's soccer camp writing this. And it seems like just yesterday (last year) we were here. He's become a phenomenal player since last year. I watched videos today of my daughter at 18 months old posing for pictures and videos unprompted, saying about 80% of her ABCs in correct order. Today, I realized how quickly that beautiful, chubby girl grew into such a gorgeous, caring young lady.
But think of the changes you go through as well.
As I've grown into a mother, here are just a few of the replacements in my life:
As a teenager, I wanted a nice, new car decked out with tinted windows and an aftermarket CD player with subwoofers. Today, I drive an SUV with factory tint, factory speakers & a playlist on my iPhone full of Frozen & Fall Out Boy (picked by Thing 1 & Thing 2.)
I traded days spent watching TV, wondering when Prince Charming would come along for playing pranks on my husband and late nights spent watching UFC when I know only a few of those on the cards. Because this makes him happy. Being with me and watching his favorite things. I've also got him hooked to Glee, Desperate Housewives, Sons of Anarchy & American Horror Story over the years.
I traded full nights of sleep and sleeping in for sleepless nights cuddling scared, bored and sick children.
I traded name brand bags for diaper bags and then to a huge Thirty-One bag big enough for couponing supplies & everyone's Apple devices.
I once had a huge circle of friends and realized through my children which ones were truly friends in the first place 😍 For this change, I am especially grateful. I am able to focus my time and energy on those who truly care for and love my family. I've made friends homeschooling, I've made a whole new family at church, and brought those friends who stuck around that much closer. God has truly blessed me.
I traded in my experience of being a substitute teacher/staff assistant/aftercare worker for full time mommy. I was working with kids who I knew were being mistreated at home and spending my days encouraging and praying for them. I now spend my days cheering my kids on, snuggling with them every chance they will let me & spending rainy days piled up on a couch watching TV just because. I have always loved children. I teach at church as well. But I've never felt as blessed as I have being at home with Kade & Kyleigh. God truly knew my calling was to be at home with my kids. I resisted for a while, but after 6 years at home full-time, I have no regrets. My family is thriving and well taken care of.
I gladly traded in my plans to be a working mother who would have her child in daycare or school from day one for a job as teacher. Homeschooling is a passion of mine that is NOT supported by many, but those most important in my family's lives do support us.
I traded a full closet with endless combinations for blue jeans and t-shirts. Let's be honest, the kids spot those fancy clothes from a mile away and seek to destroy them.
But most importantly, I traded my selfish and immature ways to put my children first. Their needs are always met. They also have about 97% of their wants as well. They never have to question if mommy will make time for them. My dedication to them and to my husband makes my family unit stronger and more fluid.
I won't say it's easy. There are days I need a breather. Many of them. But there's not a single day I can say that life would be easier without my family. It would be absolutely impossible to live a single day without my husband and kids. They are my reasons for breathing.
As I continue to replace things, I know that one thing will forever change. How much I love my family, how much I pray over my children & those who come into contact with them & most of all: how thankful I am that God put Josh, Kade & Kyleigh in my life.