I turned around and looked behind me on the path today.
I looked at all of you, with your new babies and gaggles of littles and your bags filled with stuff for all of them.
And you guys . . . you are all doing such a great job.
You are legit killing it.
I see you patiently walking through Target, one kid hanging off the cart, another off your leg and the one in the seat, all of them asking for all of the things. You are repeating no yet again and also picking up the littlest’s Nuk and also feeling so proud of this cute gang of littles . . . while also wondering why on earth you brought these people with you in the first place.
I see you sitting in church with bags of all things to keep them quiet and yet they are still crawling all over your lap and also talking in a voice loud enough for all around you to hear that they just want church to be over. And yet, you are smiling and reminding them for the 1000th time to whisper and then cuddling them close and thanking God for these babies while you also feel so much sweat because yup, everyone is looking at you.
I see you, new mom, with a baby who has captured your heart and also caused havoc on your body. You just feel like a mess of all the emotions, love and fear and joy and exhaustion, but you are out in the world, doing what needs to be done. I see your exhausted eyes that also are filled with such love as you kiss the downy head of that piece of your heart that has also stolen all your sleep.
I see you endlessly making mac and cheese and cutting up grapes and making sure the right kid has the blue plate and wiping butts and getting up to feed a baby on an endless loop and changing sheets and wiping noses.
I see you covered in kisses and jelly and children and spit-up and love and laundry and unpaired baby socks and stuffed animals and joy.
I see you walking through the part of the path that is filled with so much physical parenting you no longer know where you end and your children begin. I see you putting your needs aside over and over as you teach and cuddle and feed and love and repeat yourself over and over and over.
You are doing it.
And those of us who are ahead of know how hard you are working. We know how tired you are.
We have been there and we know. You will not hear us say, ”Just wait until . . .”
We will not tell you it gets harder because it just gets different, and what you are doing is plenty hard.
But we will tell you you are killing it. We’ve already been there so we should know.
We see all of you, friends. You’ve got this.
Someday soon those babies of yours will be taller than you and you will get to look back with awe on all those that come after you and remember when and then let your tall kid drive you home from Target. Or better yet run your errands for you for the love.
And it will be so good. Just like all this is now.
Keep it up dear ones. We are so proud of you.
And will be right here cheering you on.
This post originally appeared on Hiding in the Closet with Coffee by Amy Betters-Midtvedt