Friday, February 06, 2009

Letter To Me as a MOP

Missy at It's Almost Naptime asked moms of older children to share some wisdom they have gained through the years. I wasn't named specifically, but since my kids are older, I do qualify. She asked that we write a letter to ourselves answering these specific questions:

What would you say to yourself, when you had pre-schoolers?
What do you wish you knew then, that you know now?

I took some time to think about those questions and jotted down some notes. Here's what I came up with...

Dear Dena,

Wow, crazy days huh? You wanted to be a wife and mother, but never dreamed you'd have 3 kids in 3 years did you? And you never thought how being a farmers wife would would mean that basically you are a single parent for a few months out of each year. Surprise!

I know there are many sleepless nights, and I know there is chaos, but it WILL get easier. There will come a day when you no longer have to change diapers or wipe noses. There will come a day when food will end up only in their mouths instead of their hair, their siblings ear, or any other countless places.

Your daughters won't actually drive you insane, even though you're convinced that most days that's their goal. You are going to see a self-confidence grow in them that will fill you with pride. They are going to be beautiful, but don't worry, they aren't vain and thankfully boys will not be a big priority in their lives.

The constant reminders to say their bedtime prayers will be worth it, more than you know right now. When they move out, you'll get a little tug on your heart when you find they both have packed their bibles in with their photos and other special items they want to take along.

Austin will get potty trained. Don't worry. He really won't have to wear diapers to Kindergarten. He's going to have some major health issues that you'll have to deal with, but he's strong and he'll be fine, so try not to worry too much. He's going to grow into an amazing young man.

To survive all of this I want you to do two things... say a prayer and take a deep breath.

Every morning when you wake up...


Whenever things are getting overwhelming...

When you feel like you want to run away...

When the tears come and you can't get them to stop...


When you are begging for conversation that doesn't include action heroes and purple dinosaurs...

When you doubt your abilities as a "good" mother...

...Say a prayer and take a deep breath.

Treasure this time. Absorb as much into your memory as you can, because these days will end. Believe it or not, you're going to miss the chaos. You're going to miss the noise. You're going to miss the fingerprints on the windows. You're going to miss the look on their face when they go all day without going potty in their pants and they declare themselves a big boy/girl. You're going to miss reading "I think I can and I Love You Forever" 25 times a day, and you're going to miss the silliness that goes along with sweet, simple childhood .

Be ready though to throw on your tough skin, rough days are coming. Puberty will hit and you will no longer be fun to hang out with. And with twin girls, you're going to get a double whammy! Don't take it personally.

If you keep the lines of communication open, and show them your unconditional love, all will be ok. It won't be easy. As Dr. Dobson says "Parenting isn't for wimps". It's also like they say about the Army - it's the toughest job you'll ever love. Your children will say things that will hurt you. They may not mean to, but they will. Love them anyway. The "normal" them will return. Unfortunately, it will be when they are almost grown. But you will find a maturity in them that wasn't there before and you're heart will burst with pride.


To get there, remember to do those two things...say a prayer and take a deep breath.

And when all is said and done, they will go off to college. Your daily job is done, and you will experience a pain and heartache as you have never known before. You will cry and you will look back on all the sadness and joy over the past 18 years and you will keep those memories tucked in a special place in your heart. You feel it will never get any easier, but it will. Slowly, pain-stakingly it will.

And to survive all of this you must do two things...

Say a prayer.

Take a deep breath.

And know that He has heard all of your prayers.


Love, Dena

12 comments:

sara said...

oh, you made me cry this morning!! true words.....great post!

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Beautiful, Dena. As you know, I can relate esp. to the last part. We survived it, didn't we?!

Anonymous said...

AMEN!!!Thanks for sharing.

lisasmith said...

I love how you say your daughters won't drive you crazy but will develop a wonderful self-confidence. I needed to hear that today! Thanks for sharing this moving post.

Cute blog!!

Debbie @Like a Rose said...

Great post and great thoughts.

Julie said...

I enjoyed reading....

My favorite part was "Austin (hope I'm remembering the name correctly) will get potty trained."

I began to wonder if my oldest son would ever get potty trained too.

This is my first time to your blog. It's nice to meet you!

Becky said...

Oh Dena, you pricked my heart with your words. Say a prayer and breathe. Thank you thank you for sharing this with me. I will survive. :-)

Just this morning I forced my 2yo. to let me rock her and sing her 'baby' song to her. Finally she put her hand on my lips and said, "Quiet Mommy" I almost cried. She is my last baby and she is growing up.

Colored With Memories said...

really? they all get potty trained before kindergarten?

i'm still chasing my 4 yr old out of corners to remind her where to do her business.

sigh. i'm holding you to it!

Lindsey @ A New Life said...

I am dying laughing at the fact that they will not actually drive me insane. I certainly hope not, because it feels like that ALL THE TIME!!!

Have a blessed day, and thank you for the encouragement on my own post!

Shelley a.k.a. Momma said...

Thanks for sharing with us all!!

Room for Grace said...

Thank you for writing this letter to me - I needed it!
Dena

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

Oh, my gosh!! How much did all of y'all want to make me cry?? You succeeded!

Thank you so much Dena!!