Growing up, I heard my mother say “Little kids, little problems. Big kids, big problems,” more times than I can count. But until I had children of my own, I just could not fully grasp what she meant.
“How’s it going, Hillary,” I hear my mom ask on the other end of the receiver. “Did you sleep at all?”
The answer was, of course, a resounding no.
5 days into being a mom of two… and my 2 year old had the norovirus (I would get it the next day), my 5-day old was constantly nursing and awake and I was still healing from my C-Section. And, unlike with my firstborn, my husband took 3 days off work instead of 7.
In the moment, my life seemed pretty hard.
I was exhausted, emotional, sore and smelled slightly of throw up. I was worried my baby wasn’t nursing enough. I was worried my 2 year old couldn’t keep anything down. I was worried we would all get sick.
I was worried I couldn’t love them both enough in the moments they needed me. And they both seemed to need me a lot.
And though my mom didn’t throw these words in my face at that moment (she never did that – it was never about showing me my place, but instead showing me the value of where I am)…a few days later, we were talking and she said these words:
“You know Hillary, I know these days seem long and the nights seem longer.
I know the sleepless nights, the crying baby, the temper tantrums, the sicknesses, the worry “am I doing it right”… I know right now, in this moment, these seem insurmountable.
These things feel like the weight of the world carried on your shoulders.
But if you can trust me, I tell you to enjoy these moments. To soak it in…
That, without scaring you, it doesn’t get easier. Not really.
The worries get bigger. The scary moments come more often. The control you have now will be gone.
Hillary, right now your children are little and for the most part, their problems are as well.
But when your kids are big, their problems will grow accordingly.
Little kids, little problems…Big kids, big problems.”
And she was right…she is always right. She has that combination of a mother’s intuition melded with years of experience that only a mom like her can have.
And the interesting thing about her comment is that it’s always accurate because it defies definition.
Little kids, little problems…Big kids, big problems holds true whether I am comparing a newborn to a 4 year old, a 6 year old to a 12 year old, or a 10 year old to a 21 year old.
When my 2 year old refused to nap, I longed for the days of worrying that she was nursing enough.
When my 1st grader came home upset because she was being excluded by some girls in class, I longed for the days of wishing I could get her to nap.
And when my “little” girl comes home to tell me her heart has been broken, I will long for the days of 1st grade girl drama.
Because it’s all relative.
This being a mom thing – it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s hard, it’s time consuming, it’s painful and beautiful and scary and exciting all at once.
It’s worry on top of worry. It’s wondering am I doing it right, all while justifying to the world that you are.
So soak it all in – accept these little blessings as simply that. Blessings…a gift.
And know that the “problems” of today will be exactly what you long for tomorrow.
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