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Gather round young moms of babies and toddlers.

I have a story to tell.

I went to the gym. By myself. And left all the kids at home.

Together.

Alone.

I’m just going to let that sink in for a minute.

Yes. That’s right.

I have reached the season of motherhood when the kids dress themselves and use the bathroom alone and grab themselves a snack and do chores around the house and stay home alone for an hour or two.

And it is life-changing!!!

Why has no one ever told me about this before!?!?!

I can go to the gym. Alone.

I can go to the grocery store. All by myself.

I can run a few errands without the snacks and sippy cups and “Do you need to go potty?” and cartoons on the DVD player and “Moooom, he’s looking at me!” and ALL THE REST.

I’m telling YOU this because I need you to know . . . this season? This season with little people who need you every second of every day?

It doesn’t last forever.

There will come a day when your oldest will watch the little ones while you go out for a bit. He’ll even help the 2-year-old to the potty and change her from jammies into clothes.

There will come a day when you’ll make a list of chores and divvy them out to the family members leaving you with one measly little mountain of laundry to fold. And while it may not be perfect, your house will look relatively clean and you won’t be sweaty or exhausted.

There will come a day when you send the teen or tween out to pump gas because you are still wearing pajamas and flip flops for school drop-off and the gas light popped on and it’s freezing.

There will come a day when they will EAT DINNER! Enchiladas or BBQ pork sandwiches or chili or fish tacos or pretty much ANYTHING you put on the table will be snarfed down in record time. With second helpings. They’ll eat it all!!! They’ll ask what’s for dinner and exclaim “YESS!!!” when you tell them sloppy joes. They’ll thank you. Yes, THEY WILL THANK YOU for making dinner.

RELATED: Dear Teen: I’ll Never Stop Asking For One More Moment With You

There will come a day when you’ll sleep for seven hours in a row without interruptions save for the occasional episode of stomach flu or a nightmare or two. You will SLEEP!

There will come a day when you see YOU again. Outside of motherhood (I know how easy it is to get lost in there). Someone with interests and talents and passion and relationships. And, oh my goodness, you will really LIKE her!

Yes, you will cry at Johnson & Johnson baby commercials.

Yes, you will gaze wistfully at that pregnant momma and her toddler at Target.

Yes, you will fight every urge to reach out and squeeze any baby you see.

Yes, you will understand all the well-meaning old ladies who told you to “enjoy every moment.”

Yes, you will remember ALL of it through slightly rose-colored glasses.

Somehow the good memories will far outweigh the bad and you’ll only remember sweet baby sighs and itty-bitty sneezes and that wonderful smell from the tops of their heads and baby cooing conversations and first laughs and how adorable she was in that gigantic bow!!

But this next season?

This is the season of cheering from the sidelines for the boy who towers over you at Saturday night basketball games.

This is the season of watching SNL together on the couch or sharing funny (if slightly inappropriate) memes.

This is the season of Fortnite and phones and fast food drive-thru and “Hey Mom . . . guess what?” and more food and laundry than you can possibly keep up with.

This is a whole new season.

And I’m telling you, there will come a day when you sit talking and laughing with your Whole Entire Heart (your BABY) beside you on the couch and realize . . . he is becoming a confident young man right before your eyes.

Girls, this next season?

It is good too.

Better, even.

I promise.

This post originally appeared on Ordinary on Purpose, by Mikala Albertson

 

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Mikala Albertson

Mikala is a wife, family practice doctor turned mostly stay-at-home mom to five kids, and writer. She is the author of Ordinary On Purpose: Surrendering Perfect and Discovering Beauty Amid the Rubble available wherever books are sold. Mikala writes to give you permission to release your grip on all the should-dos and have-tos and comparisons and “I’m not measuring up”s and just be free to live your life. THIS life, however imperfect. In this body with these relationships in this house at this job with these parents and these circumstances. Your ONE precious, beautiful life! Join her on Facebook and Instagram.

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