You have a toddler, don't you?
I can tell by the slightly crazed, exhausted look in your eyes. That, and you've worn a path between the bathroom and the living, cleaning up after curious little hands that throw things, tear things, drop things, and basically, make a million messes a day.
Can I let you in on a secret? I know you won't really believe me, but I want to share it with you.
There's a time coming, an in-between time, when this whole mom thing is so good. Oh no, I know it's good now. You love your children with every fiber in your being. I have no doubt about it. I also know that diaper changes, potty training, demands for food they won't eat, crying because the crayon is green instead of blue, and missed nap times sometimes make you want to run screaming out of your front door. Or at the very least wonder if this will all be worth it someday.
It will be. Better days are coming.
There will come a time, around 8 or 9 when they magically change.
No, you're right, it wasn't really magic. One day you'll still smell the sweet baby scent in their hair, and then you'll blink and they're four feet tall with their own friends, slang, and sense of style. I don't know how it happens, either. It must be magic.
Things change and get better.
Little people who can't put on their shoes become big kids who pick out their own clothes, dress themselves, and brush their teeth – all without needing you to stand over them until it's done. Although, you'll probably have to remind them about using toothpaste with their toothbrush.
One day, you're making every possible food they'll eat, hoping this is the day they'll eat the macaroni and cheese without demanding mashed potatoes. The next day, they can make their own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and get the glass of milk themselves.
You thought their lisp was cute. Now, marvel at their vocabulary when they explain what makes Minecraft so freaking cool. (It's the “mods,” if you were curious.) Also, feel bewildered when they tell you something is, “Boss.”
Before you start to feel a little sad that maybe they're too grown up for their mom, know this:
They still want bedtime hugs and kisses. Maybe even a story or two.
They might hold your hand in public, at least until their friends are around.
When you arrive to pick them up at the end of their day, they'll run to greet you. Their face will show how much they missed you, even though they may never say it.
They crack jokes, see the world through new eyes, and can carry on a conversation. Better yet, they're willing to tell you what they think. Don't zone out. Listen. There is so much to learn from them right now.
These are the magical years before the hormones of puberty and the teenage years hit. We all need this time of burgeoning independence, coupled with a need for Mom. Think of it as the summer break between those years of screaming toddlers and moody teenagers.