Chicken nuggets and mac n cheese are on the menu at my house way too often. I started getting really frustrated with my kids recently, because it seems like all they ever want is chicken nuggets and mac n cheese. I make a beautiful dinner for my family, and immediately they start requesting chicken nuggets and mac n cheese.
Like seriously, I was like, “fine, if that’s what you want, then fine.” I was defeated and upset.
So, there I was making yet another pot of mac n cheese, and heating up the oven for yet another batch of chicken nuggets. All the while, my three older kids were running around, laughing and playing, while their baby brother crawled after them.
Then it hit me like a ton of bricks…
In a few short years, I won’t be here stirring a pot of mac n cheese, listening to my children’s laughter. I won’t be waiting for the oven to preheat so I can place a bunch of frozen chicken nuggets on a tray.
Instead, I’ll be eating a nice meal with my husband while my four beautiful children that once insisted they climb all over me while the second I sat down, are off with their friends making their own memories.
Naturally, I was not misty eyed as I came to terms with making yet another batch of chicken nuggets and mac n cheese. Then, I started thinking of all those little things that may seem like a nuisance now, but the meaning they hold is worth so much more.
I can’t even tell you the last time I slept all through the night. Nearly every night I end up having to rock a baby to sleep, or chase away monsters, or clean up after a bed-wetting accident.
The list goes on and on…
The amount laundry I do with four kids is astronomical. I should just start my own laundry service.
Our schedule is beyond hectic, we are constantly running here and there. Gymnastics, basketball, therapy, school trips, you name it. Then of course there is the constant mess that accompanies life with kids.
I’m talking marker and crayon on anyone and anything. Sticky juice messes everywhere, glitter messes, mud brought in from dirty shoes, and toys scattered all over the floor.
It goes on and on
As I’m now adding the cheese to the mac n cheese, and taking the chicken nuggets out of the oven, my almost 3 year old brings me the same book that I have already read her probably a million times today.
At the same time, my older 2 are yelling for mommy, and the baby is starting to cry.
There is never enough time.
There is never enough time when you are a mom to young kids. I’ll be on the toilet and signing permission slips at the same time. We learn to make dinner, hold the baby, and help with math homework all at the same time.
We learn to accept that there is limited time now for ourselves. We accept that these babies need us now more than anything.
But what does it all mean?
What does all the chicken nuggets, messy floors, late nights mean? Well, it means that you will never be needed the way that you are needed right now.
It means that with each passing day, those beautiful babies are growing up, and we have to face facts. Sure ,one day I won’t have baskets of laundry to do. I won’t have sticky messes to clean, or late nights begging for just a little bit of sleep.
Instead I’ll have a quiet house, just me and my husband. No more little feet running all around. No more sounds of peek-a-boo. No more “MOMMY, MOOOOOOMM!” No more chicken nuggets and mac n cheese.
That right there, is the most terrifying realization that I have ever had.
All those times that I have thought or said, “I can’t wait…”
Well, I take it all back, because I can wait and I want to wait for as long as possible. I’m not ready to give this all up yet, and throw it in the closet. I’m not ready to start that next stage, because I am not ready for any of them to grow up.
When that time comes, I’ll except it, but saying goodbye to this stage that we are in right now, is something that is going to have to wait.
Because, I have more random dance parties to attend.
Because, I have more 3 am cuddles to give.
Because, I have more sticky, glittery messes to make and clean up with them.
Because, I have more tiny socks, princess dresses and dinosaur tails to wash.
Because, I have more gymnastic nights, basketball games and school trips to attend.
Because, I have more re-reading and re-watching to do with them.
Because, I have more permission slips to sign while sitting on the toilet.
Because, I have more chicken nuggets and mac n cheese to make.
I have so much more to give to them, and we have so many more memories to make. So that quiet, clean house, is going to have to wait a bit longer, because I am just not ready for it.
It’s funny how all of this occurred on such a stressful night of chicken nuggets and mac n cheese, but I couldn’t be happier, because it made me realize just how lucky I am in this moment. I have never been as loved as I am right now, serving mac n cheese and chicken nuggets and baby puffs to 4 smiling faces.
They will never again need me the way that they need me right now, and honestly, I need them just as much.
So moms, make that box of mac n cheese. Heat up those frozen nuggets in the oven, because one day there won’t be any little ones to give them to, and all you will be left with is the memories of chicken nuggets and mac n cheese!