I have four kids and can’t ever seem to find a minute to myself. Do you have any suggestions for how to get through these years with young children without going crazy?
Help! My Kids Are Holding Me Hostage! – Mustang, Oklahoma
You are experiencing what I like to call the marathon years. Not that I would know what it’s like to run an actual marathon. However, I have been told that on those last few miles the runner has to block out all distractions and concentrate on simply putting one foot in front of the other. My “mommy-marathon” years were from about 2001 to 2008. When my third son was born, I had three boys under the age of four. I don’t remember much from those years. We do have home videos that offer proof of my existence, but I was definitely in survival mode during that time. The popular answer to your question is to take time for yourself. Exercise, take a bubble bath, have a girls’ night out, and go on regular dates with your husband. These are all great suggestions. But as you know, getting time away for any of these things is much easier said than done. My offering to you is not something to remember to do, but something to not forget. This nugget of wisdom comes from my husband’s grandmother Elsie Jones. She just turned ninety this year. Having had five children, she is no stranger to the feelings of a frazzled mother. One day she was observing my activities after a family dinner. I was working up a sweat juggling my three boys, one on each hip and one tugging on my leg. Grandma Elsie caught me rolling my eyes, and shaking my head in exasperation and she said, “Aimee, you are having the time of your life. You may not know it right now, but someday you will look back and know that is was true.” I smiled, blew a sweaty curl from my face, and said, “I will take your word for it.” But she was right. I am so grateful that she shared with me those words of wisdom. No, I didn’t embrace every stressful moment with a wink and a smile from there on out, but it did make me stop and think more often. It made me slow down and reflect on how I wanted to remember those years. How I wanted my kids to remember me during those years. Dear friend, I don’t have a magic formula to make your fussy baby quiet, your toddler toilet trained, or your preschooler a contributing member of society. I can simply pass along the words that got me through my “mommy-marathon” years. You are having the time of your life. It may not seem that way right now, but someday you will look back and know that it was true. So relax, have a seat, let the kids run around the house half-naked for a minute and just laugh at the blessed chaos. The chaos better known as…the time of your life.
“Real Housewife of Western Oklahoma”
_The Daily Elk Citian_15 December 2011,
_The Cordell Beacon_21 December 2011