Thursday, July 13, 2017

The "Little" Moments (13 years of motherhood)

Today, Noah turned 13 years old--a teenager. I simply cannot believe that I am old enough to have a teenager! I remember very clearly my last moments before heading to the hospital to be induced into labor. Jerry and I stopped at the store to buy a few last-minute things we'd need for the new baby. We were as ready as two newly expecting parents could be (i.e. not at all ready).


My induction went well, and I was in labor for 36 hours (from the moment they induced me until Noah was born). Thankfully, he was born very healthy--he was two weeks early, because I had intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP), but he was 8 pounds, 8 ounces and ready to take on the world.




Jerry and I were young (22 and 23 years old) and had no clue what we were doing, but apparently we were doing it right, because Noah was growing and thriving.

As a new mom, all of the experienced parents tell you over and over, "Make sure you enjoy every moment! It goes by so fast!" and it kind of goes in one ear and out the other. Of course I was enjoying the moment... what does that even mean, anyway? But now I understand it, and I desperately want to convey the same message to other new moms.

When I watch old home movies of the boys, I am just amazed that they went from babies to pre-teens in the blink of an eye. When did their voices stop sounding so squeaky and cute? When did they stop running into the bedroom to pounce on Jerry to wake him up for work? When did they stop yelling across the house, "Come wipe my butt!" when they were finished on the toilet? When did they stop needing me to cut up their food, give them drinks in "real" glasses instead of sippy cups, and help them get dressed?

Looking back, I wish I'd truly lived in the moment. I'm so thankful I was never one to get mad when they got dirty or made messes (with baby powder, Desitin, Sharpies, or anything else). Instead, I grabbed my camera and took some pictures. Then I cleaned the mess. And now I laugh about it and share those stories with others.

Noah helped Eli get ready for his first day of pre-preschool

What happens when I take a 10-minute shower


(When I asked Noah about the following picture, "What did you guys do?" he replied, "Don't worry, we didn't use all of it!" Hahaha, because clearly, that's what I was worried about ;) )
Desitin is SO fun trying to remove from furniture ;)



But it was all the other in-between moments that I miss, that I didn't take note of, or stop time for and truly just appreciate. Feeding them. Cuddling when they were sick or scared. Listening to their chatter in the car. Watching them crawl around the house on their bellies, and eventually walking. When they started tying their own shoelaces. Even watching an episode of Dora, or, worse, Thomas the Tank, with them.

I didn't realize those were the moments I'd miss until a decade later. Noah is 13 years old today. That's 4,748 days of memories. I wish I could recall every single one! I'm just grateful that he is growing into such a fantastic young man--he is so much like Jerry in so many ways, and I love that about him. Jerry has always been the classic "good guy" that goes above and beyond, especially for me, and it makes me so proud that Noah is learning from him. He wants to get married and have kids of his own one day, and I know that he will make someone special feel very happy.


This advice to new moms will likely go in one ear and out the other, but if there is one thing I'd do differently, it would be to pause whatever I was doing and truly appreciate ALL the moments. They are growing every single second of every single day; and one day, you'll be missing these days and telling other new moms that they should appreciate when the kids are young.

I always feel so sad when I see young kids talking to their parents, but their parents are staring at the screens of their cell phones and not really listening to what their kids are saying to them. I'm grateful that the temptation of smart phones wasn't "a thing" back when my kids were very young. But even now, I'm very conscious of when I use my phone--when I'm with my kids, I rarely use it for anything other than taking photos. I don't want to look back on these days a decade from now and wish I'd been paying attention to the little moments instead of staring at something on a screen that I will have no memory of in a month, week, or even day.

When I was diagnosed recently with bipolar disorder, I started to worry that the memories my kids would have of me would be "Crazy Mom". But as I've been going through and sorting/organizing my photos, I realize that "Crazy Mom" was actually pretty fun through the years. Maybe they'll think back to some of those memories and laugh.

Like when the weather was too cold, but they wanted to play with their inflatable bouncer, so I just moved the furniture and brought it into the house to let them jump.


And the time they kept taking off their shirts, so I drew shirts on them with a marker. They thought it was hilarious and couldn't stop giggling.


Or when I was putting Eli to bed the night before his first 5K, and he said he wished he had a shirt that said, "Runs for Cookies is my mom" so I stayed up half the night making him one as a surprise.


And when I told the kids it was okay to color on their walls, because hey, walls can always be painted over. No harm done. They thought it was AWESOME.



I hope my kids will have as many good memories of me as I do of them. My kids are fantastic.

Noah turned 13 years old today. A teenager. Cheers to 13 years!

27 comments:

  1. This is too cute! Happy birthday to your now teenager!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love the picture of him covered in flour!!! ADORABLE

    ReplyDelete
  3. I let my kids color on the walls too....its just later that I found out if they want a light color painted over it - it takes a few coats to cover it. Darker colors work much better! ha!

    I guess that's why every "Older" mom tells every "young" mom to enjoy them NOW because they they grow up so fast!! (And when you are that young mom you kind of roll your eyes with disgust...hoping for the moment to pass until you are the old mom saying it to the younger one and kind of crying inside because of how quickly it did pass)

    Such is this thing called life huh??!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a great blog... love that you let them color on the walls... I mean why not? I have an unrelated question for you (if you have time) I loved the 1SE video you shot while on vacation. We are going on a cruise and I want to shoot a 1SE video for each port. I'm not sure how to create a video separate from my normal 1SE. Could you clue me in? Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great idea to do a 1SE video at each port! It's really simple to make multiple groups of one-second clips. On the main screen, in the top left corner, it will have the name of your current collection (mine is 2017). If you tap the little arrow, then the little red + sign, you can create a whole new section of video clips. Just name the new project, and make it a 1SE "Freestyle"--that means you can add as many clips as you want, without doing just one per day on a calendar. You can then switch between your different projects by tapping that little arrow on the main screen. Hope this makes sense! Email me if you don't figure it out :)

      Delete
    2. Thank you! Makes perfect sense and I'm so excited that I will be able to use 1SE in this fun new way. I have really enjoyed this app and appreciate that you mentioned it earlier this year in your blog. Since getting it in Feb, I have put together a mash-up every month. Best to you and the family.

      Delete
  5. This blog post reminds me of a poem I read once. Can't remember for sure but I think it was called "the last time" or something like that. It was all about things that kids do when they are young, and how one time is the last time, but you don't know it until later. It always makes me tear up, like this blog post did. :) I will see if I can find it and post a link.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Didn't take me long to find it...http://www.bellebebes.co.uk/2014/08/the-last-time/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OHMYGOSH. That is everything I was wanting to say, but just couldn't figure out the words. Now I'm crying. Thanks! ;)

      Delete
  7. Happy birthday to Noah! What a great post :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Love the drawn on t-shirts! AWESOME! Happy BIRTHday to you too, mom!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Beautifully captured... you have this mom of a three year old boy in tears. Congrats for all the wonderful work you've done raising your boys thus far!! (And bipolar or not, who doesn't have some "crazy" memories of their own mom... motherhood IS, by definition, crazy!!!)

    ReplyDelete
  10. This brought tears to my eyes, as a mom of kids who are all grown up now. Beautifully written, Katie and I hope new parents will listen to you. It goes by so, so fast. Happy Birthday to Noah!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Happy Birthday, Noah!!!!!🎂

    ReplyDelete
  12. The days are long but the years are short! I think as a mom somewhere in the middle to a 7yo I feel like I/we do enjoy the moments...but they are so fleeting that we want to catch them and put them in a jar!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Happy Birthday Noah!

    It sounds like you are an awesome mom and I know that they will grow up to appreciate every special thing you did for them! I played with my kids when they were young, we set up restaurants in the living room and had dance parties with lights strung around the room, and I let them dance on the tables. We played doctor and I would use up all of my paper and ink for my printer to make them "patient charts" and schedules. When they cut their hair or colored all over their faces, I laughed until I wet my pants and would call my own mother in tears and laughing hysterically because I knew she would love hearing about it! And they still remember what a fun mom I was and all the good times we had together. We are still very close even though they live their own lives. It matters to them that you took the time to enjoy their lives with them and you will reap the rewards later on!

    I have a 9 month old Grandson and I tell people every day, although I love my children like crazy, there is not one thing in the world better than being a Grandma! When I get to spend a day with with him he is my total and complete focus. When he could barely see my face I would spend hours on the floor next to him trying to coax a tiny smile from him, when he started crawling I would get on my hands and knees and have him "chase" me around, because now I have the time to be completely with him. All of the mothering responsibilities belong to my daughter, and it is such a great feeling. They do grow up fast, and I tell my daughter the same thing, don't blink or you will miss something. Be as present as you can be, you can not get those missed moments back!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Shannon, I just posted a freaking novel of a comment down below but it has so much of what you said as well. I'm a single mom and lots of changes going on in my house right now with my daughter graduating college, moving permanently to the city her college is in for her new job, moving in with her boyfriend and my son graduated from high school and I'm taking him to college in 4 weeks. I was a young mom too, like Katie, at 22yrs old and had NO idea what the heck I was doing. I remember everyone telling me the same things...enjoy every minute, it goes so fast, they'll be leaving for college before you know it and take lots of pictures(which I did for my daughter but my poor son was a typical 2nd child and not as many of him got taken lol) I had NO idea how to be a mom at that age so the last thing I wanted to hear was "enjoy every day". I just wanted to get thru every day with my child being alive! But now, looking back, I totally get it. I left my abusive husband when my kids were 4 and 9 so it's been just the 3 of us ever since so coming to terms with being alone is really hard and it's something i'm definitely not handling very well. I feel like when my son goes to college, I won't be a mom anymore. My brain realizes that's just crazy but i can't seem to convince my heart of that. I'll be just fine but the anticipation of it is what I think is making it all worse. I'm sure I'll get a grip and calm down once it all happens but until then, I'm investing in Kleenex stock!!!

      (Congrats on your grandson btw...I don't want to be a grandma anytime TOO soon but I am definitely looking forward to that :)
      Bridgette

      Delete
  14. Best Post EVER! And I read them all. As a mother of 30 and 20 year old young men, I can whole-heartedly agree with you, it flies by. Enjoy all the time you can...

    ReplyDelete
  15. First things first...happy (belated) birthday Noah!

    Secondly, this post was AMAZING. You brought tears to my eyes. I'm not a mother, but you gave me a new appreciation of motherhood. I feel like you're doing things right. Thanks for sharing with us all.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sounds like you're an awesome, fun mom and I'm sure they have great memories of you with more to make! Love this post.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Katie, first of all, Happy Birthday to Noah but also to you. I swear I will never understand why people celebrate their own birthdays instead of celebrating their mothers because we did all the hard work to bring them into the world!!! lol In fact, my daughter buys me flowers or another little treat on her birthday to say thank you and has done that since she turned 14...and I'd actually never told her my view on it,it's just something she thought of and still does it to this day(she just turned 22).

    Secondly, the timing of this post couldn't be any better as I literally just had a panic attack, complete with sobbing, shaking and hyperventillation because something I saw online hit me like a ton of bricks. I was scrolling thru netflix to find a "no brainer" movie I could turn on that could help me to fall asleep as i have insomnia. While scrolling I came across the movie Horton Hears a Who and it literally took my breath away. I took my son to see this when he was in 2nd grade when he had a half day of school and he called it his "momma date". It was so fun and we did this once or twice a year until he was in middle school and decided mom wasn't so cool anymore lol The reason this triggered a panic attack is because I've had a LOT of major changes going on for the past 2 months...my son just graduated high school and I'm taking him to college (9hrs from home!!!)in 4 weeks. My daughter just graduated college, permanently moved to the city her college is in (only 90 minutes from here but far enough), got an amazing job and moved in with her boyfriend. So this momma is going through some seriously huge milestones right now. Don't get me wrong, they are all fantastic ones, I couldn't be more excited for my kids and I love how happy they are so I wouldn't want it any other way. But I'm dealing with some increasing anxiety over being an empty-nester in 4 weeks. I have been preparing for this summer for a year now(well, really 22 and 18 years!) but as the day my son goes to college grows closer, the worse these anxiety/panic attacks or attacks of massive sadness or whatever you want to call them, are getting. I'm feeling like once he leaves, I won't be a mother anymore, which I realize is absolutely ludicrous but being a single mom for the majority of their lives,it's always just been me and them against the world. Now they have a whole new world and I feel like mine is forever changed. I made an appt with a therapist and with my primary to discuss medications to go along with therapy because I do have other anxiety issues I'm dealing with as well and I think it's time for me to get some help.

    ALLLLLL of that to say...the way you are feeling is totally normal and it's a LOT of feelings.Yes, the years go by so VERY quickly and you can tell people to "enjoy every minute of their childhood" or "before you know it they'll be going to college" but until you're living those "somedays" you feel like your kids will be your babies forever. You seem to have a good grasp on that and you seem like you don't take these years with them for granted by making as many memories with them and for them as possible. They may not remember their really early years but they will remember a lot so even though you'll have days when you want to tear your hair out(ummm hello teenage hormonal years lol MUCH easier to handle with boys than girls, or at least that was the case with my kids so hopefully your boys won't make you want to tear your hair out too often lol) When they are older and they start telling you that they can now understand why I was always tell them to study or learn how to do laundry or learn how to cook so you can feed yourself and that they are grateful, all those incredibly frustrating days will be worth it. You have 2 fantastic kids and you are a fantastic mom. Happy 13th birthday to Noah, it's a really exciting time for you all!!

    Bridgette

    ReplyDelete
  18. What a beautiful post! Happy Birthday to Noah. :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. just stopping by to say I found your before/after on a pinterest post linked to imgur but there was no link to you or any of the others. (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/851180398294682281/)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for letting me know! I am not seeing my photo there, but I really hate when people do that. I'm sure none of the others know their photos are being used that way as well. It's so frustrating!

      Delete
  20. New week three of my children will turn 26, 29, and 33. (Yes , all in the same week! It was party time at our house in July when they were young). The youngest turned 21 in February and will become a dad in November. I hear what you are saying and have said it to my son and his girlfriend as they await the birth of their son. My son works in a hospital, is going to school to be a Nurse now and then onto Nurse Anesthetist. He has many years of school left. I am anticipating helping them as much as I can with their new little bundle, but know they will be tremendous parents. I still make it a point to find new things to treasure about them as they travel through adulthood. There is always something! Loved your post today! Elaine

    ReplyDelete
  21. *sniffle sniffle sniffle* Great post!

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)