“Enjoy every moment!"
"These are the best days you’ll have!"
"You’ll miss them when they’re gone!”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard these words since my first son was born. It’s always a well-meaning veteran parent, usually a grandmother, and most of the time it’s intended as a kind-hearted reminder from someone who would probably give anything to hold her own newborn one minute more.
I wonder if that adage does moms more harm than good.
Some parenting moments just aren’t enjoyable: sleepless nights, days without a second of privacy, sore nipples, inconsolable babies, toddler tantrums, and so on.
If we’re constantly chastising ourselves to “enjoy” everything, we’re setting ourselves up for failure.
To keep from falling into that self-sabotage vortex, I try to remember: Nothing lasts forever.
Whether good or bad, every phase will pass eventually.
Someday my boys won’t take hours to fall asleep, but they also won’t want good night hugs and kisses.
One day, my son will have his last meltdown when he drops a waffle on the floor, but he’ll also reach an age where he doesn’t think my whipped cream smiley face is the best thing in the world.
In the moments I’m frustrated or overwhelmed, I remind myself to look at life from my children’s perspective. Since they’re seeing everything for the first time, life is either the best or the worst. They can only react to what’s right in front of them. They don’t care about baths, laundry, or clean dishes; they just want to explore, experience, and enjoy moments with me.
When things aren’t going well, I try to stop doing the “important” things and refocus my attention to my boys. We play cars on the floor, have impromptu picnics, and make messes in the kitchen. Even if the house ends up looking like it was hit by two little hurricanes, I truly enjoy those moments of joy with my sons.
Enjoy the moments you can, and take comfort in the knowledge that the frustrating times will pass.
Be you bravely,