“Enjoy the time. It goes by so fast. Before you know it, you turn around and their gone” says a well intended older woman who smiles and very nicely holds the door for me at the post office. I have a fistful of my five-year-old’s jacket in one hand, the bucket seat with my three-month-old in the other and a stack full of Christmas cards that threatens to topple over perched on my overflowing diaper bag that now doubles as my purse. I politely smile back at her and thank her for holding the door while silently hoping she’ll look away because I’m so close. I’m so close to losing my mind and saying exactly what I think.
I want to shout at this poor, well-intended woman. “I hate this today. I hate my five-year-old’s attitude and the fact she will not put on her winter coat. I hate that my newborn wakes up as soon as the car stops running so errands become a test in how fast I can get through them and get back into the car. I hate the sympathetic smile people give me as I step into line anywhere I go with two kids in tow; one screaming and the other talking nonstop about those amazing small things I don’t have the patience to appreciate in this moment. I hate this today and do wish time would speed up just a little.”
While I do know, on a less harried, more with it kind of day, that time goes by so fast and I cringe at the idea that one day my two amazing kids won’t want anything to do with me, today is not one of those days. Today I don’t want to hear I have to enjoy every minute. I don’t want to hear that it all goes so fast so I better appreciate every. single. second. Today I don’t want to hear that these moments are amazing and fleeting.
Today, I want to hear that those early days do suck sometimes. I want to hear that being in the trenches with two little people is hard and not always fun. I want a well intended older woman to hold the door for me and tell me to breathe, to tell me that it absolutely sucks sometimes being home with two little kids, and to tell me that just getting through the day is enough for today. That one day I’ll effortlessly breeze through running errands and getting to the post office will not take two hours and all my energy and patience with it. Today I don’t need the added pressure that, on top of everything else, I should feel happy in these harried, annoying moments.
So to the well-intended older woman. Thank you for holding the door for me, but please don’t tell the disorganized, harried looking mother to enjoy this. They don’t need the added pressure or the added guilt they feel because they are not enjoying this. Smile and hold the door. Or better yet offer to take that stack of overflowing Christmas cards and put them in the mail for her so that disorganized, exhausted mother can check one more item off her to-do list.