One day you will sit in that chair by the window. The afternoon sun will shine through the blinds and warm your face. You will sink in to the soft chair that you picked out especially for this spot. It will hug your body as you sip on a cup of tea and pick at pieces of dark mint chocolate.
You will start and finish many books in this spot. You will drink many cups of tea in this spot. You will eat many pieces of chocolate in this spot.
But not today.
Today you will play crack the egg, chasey and double bounces on the trampoline (and wonder how on earth you had the stamina to do this for so long as a kid!)
Today you will breastfeed your baby girl off to sleep as she is snugly wrapped in a softly woven ring sling, while you prepare meals for three more hungry tummys.
Today you will read The Very Cranky Bear for the 5th time in a row (and your three year old will still laugh at the funny moose voice you do. I think he may be humouring you – he’s such a sweetheart).
One day you will snuggle on the couch with your husband each night. You will drink wine and eat chips, and chat away about your grown children. He will rest his head on your lap, and you will enjoy stroking his hair and massaging his head. You wont feel too touched out. You will eat ice-cream with him, whilst watching back to back episodes of Game of Thrones (or some other thoroughly addictive tv series) on Netflix. You will decide to call it a night at 3am after saying ‘just one more episode’ for the last time. You will do all these things.
But not today.
Today you will hop in the bath with two boys and a baby, at the end of a long day. You will play with Spiderman, and boats, and minions, because they’re the toys in the bath.
You will read three books…no four…hang on…five…that’s it, no more than five books in your king sized family bed.
You will breatsfeed your baby off to sleep in the crook of your arm.
Your three year old will lean over and give you a hug and a kiss and say “I love you Mummy”, and you will say “I love you too”. Then he will clasp his hands together, roll over and drift off to sleep.
Your five year old will ask you to read Where’s Wally with him. He will wear his head torch, and as you turn each page, you race to see who can find Wally first. When you finish the book you have a chat, then he smiles at you so sweetly and says “I love you Mummy,” and you reply “I love you too.” Then you both drift off to sleep.
Your baby girl will wake a few more times during the night. She is right next to you. You hold her close as you lay nose to nose. Her hand rests gently on your breast as she feeds peacefully. You breathe her in as you fall back to sleep.
One day you will go out to dinner with your closest friends. You will order wine and entrees to share, and talk about what’s going on in the world….or you will talk about The Bachelor (or some other horribly good reality TV show). You will enjoy your meal; look at it, smell it, eat it with appreciation. You will even order dessert! You will talk, and laugh, and listen until you are the last people in the restaurant. You will leave with a smile on your face and appreciate the time you have spent with these special people.
But not today.
Today you will be there to help your children when they cannot seem to get along. Today you will listen and empathise, and you will know not to take it personally.
Today you will take a deep breath and be there for your three year old as he navigates his way through his anger, and fear, and sadness.
Today you will hug your five year old’s tired, overwraught body tightly, and let it melt in to yours. You will say “I’m sorry, I know you are having a hard time.” Today you will be there.
One day you will look back, and feel so grateful that you took the time to be present with your children. You will feel so grateful that you laughed with them, played with them and listened to them. You will feel so grateful that you cuddled them to sleep, stroked their hair and listened to them breathe.
One day you will feel so grateful that you gave your children your time.
And so will your children.