I was stalking Facebook the other day and came across a friend’s photograph showing her new-born twins and two older children laid out on the carpet. Her post read, “I just went to the grocery with all four by myself!” And I thought, “You go, girl!” It took me back to my own early days of parenting when successful momming meant I got everyone out of the house at least once, and returned home with the same number of children with which I left. Inevitably, though, and usually when I was in Meijer, some old, stranger lady would approach and say, “These are the best days of your life, honey. Enjoy them!”
My internal response? “Are you kidding me, lady? Please, God, tell me you are kidding!” Those days were long, hard and often horribly lonely. The burden of keeping little ones alive and occupied for 12 to 15 hours was enormous, and when blessed naptime was disrupted, I would nearly lose my mind, or what was left of it after playing Thomas Train for the entire morning. I longed for adult interaction, workplace stimulation, and by five p.m., a goblet of Pinot. I literally could not wait for the moment when I could ship my angels off to school and return to normal, sane adulthood.
The moral of my stumble down Memory Lane is twofold. For new parents struggling with infants/toddlers/preschoolers, hang tough. The silver lining is around the corner (or wherever your elementary school is located!). Second, if you see a mom in dairy with a rug-rat-laden cart and simply must speak, offer words of condolences or assistance. Or a bottle of scotch.