It feels like spring in Toronto these days, and I’m glad the weather is so nice as I’m going to be taking the rest of this week off to spend time with the boys while they are off for March Break. I have affectionately started referring to the boys as “my noise”. I love my boys, as those of you who read my blog regularly already know. They are my universe, but they make me more than just a little bit crazy about 75% of the time (they sleep the other 25%), most especially on days like today when I call my mother to check on the boys and I get an earful about how misbehaved they are being.
Recently I have had a number of conversations with other mothers about the reality of my life right now and how on most days if feels a little out of control, I can tell you that my current lifestyle is not entirely fantastic. From time to time some well intentioned mother or grandmother in a store will tell me to “enjoy the boys while they are small, the time passes too quickly and these years are the best that I will have.” I always smile, agree and thank them, and then I think to myself “I can’t go on if this is as good as it gets”. I refuse to believe that my life will never get better than changing diapers, listening to children scream, hearing my 12 year old tell me how much he hates his little brother, tantrums, meals that go uneaten and children who do not understand when it is just time to go to sleep. I believe that the day will come where I will be able to sit down at a table with my three beautiful boys and enjoy a meal and a quiet conversation without even one time having to say “please chew with your mouth shut”. I believe that one day I will spend an entire evening with the boys where I won’t have to ask any one of them to please stop what they are doing to their brother. I believe that at some point I will enjoy going home after a day of work instead of dreading the thought of how noisy and hectic my evening is going to be. And I really, really, really want to believe that one day my neighbour (Cara, I hope you read this blog) has a day that she doesn’t think even one time “what on earth is going on next door”.
I think that as mothers there is so much pressure on us to love every moment of being a mother to our small children regardless of how hard the job is. I think sometimes that mothers of grown children conveniently forget how hard and frustrating the job of caring for small children can be. I love my boys, I enjoy them for what they are and almost every day when I reflect on my day, I think about how lucky I am that those three beautiful creatures are a part of my world. I know that I am lucky to have them. But not for a moment do I believe that these are the happiest and most fulfilling days of my life. Those wonderful boys are only going to get better and as I figure things out for myself my whole world will continue to improve.
I would encourage well intentioned grandmothers and mothers that perhaps when they see a mother at a grocery store with her small children that perhaps they should acknowledge that raising children is a hard job; as a working mother I can certainly tell you that I would get more out of hearing another mother tell me that parenting is the hardest job in the world than to hear one tell me that from where they are currently at in their lives (i.e. looking fondly back at the time that has passed) it’s the best time of my life.
I am looking forward to it getting great and my boys are the biggest part of that greatness. For all you moms with small children out there reading my blog, these are hard days; enjoy them for what they are, but it will certainly continue to get better. You may look back one day and miss kissing little toes and snuggling with small sleeping babies, but remember to never forget how hard the job was and to acknowledge to another mother that it is hard work, that mothers are not always perfect and most of us do not love being mothers 100% of the time. Our babies are well worth the work and I can’t wait to be able to sit and look back and think that I made it through, that the job was tough but in the end I raised three sensitive, beautiful and wonderful men.