The Day the Butterflies Went Away

There are certain expected milestones in your child’s life that make you happy, sad, and sometimes a little bit of both. First steps, first words, first days of schools…they’re all pretty much lumped together and spark a flutter of emotions.

But, it’s the unique milestones that really hit you right in the mommy gut. They’re often ones you thought would have no significance at all.

For me, it’s the day the butterflies went away.

When my youngest daughter was born we decorated her nursery in a butterfly theme.  There were butterflies all around her room; purple and pink, everything matched, from the crib sheet to the curtains. The butterflies never seemed to bother her…not like she had a say in the matter anyway.

As my daughter started growing and developing her own little personality, I could immediately tell she wasn’t the purple and pink butterfly kind of girl. She was the one to chase them away, not to admire their beauty.  Nevertheless, the butterflies stayed where they were. It was their home after all. Even as she moved from the crib to a “big girl bed”, the butterflies hung on.

When she turned four and was waist-deep into “My Little Pony”, we changed her bedspread and curtains to match her current obsession.

But, the butterflies remained on the wall. She didn’t seem to care as long as her ponies were around.

From the ponies we added “Shopkins” decals on the walls…next to the butterflies. The “Shopkins”, ponies, and butterflies all seemed to live in perfect harmony, although they had nothing in common except for the fact they shared a room.

Then a couple of months ago, my then 5-year-old daughter said, “Mommy, I want to take the butterflies off. They’re babyish. I’m a big girl.”

What? No more butterflies? What did they ever do to you?

As much as I didn’t want to admit it, I knew she had a point. She was growing up whether I wanted to face it or not. When my older daughter changed her room décor, it didn’t bother me in the least. In fact, I welcomed it. But, when it’s your youngest, it’s just different…at least for me.

Since the butterflies were going bye-bye, I figured we might as well get rid of the ponies too. So I suggested buying new bedding for her sixth birthday. She immediately jumped aboard that train adding, “something for big girls”. I agreed to that. It would be nice to choose a bedding theme that could last the test of time…or at least through her little phases and fads.

She chose a zebra rainbow pattern. I have to admit, it is very nice and is “something for big girls”. While we’re still making the transition and adding decorations here and there, the butterflies are gone.

They have a new home, in her closet, along with toys that aren’t exactly for “big girls” anymore.

While I can’t hold on to the butterflies, I’ll still grab onto those mommy hugs and snuggles whenever I can get them before they fly away.

Did You Get Your “Mommy 10” Today?

As a mom, any quiet time you get to yourself is better than gold. Between work, the kids, activities, and everything else life throws at you, you look forward to your quiet time even more than a new season of “Fuller House” on Netflix. At least I do.

That’s why I need my “Mommy 10”.

What’s the “Mommy 10”? Well, I’m glad you asked. The “Mommy 10” is that precious time (usually about 10 minutes) in the morning after you’ve gotten up and ready for the day and before your kids get up.

It’s the time before the daily arguments about what to wear although outfits are picked out the night before.

It’s the time before needing to explain why Cheetos and Doritos are not good snack options, even if sanitizer is used afterwards.

It’s the time before explaining for the 100th time why sanitizer won’t get that cheesy stuff off fingers.

It’s the time before the first argument about whose Barbie is going to use the car and which one will have to walk.

It’s the time all moms need.

It’s ten minutes of quiet in the morning to use any way you’d like. Whether it’s to sit down and enjoy a few sips of coffee before it gets cold or scroll through your Facebook feed to see what everyone else was doing while you were sleeping, or even watching TV; it’s your time.

I need this time at the beginning of my day to just set the tone for what’s ahead. I look at my planner to see what assignments I have to complete. I look at the calendar to see what’s going on for the day and mentally prepare myself, especially when it’s back-to-back soccer practices at dinner time when I don’t want to use the crockpot.

Getting my “Mommy 10” means not hitting the snooze button and walking like a ninja through my house so I don’t wake the kids. Annoying…yes.

Well worth it…absolutely.

Then there are the mornings I hit the lottery.

Those are the mornings when I get the “Mommy 60”. Those are the days when I get really crazy and hit the gym even before the garbage men are out. It’s nutty, but truth be told those are the mornings I feel phenomenal, even if I’m ready to crash after dinner!

The days I don’t get my “Mommy 10 ” or “Mommy 60” and wake up when my kids do or even slightly after are about as fun as watching a Caillou marathon. I honestly feel the difference of not having my “Mommy 10”.

I know a lot of women who get their “Mommy 10” at night once everyone goes to sleep. While this time has its perks too, there’s just something about getting time to yourself first thing in the morning, even if you’re not a morning person.

Laugh all you want, but once you try it, you won’t knock it!

So did you get your “Mommy 10” today?