You know how hindsight is so clear? Well, that goes for motherhood as well.
Please do not try to enjoy every single moment.
I am not going to tell a new mom who has a colicky baby who is wearing a path in her carpet from pacing over and over who wishes for just a night of sleep and wants that baby to stop crying to enjoy every moment because that baby will grow up. Because you know some truth? In that moment we WANT that baby to grow up just enough to get over colic. It doesn’t mean we don’t love the baby in that moment or that we’re not grateful — it just MEANS we are real. Those moments are hard enough. And trying to think that we are to enjoy and suck the awesome out of something that is miserable is way way way too much pressure.
Same goes for puke that gets in the van OR calls with teachers over homework or attitudes OR waiting up for the teenager to get home because they are ignoring your texts and are late. Or any of those crazy frustrating moments of motherhood. Even the normal ones like two boys, ahem in my house, who have decided that today is the day that their brother is their nemesis.
Motherhood is so much about balancing pressure and giving and loving and we all need to collectively sigh and agree – no more of this enjoy every moment that we either believe or tell other moms to attain.
I have learned this in my twenty-two years of motherhood.
And I’ve also realized that I will probably not be able to realize how great motherhood was until they are grown and I get some sleep.
Perspective is everything. And in the moments where I am ready to pull my hair out because it’s stressful it does not mean I am a good mom or not grateful for the kids. It means I am real. A real person raising real humans with real emotions and real choices. And more often than not, their choices and their needs don’t match with mine in that moments and because I’m the mom I am the one dealing. And that is hard.
So once, again, don’t try to enjoy every moment. You will be miserable.
Seriously, because so many many moment you will just be hanging on.
And instead of thinking that you are failing because you aren’t enjoying it – instead realize – you are making it.
Instead try your best.
That is what I want to tell new moms. I want to just hug them and tell them to just try their best. I don’t want them to worry, but I know they will and THAT IS OKAY.
You know, the truth is that sometimes when we look back at our lives we realize how important the moments are but when we’re in the midst of them we have to make it through. So often the really good advice about enjoying every moment comes from moms that have MADE IT THROUGH.
Here’s what matters:
Show up for your family. Love them. Go outside and take a walk when needed. Have ice cream and chocolate available as well. And know that even on the worst and hardest days you are still a really great mom.
From me, the mom that wore that path in the carpet walking her colicky baby many years ago, to you.