They Grow Up Fast

My little ones are funny. Especially, the smallest of the little ones, Kennedy. She tells me all the time she doesn’t want to get older. She asked if she could stay five this year when her sixth birthday rolled around in the serious way that five-year-olds talk about Disney Princesses being actual, real human beings. She believed it so it could be.

Kinda strange.

I can remember being a kid and I couldn’t wait until I was older to be able to make my own choices and not be parented. I could eat all the snacks and watch all the movies. No, I did not want to remain a kid. I wished those years away and you know? I wouldn’t go back to that.

Maybe that means M and I are too easy on our kids? I don’t know. We expect a lot from them and often I think we forget how young they actually are based on what we require of them. Our list of rules is long but I think they’re really good girls. I have to credit that to the standard of behavior we require and not my actual parenting skills because, friends, I’m severely lacking in the sympathetic mom category. I more closely relate to that tiger mother but without the actual follow-through because ain’t nobody got time for that.

Yesterday, Kennedy kept coming into my office at the end of my work day and kinda whining at me. Like a half cry and half whine but she didn’t know why, so I asked her to leave and check her attitude. Again, not sympathetic. She walks back in about 5 minutes later and says, “mom I’m tired.” School recess. That will do it.

I’m not cold to them but I don’t always love my kids touching on me and laying all over me. I like my space. I have 2 little girls who are touchy, feely, girly, sensitive and just generally affectionate. They look like me but I think they’re soft and sweet inside like their daddy. They want me to let them lay directly on me at all times including but not limited to eating dinner, watching a movie, work, picking up, driving the car, talking on the phone, showering. You name it, they want to be on me. That’s not usually Kennedy though. That’s her older sisters. Kennedy likes to play alone. Her teachers were concerned about it this year (even called us into a meeting about it) but  we know that’s just who she is and who she always has been. She doesn’t like to do what everybody else is doing, she’s fiercely independent. She asks a kid at church their name before she leaves just so she can assure us she talked to SOMEONE else that day but left up to her? She’d find something that nobody else was interested in and do that.

As my twins reach the ripe age of 8, they understand personal space and social norms more and more. So the demanded snuggle and consoling is less and less, which I’m both thankful for and fearful of in a strange twist of emotion. I opened my arms up to see if Kennedy wanted to sit on my lap yesterday while I finished work and she crawled up just like this.

addy-snuggs

She wrapped both arms around my neck and shoulders. She laid her chest on my chest and she just put her head on me. I think she just wanted to hear me breathe and to hold her. I realize that soon she’s not going to be this small and she’s not going to want to crawl up on me when she’s tired. I had to let it happen. About 5 minutes later she was done, she unhooked herself from me and she smiled the rest of the night. This is not something I can ever remember doing with my mom as a kid. I don’t think I would have asked her to let me lay on her. Emotions and touching = awkward and uncomfortable. Better just avoid it.

I breathed in every moment of this time with her. I think I needed it as much as she did. Sometimes, as a mom, I don’t feel overly skilled or equipped. Often I feel awkward in motherhood. Sometimes, though, the girls tell me exactly how they feel about how I’m doing. This is one of those times.

I have to be doing something right. I’m reminded that we’re all doing the best we can with what we have. Many of us…ME…grew up in a crazy situation and our model of parenthood was anything but healthy. We’re trying to figure it out, aren’t we? Take these little hugs as a sign that you’re doing it. Give yourself some grace. They may remember that you yelled at them once and completely lost your shit but they’ll also remember that you hugged them and let them just be tired on you. They need to see that anyway. What kind of situation are we setting them up for if they think we always got it right as a mom? They’re going to be miserable when the reality of parenting smacks them across the face and kicks them in the chest on DAY ONE. They need us to be flawed.

I snapped this photo with my computer not 24 hours ago and I’m already at my end with my kids today. This feeling is fleeting. Capture as much as you can. Tell yourself to remember it. Try to think about it when you’re ready to let the neighbors have one of them for keeps.

That thing that moms with grown up kids say to us that we hate? The dreaded 4 words: “THEY GROW UP FAST.” We curse that horrible phrase when it’s said to us standing in Target while the kids beg you mercilessly for things they don’t need and then throw a complete attitude when the answer is no. The stranger looks on our terrible reality wistfully and sighs that annoying “you’ve got the life” sigh. That’s not what we want to hear but you know it and I know it…

She’s right.

It’s going by fast. Just look back and see how fast and yet how slow. As a mom, I tend to forget when I get it right and remember all the things I screw up. There’s got to be more grace, moms. When I say grace I simply mean forgiveness without merit. More grace from us to ourselves. We’re never going to be perfect so why are we expecting it from ourselves? Don’t pretend it’s all going to be 5-minute hugs and great manners. It’s the trenches. It’s hard. You’re doing it right, even when it feels all wrong.

Lindsay Teague Moreno

Showing 23 comments
  • Emily
    Reply

    Exactly. Beautifully said.

    • Kristina
      Reply

      Love ‘They need us to be flawed.’ Gosh why do we try to be so perfect all the time. You’re right, we’re human and we’re awesome and then we are not… All in a 5 min span. And that’s life. They need to know that. Thank you for this post.

    • Shawnda
      Reply

      Wow, I needed this tonight. Thank you:)

    • Dawn Marie
      Reply

      I love this! Thanks for sharing!! ❤️

  • Crystal Morales
    Reply

    Very well said. I know exactly what you mean. I just sit and stare at the twins and think to myself how are they twelve already. I feel like I don’t have much time with them. I sit and think back at all the times I was really cranky and yelled at them, but they seem to have moved past it and have smiles on their faces and when I apologize for yelling and loosing my cool they just say it’s okay mom. I cherish moments when Liam just wants to hug on me and have me hold him for a bit. I hope he does that for the rest of his life. I may not get a kiss and a hug everyday from him but when I do get it, it is amazing and I just hold him and take it all in. I get love from Mara all the time holding my hand and hugs. I feel like I am not doing a good job or not enough for them, but I must be doing something right because they have great smiles on their faces and I love their laughter!

  • Alexandre Ochoa
    Reply

    This is awesome. You’re human all kids are different and you’re doing a great job. I have 6 kids from 13-20 their affection ranges from my 20 yr old daughter still laying next to me with her own baby on her chest telling me she has no clue how I raised them all, my 17 yr old son who lives out of state at college communicating with me the least possible telling me he’s just fine, my 16 yr old daughter telling me I should drink wine more to loosen up, my 15 yr old son greets me with a fist bump, my twins boys are 13 and one smacks me on the butt everytime I walk by him the other one always ask’s me how my day was.
    Talk about diversity. Raised the same but they are not. I respect each personality and love them the same but different.

  • Megan Davis
    Reply

    Love it! So true.

  • Patti Renspurger
    Reply

    Long days, short years ????

  • Amy Lilley
    Reply

    Perfect, you nailed, it, but so did Kennedy???

  • Rosy
    Reply

    I love that you defined “grace” people throw that word around, but it’s so important to know that the meaning lies in the fact that we don’t earn it. It’s a gift. Thank you for the reminder to extend it to myself.

  • Danielle martin
    Reply

    Love this, so true.

  • Sarah Carlock
    Reply

    Well said! Love this! ❤️

  • Gina Bruce
    Reply

    On point! Thanks for the reminder? I needed this today.

  • Donna
    Reply

    And this is why we love you! You lay yourself bare and then share with us! You are raising strong women who won’t settle for less than they deserve. You’re rocking this.

  • Marcie
    Reply

    So true! But i phrase it a little differently. I say I only have a few years left before the kids hit their “I hate my parents” stage so I need to spend time with them now while they still let me 🙂

  • Cheryl Taylor
    Reply

    Beautiful and so true! And ya know what? I’d give anything to have those days back. Mine are 32 and 28 and I miss those times when in a 5 minute period I wanted to sell them at the garage sale and hug them!

  • Amber
    Reply

    This is me almost exactly-
    We chatted last night on IG, and when I said my P&C being low was putting me on the edge of violence, it was because my son and I depend on it every night to have a peaceful evening. I’ve used it since he was 8wks old. He started a mental leap a few weeks ago, and the past 3 nights he has either stayed up late, or woken up in the middle of the night and refused to go back to sleep for hours. When I messaged you, I was going on my second hour of trying to get him to sleep, and my patience was nowhere to be found. He’s 15m/o, and I’m 6mo pregnant. I love him, and I cherish cuddling at nighttime before I put him to bed…but 2hrs of being stared at by a toddler who seems to blatantly refuse rest, puts me to the test.

    His dad was blessed with what I call “nighttime patience.” I haven’t got it, and daddy works nights. It’s a hard season of life, and I keep telling myself it’s only a season, so find the good parts, store them up in my heart, and pray for patience in the meantime.

  • Staci
    Reply

    This is so true!! ??

  • Lauralee
    Reply

    Love this so much and needed to hear this today…thank you for always speaking your truth. I admire that in you and others so much.

  • Vicki Ogburn Kirby
    Reply

    My Oh my life is truly like a vapor. Our oldest granddaughter is 18 this week and at the same time I can’t get over the passing of my mama, never. Time does not stop, so we can only do and be the best we can be at the time. Guilt and shame destroys the time and precious life we have left. Endure till the end and trust God, HIS grace is enough. Is it easy, no! Press on, towards the mark!

  • Sharon Marasco
    Reply

    This is so true. I’m incredibly blessed that my son (18 this coming Sunday) still says I love you and makes sure to hug me and say goodbye before I leave for my 12 hour night shift amd at bedtime. Sometimes he even brings me iced coffee, the way I like it, to take to work. My 12 year old daughter is pretty much about the same. My just turned 16 year old girl? Oh my. She’s the one is like to give away right now, attitude like her dad. But when she’s sweet, she’s wonderful. Parenting is hard and I’m so thankful I have a husband who is right here in the trenches with me.

  • Laura
    Reply

    Such a good post. I have 2 boys and am certain God knew what he was doing when he gave me boys instead of girls. He knew if I had girls they would need therapy someday. Love my boys – at 14 my oldest still wants hugs – holding on to that as long as I can.

  • Meghan
    Reply

    I LOVE this! You are spot on. I am constantly questioning my parenting skills. As a divorced mom of two, my kids often compare the rules at my house to the rules they have at their dad’s house. Bedtime is usually my breaking point each day. I have found that laying next to each of them after they fall asleep brings me so much peace. I hold them, smell them (weird, I know) and pray for them. I love being a mom and can’t imagine my life without them. I want them to remember me as the Mom that loved them through everything…the good, bad and the ugly!

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