Tag Archives: feelings

‘Twas the First Day of Kindergarten

‘Twas the First Day of Kindergarten: An Ode to Parents’ Feelings

‘Twas the first day of kindergarten,
And all through the town
The fathers and mothers were
Not at all sitting down.
They were packing the lunches
And setting out clothes,
Filling the water bottles
And wiping their nose.
For, you see, they were trying
To keep themselves busy
So it’d be easier to hide
All the crying and wishing
For just one more day
With their sweet little dears.
So they washed some more dishes
To hide the falling tears.

But then they remembered
The tantrums and tears
Over small things and large things
Like scratches or fears.
They’d make mountains of molehills
And things inconsequential.
They kept saying, “MOM!”
Till there was potential
For a nervous breakdown!
Or at least an explosion
Of some stressful shouting
That would cause a commotion.
They remembered those times
That they’d almost forgotten,
Of cleaning up messes
And wiping all the bottoms.

But between feelings of love,
And feelings of relief,
The parents would still know
That the school day is brief.
Their children would return,
Tired but happy.
They’d want to chat, have a snuggle,
And maybe take a nappy.
Then it’s dinner, and a bath,
And send them off to their beds,
The moms and dads needing
To rest their own heads.

It takes energy to love
All those little ones well,
And to worry and fret
Over healthy food or weird smells.
We’re entrusted these kids
For the shortest of seasons.
How can we not also
Give hundreds of reasons
To be protective and kind,
Giving all the hugs and kisses?
One day they’ll be grown,
And we’ll be the ones who miss them.

Feeling All the Feels 

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus

Sometimes I feel like I do everything. I’ve fed them, bathed them, clothed them, entertained them, and put them to bed. I’ve done all the things, and they are not only entirely oblivious to my efforts, but seemingly ungrateful (read: ignoring and/or defying me). My children are my world, and I spend more time with them than anyone else. 

But enough is enough. 

I am allowed to be overwhelmed. To be full. And I don’t mean in the sweet “my heart is full” sort of way. I mean in the “my plate is so full I can’t figure out how to survive” sort of way. Fullness is a blessing, and I do not discount the ease with which we had our children, or the privilege it is to call them my own. But there’s not a mother out there who can tell you that there aren’t moments, days, or even weeks where things are just so full that they’re hard. 

A couple of weeks ago, I happened to be on vacation. I was in another state, literally and figuratively. I was down there in big ol’, wide-open Texas, and all I did was wonder what my kids were doing at the moment. 

The truth is, those kiddos frustrate me. And they thrill me. And they drive me up the wall. And they are the most joyous three people I know. My world revolves around them. I’m constantly learning how to be the best when I’m with them, and when I’m not. It’s a test of balance to see how I can be myself in both situations. If I’m wearing nice clothes, carrying only a small purse, and driving a car with no child seats, I must be missing something… right? Sometimes, I realize what I’m missing is my grumpiness. I’m missing the exhaustion and stress that sometimes follows me when I’m lugging the kids (and their stuff) around. 

But the biggest thing I’ve learned is that grumpy is okay. Exhausted is okay. Angry, even, is okay. Joyous is okay! Delirious is okay! Whatever stage you’re in, moment you’re in, and feelings you’re having- it’s okay! It doesn’t mean those feelings define you, or that you’re stuck in that rut. But you’re allowed to have big feelings just like your little ones are. So embrace them. Use them as an excuse for a break. Use them as a teachable moment. But don’t shun them; let your feelings show, because that’s how you move on to the next moment. 

A Letter to Myself Before I Became a Mother

Dear innocent, young girl,

I want to write you, even though I know you’ll never see it. But maybe it will make us both feel better, and let us share a little of ourselves with each other. Oh, if you only knew what’s coming. I could tell you so many things, but you wouldn’t even want to hear them right now. It’s difficult to understand the lifestyle, the struggles, all of the feels that you will experience later. You might even have a chuckle or two (or hearty laugh, actually) at some of the things coming for you.

But in lieu of us having a little laugh at my (our) expense, I thought I’d give a piece or two of advice. You know, a friendly few suggestions to maybe try out before you get to where I am now: wading through a pile of children on my way to the bathroom in the morning, hearing shouts floating up the stairs before I’ve even heard my alarm (by the way, my alarm is a crying baby). Here are my three big pieces of advice:

1. Sleep late. I know you do already, or I wouldn’t know how much you’d miss it. But do it more often, as often as possible. And you know what else? Go to bed early. I know you’re a night owl and you love staying awake in the wee hours, but just try it out once or twice. You might find that you like it!

2. Travel. You don’t have any idea how cheap and easy it is to go places right now. It will be again, but not for a while. Get out there into the world beyond your town. Visit friends that live far away, go to different time zones while your body can spring back easily, get on an airplane without any tag-alongs (and I don’t mean Girl Scout cookies), eat fancy food, visit museums and see shows. You’ll find that each of these things is either more expensive, more difficult, or altogether impossible, at least for a little while. Travel enough now to save up some memories until your children are older and you’re not using your paycheck on diapers.

3. Sow seeds. This seems broad, but it can be specifically applied to three areas: your family, your friends, and your career. You will be busy when you’ve got little ones. And not any sort of busy that you’ve ever experienced. You won’t have much time to build new relationships, so sow good seeds into the family and friends you’ve got now. You want them to stick around during that time when you’re largely an unshowered, frazzled mess, alive solely because of coffee. They’ll be forgiving (and even helpful!) because you’ve spent years loving them well when you had the time and energy for it. Your career will thank you as well. Work hard and long while you don’t have those little ones who need you at home. You’ll build a base of trust and integrity, and likely receive grace later when you have a sick babe or preschool play to attend.

The last thing I’ll say, free and childless one, is when you do get ready for children, and you are expecting one of your own, don’t brush off what those mothers you meet will tell you. New mothers, old mothers, working mothers, stay-at-home mothers will all impart wisdom to you in their own way. Sometimes, you won’t know why they need to tell you those ridiculous things, or scare you with their labor stories, or be the hundredth woman to tell you, “Oh, just wait!” They’re all right; what they say will be true at some point during your mothering experience. You will be tired, you will get fed up, and you will feel the craziest, strongest, most permanently bonding love you’ve ever felt about anything. Open your heart to it, because it’s the best thing you’ll ever feel.