If you’re a mom you’ve heard this more times than you can count, “Make sure you enjoy every moment, it goes so fast.”
This comment usually comes at you from a complete stranger about two minutes after your child had a complete psychotic breakdown (aka tantrum) and right before you’re about to have yours. And you’re thinking “What the actual…?” And then the mom guilt seeps in because you’re a horrible mother for not enjoying every single moment of every single day with your precious child! Ummm..no!
I remember those days, and I sometimes miss those days. But to be told to enjoy Every. Single. Moment. Of. Motherhood….that’s redic! We all have bad days, weeks, maybe months. There are some days that have you thinking about bedtime before your kid has even had lunch. There are some days that the TV becomes your babysitter and you just don’t care. And you know what…that’s all okay. We cannot possibly enjoy every moment of motherhood. Yes, we love being a mom. Yes, we love our children. But no matter how fast they may grow up, sometimes they can be obnoxious and slightly unloveable!!!
I go to Trader Joe’s every Tuesday morning, completely kid-free. No one slowing me down, no one complaining, no one asking to have 25 lollipops because she found the freakin’ pelican. It’s glorious, it’s freeing, it’s like a little slice of heaven on earth! But then, I see a mom with a kid or two in tow. One is sitting in between the slats in the front of the cart, with his chubby little thighs sticking out. The other is inside the cart, torturing her little brother when her mom is not looking. I see her and I think, man, I miss those days. I miss having my kids with me, I miss those chubby thighs and squishy tummies. And it takes everything in me not go over pinch the baby, but I control myself. (There is a reason I choose to be a pediatrician after all…I love the babies!)
So here’s the thing: You can love it and hate it, you can not wait to get out of the toddler phase, and miss it when it’s gone, you can want to kill your kids and love them so much that you would die for them. You can feel all of these feelings and it’s all okay. Yes, the days are long and the years are short, as the saying goes, but you don’t have to enjoy all of it to be a good mom. Just remember to enjoy the good moments, no matter how small. The snuggles in bed, the quiet time reading a book, the early morning cuddles, the bath time shenanigans when the bathroom is a complete mess but the kids were laughing the whole time. Just enjoy those moments, and stick them in your hard drive. You’ll need them for all the other 1,439 minutes in the day! And please, please, please let go of the mom guilt on this one because as much as I miss those little chubby cheeks and thighs, I love the phase they are in now and the more “grown-up” conversations we get to have!