It starts with the struggle of pregnancy. Sickness, fatness, pain.
Then they have to be pushed out. Yikes.
Then there is this newborn who is a mystery. Cries all the time. It's hard to figure out nursing, sleeping and pooping. Lots of runny poop that goes all over.
Those things seem to be a burden for way too long. Finally figuring out a schedule only to have your baby change and grow and need a new schedule.
Life gets planned around naps and feeding and bedtime- trying to keep a smile on that precious face.
Then they get mischievous. Color on walls, spill juice, milk, and boxes of new spaghetti noodles. Reach in toilets and eat food off a restaurant floor.
They refuse to poop for days as you try to teach them to go in a toilet. You deal with diaper rash and hemorrhoids.
Despite reading Parenting books all the time, discipline is a constant thing of worry. Am I doing too much? Am I doing enough? Why are they still so naughty? It's embarrassing to watch them be mean to their friends... or my friends... or me.
Then to have a school age child doesn't seem to end the constant stream of worry. Are her chronic stomach pains serious? Or anxiety? Is she talking enough that she has friends? Why after months of going to school does she still cry when it's time to leave me? And then there's still the pooping issues...
Obviously I've been reflecting on motherhood. Or rather- my children's childhood. And while these moments of hardness seem to last forever, it's good for me to remember that the moments of greatness make up for it. All of it.
Going in Veda's room first thing in the morning and have her jump up and down when she sees me.
Hearing Veda run to the door when Quinn gets home from school to hug and kiss her.
Catching them sharing fairly and nicely without being prompted by me.
Giggling with Hendrix as we run around the block together
Getting covered in kisses (and licks) from Veda.
Hearing from other parents in Quinn's class how amazing Quinn is. That they've watched her over the last few months and have seen how great and sweet and well behaved she is.
Knowing that when Hendrix is really sad, he just needs his mommy to hold him.
Watching them achieve something hard that they've worked for.
The look of Veda's face when it lights up when Dave gets home from work.
Knowing that I wouldn't trade these hard years EVER. I want to soak them up (and maybe do a little self medicating with chocolate and endorphins when things are especially hard).