Long Days, Short Years, you say. Trust me I know. But it is still hard.

Long Days, Short Years, I know this. Trust me I know. But it is still hard.

I started a series of motherhood essays last year called My [raw] Motherhood Essays. However, in an attempt to keep them easy to identify, I am giving this one a name. Today I share with you the third installment.

long days short years the hard years of motherhood from waves and lilacs
photo credit: http://www.jsiniscalphoto.com/

It happened pretty quickly stepping into my entry level of motherhood. I read or was told, “These are the days” or “Enjoy it right now while they’re young” or “Oh, it feels like yesterday.” Parents reminiscent of the years that felts like only days earlier to them. Their best intentions of sharing their hearts became the best intentions of my mama heart.

Enjoying these moments and years no matter how long the days….because the years are short.

So when you enter my home and the living room is rearranged,  half the contents of the playroom are displayed on my kitchen floor, my toddler is covered in jelly from breakfast number three and my eight month old baby is eating half of a dead stink bug (this really just happened last week), know that while I accept with a grateful spirit your words and genuinely love hearing them, this time is really, really hard sometimes too.

I know your words are true. Trust me I do. But this time of my life is still hard. I catch myself counting down the hours to nap time and then until my husband is home. I find myself scrolling through a list of friends and whether they are available this week to spend time with to make the mornings go by a little faster. I  have found myself yelling at my son because my patience is waning (or well, it’s probably gone at that point–let’s face it) and trying to wear my kids out so they’ll sleep longer during nap time.

solly wrap long days short years the hard years of motherhood from waves and lilacs


But I also catch myself trying really hard to sit down and play with my kids. To laugh and smile and watch when my son calls out “Watch this!” and does some strange movement he deems amazing and wonderful. I try to wake up ahead of my kids (occasionally because people keep changing my clocks every spring and fall) and read my Bible and pray for patience to enjoy my day with them. I try to come up with fun activities and be okay with a mess on my floor. I try to make the snuggles last as long as possible because I know….I know one day my son will be bigger than me and I just might not be cool enough for my daughter for a couple of those teenage years.

So while I’m in this stage of messy motherhood, you can remind me that these are the magical years. I may also remind you in turn though that these are challenging days too.

However, I think we can both agree that we wouldn’t trade the years we are in for anything else. Because each year and stage has something new and glorious and frustrating in it. The emotions of motherhood are always there but displayed differently. As I cry at the thought of my son entering Kindergarten, you cry as your daughter walks down the aisle.  As I wish for sleep, you hope for a phone call and while I nurse my baby for the fourth time today, you share laughs over dinner with adult children.

I want to look forward to the future too. So tell me the good things that are coming my way and I’ll share with you the funny tales my toddler told me. And we can each remind one other of the hope of the future and the beautiful mess from memories of the past.

xo, bethany rose

Unspoken Vows

(This is a motherhood essay I wrote about a year or so ago. It never made it to this blog till now, but I think it is worth sharing <3) 

The day I married my husband our vows to one another were spoken aloud. One hundred and fifty people heard me promise, “I do” to my husband. We promised till death would we remain together. In sickness or in health he would be my number one. For richer or poorer he would stand by my side. And like that, I became a wife in front of a crowd of people and God.

wedding photography from waves and lilacs and c.noelle photography
On the day my son was born unspoken vows were made. Even before his entry I had vowed to help his arrival be as smooth and healthy as possibly. Immediately following his birth, I knew that my son needed the warmth of my skin, milk to nourish him and an unending amount of love. There was never a paper to sign giving me permission to birth him. No rules were written out that I would feed him, swaddle him, rock him and love him. Yet in that moment, whether it be consciously or unconsciously, I vowed to protect that tiny human being with all the intensity and fierceness I possessed as his mother.

When my husband and I were married, we had a lovely week following our vows in the Caribbean. It contained perfection. I had a drink in my hand, the sun on my back and the man of my dreams beside me sleeping for ten hours a night.

But we all know that is not how the first week of motherhood goes. I had baggy clothes, mesh underwear, and a baby who wanted to eat all day long. I was lucky when I got four hours of uninterrupted sleep and grateful when someone else would take the baby in the morning for an hour so I could sleep that much longer. I woke up to crying instead of to the sound of the ocean and my cocktail was in actuality soggy cereal.

motherhood children mom of two

Those unspoken vows of protection, comfort and health began to be put to the test right away. My entire self being was dedicated to this child’s needs, and no matter how difficult it was, I was in it for the long run. I love this child more than life itself. Those vows tied me to him and him to me.

I know our relationship will change as he grows older and more independent. In fact, for the first time this week, he ignored my hand (check, he looked at it and continued walking) as I tried to hold it and walk alongside him. I watched that waddling toddler go ahead of me and beamed with pride at what he could do without me. I know I’ll beam with pride when he takes his first job or enrolls in college. I might shed a tear or three hundred, though.

Motherhood is bittersweet. We vow to raise them into tiny adults who will make tremendous decisions from the minds we helped mold. We vow to teach them the rights and wrongs and blacks and whites and often times, those gray areas we don’t want to touch with a ten foot stick. We vow to be our best but allow them to see our weaknesses also. We vow a listening ear and arms to hold. We vow everything from the moment those lines turn pink on the bathroom sink. We vow them motherhood forever.

xo, bethany rose

5 Ideas for Valentine’s Day as Parents

~This post is sponsored, but all opinions are my own. ~

It has come to my attention that children take up quite a bit of their parents’ time.
(That’s meant to be read humorously 😉 )

If you are a parent you learned this from the day your pregnancy stick turned pink on both lines.

What has also come to my attention is that parents often times forget the importance of spending time with each other alone or doing something for the other. This is a huge passion of mine and if you’ve known me for any length of time, you know how important my husband is to me and that we strive to do things together. If your marriage is put first and worked on, your children thrive because of it.

So let’s talk about Valentine’s Day.  What are some things you can do  TOGETHER or for EACH OTHER?  I teamed up with a couple of my favorite bloggers and gift company to give you 5 ideas for making this day special!

five ideas for valentine's day as parents

  1. Give the kids the day, you and your spouse the night. Alternatively, give the kids the evening if you and your husband work during the day and you and your husband the night. I know mom guilt can be real and it is so fun to spend these holidays with our kids. So do that! If you are home all day with your kids, celebrate with them. When dad gets home, give him valentines from the kids and maybe special cookies that your kids made. If you all are getting home at dinner time, maybe make a special valentine dinner for your family (but don’t eat too much…see number 2) and then put the kids to bed a little early.  It might mean they wake up a little earlier February 15th, but it will also mean you get a longer stretch with your husband and I think that’s worth it.
  2. Plan a special meal. If you have the option to go out, go for it! But that does not have to happen. My husband and I have since started a tradition of getting sushi take-out style. We feed Emmett ahead of time and wait to eat alone. Really, when was the last time you ate and did not have to say “pick up your fork,” “No, that does not go in your mouth” or didn’t speed eat because the baby needed to be nursed? It truly is a wonderful thing.
  3. Get a special gift.  I don’t think presents are overrated on Valentine’s Day. My love language is gifts (giving and receiving) and when I find the perfect gift (which guys, I’m not gonna brag, but I am a pretty awesome gift giver) I get SO excited. It took everything inside me to not tell my husband about this gift. This year I got Jake a star constellation map from Under Lucky Stars. This website lets you pick the date, time, and location of your choosing and then sends you a poster of the constellations from those specifications. How cool is that!? I picked our wedding day and the time our ceremony began.  It turned out SO beautiful and was such a fun surprise to give.
    (Under Lucky Stars is so amazing that I have a code to share with you guys for $10 off your purchase. code:  WAVESANDLILACS_STARS)IMG_7876

4. Surprise your spouse at work. “Surprise your spouse with coffee at work,” says Tori from Raising Our Stakes. This is a GREAT way of showing your love for your spouse in front of your children while involving them as well.

5. Recreate a (pre-kids) date night. “Recreate one of your dates pre-baby/kids…it brings up memories and conversations and you feel all the butterflies again,” says Bethany  from La Vida Vera I am sure from all the weeks to years of dating your significant other, you have a couple favorite dates that stand out. (You probably also had a lot more time to plan them before having kids!) Surprise your spouse and take a walk down memory lane.

xo, bethany rose