There are a lot of moms and dads on Facebook, posting updates that chronicle their parental struggles -- kids misbehaving, making too much noise or mess, fighting with siblings, refusing to get ready for school.
My house is relatively quiet. There are no noisy arguments or fighting between siblings. On school mornings, I don't feel like I'm pulled in five directions. I don't have to nag at everyone to get ready. And if I forgot to take the bento container out of A's lunch box last night, no stress -- I have an extra in the cabinet.
Our bedtime routine goes smoothly -- no chasing kids in different directions or playing musical beds to settle kids down. My husband and I have plenty of time to watch a show or read a book before bed.
Right now, you might be jealous, or think I'm a braggy mom -- but really I'm jealous.
I miss the sound of sibling arguments. I would give anything for a night of being driven crazy, returning my son to his bed every 10 minutes, not getting to watch that show my husband DVR'd to watch with me.
Struggling to get the kids ready, juggling schedules and different moods, three different meals for dinner, doctor appointments, dirty socks left strewn around the house, 10,000 questions and 20,000 strong opinions every single day.
I miss being nagged for screen time and begged to check out his Minecraft world. Reading "just one more chapter" before bed. And I hate that there is an extra of everything, because my son isn't here to put those things to use.
We lost our son Joshua this summer, weeks shy of his 9th birthday, after a 13-day battle with E. coli.
When your children are healthy, and you can assume they will be driving you crazy for the rest of your life, it is normal to be frustrated and irritated by the things that we, as parents, find challenging.
I urge you, though -- take a step back every now and then and think about how much you will miss those moments when your child is grown, or what you might have had more patience for if you looked back from my perspective.
Enjoy the moments with your children. Try not to take things too seriously. Remember that things can change in an instant.
Love really is what is important in life. Surround yourself and your family with love.