I had lunch with an old friend from college today. It had been nearly 9 months since we’d last seen each other, and we live less than an hour apart. We have 3 kids between us though, and as we all know, motherhood is not kind to friendship.
We spent some time over lunch reminiscing about college, but even more of our time talking about how hard it can be to live life as a working mom. We commiserated about the perpetual state of exhaustion we seem to live in ALL. OF. THE. TIME.
Since parting ways with my friend (5 hours ago), I’ve done the grocery shopping, chased after my kids, helped my husband move furniture in our house, bagged up some old kids clothes to donate, responded to emails for work, started a load of laundry, and unloaded the dishwasher. As I was putting up the dishes, I caught myself reflecting on lunch, and wistfully my mind started to wander back to our college days, those memories so fresh in my mind after my reunion today.
As I stacked children’s dishes up in the cabinets, my mind started to draft a text to my lunch-companion friend. “Just finished unloading the dishes, and I’m exhausted from today. Don’t you miss those days in college when we thought we had so much on our plate?”
Don’t you miss those days? How often do we find ourselves pondering those words?
I do miss those days. College was the best of times in so many ways. I thought I was busy and stressed out then – and in retrospect, it’s comical. I was working a part-time job (I think 15 hours a week), juggling extra-curricular activities, and doing well in my classes. I was also dating a guy back home in Dayton while I was three hours away, so that certainly added to my perceived stress. Sure, I was busy, but I definitely wasn’t working at max capacity like I always believed that I was.
As I laughed to myself about how silly my college-self was for thinking she had it tough, it dawned on me that someday, when my kids have flown the nest, my older self will probably look back at my young-mama self and have similar thoughts.
“Don’t you miss those days?” I might say to a friend when we watch a young mama juggling fighting toddlers at Target.
“Don’t you miss those days?” I might say to my husband as we watch a young family playing on the beach together.
“Don’t you miss those days?” I might think to myself as I see a young family sitting at church, with a baby squawking and a toddler trying to escape down the aisle.
“Don’t you miss those days?” How often do we find ourselves thinking these words? It’s powerful when you really stop to think about it.
As moms of small children, we often roll our eyes about comments from (well-meaning) bystanders reminding us that “you’re going to miss this” when we’re in the weeds with our little ones. It’s not helpful to hear those words in the midst of a struggle. But maybe, if one day soon you catch yourself thinking, “don’t you miss those days,” you’ll be reminded of my words and you’ll smile and remember – someday, I’m going to say that about today.