Listen to me. For real. This is about the moments. And feeling the pressure to have to grab every single one. So first, the obvious. Despite the poem about babies growing up to our sorrow, let me tell you that cleaning and scrubbing can’t wait. But we get that. But babies growing up isn’t a sorrow.
It’s a good thing. It really is.
I am SO thankful my babies grew up. Yeah, I miss them little, but I also like sleep.
Now, just so you know, I never thought it would be done when I was in the middle of the crazy intense years of motherhood also known as having a child under the age of five. I’m not joking. Those years were like a form of torture and joy mixed all together. So many firsts. And yeah, while the firsts are awesome they are also exhausting. Potty training anyone? If I could auction off that forsaken place of motherhood I totally would have done it immediately. Even if I didn’t have money. I probably would have done someone’s laundry for years to avoid those weeks.
But, sigh, that’s beside the point.
You see, so much stress is put on grabbing the moments in life that I think it sucks the joy out of the moments. The moments will tick by no matter what. They just will.
I think everyone means well when they tell us how “it goes so fast” and “just wait on the cleaning” and “grab the moments”. I really think it’s meant well. But but but…sometimes it can be a burden and not a joy to have to think that it’s crazy awesome when you have no sleep. Because if you don’t feel like it’s amazing and you’re crabby and tired because you’ve been awake for 32 hours and someone, even with good intent, tells you to enjoy the moment because they grow, and all you can think is “thank God” and then you feel guilt, well, you get it.
It’s too much.
I get it. I understand the tension of a timeline racing by and the necessity to be thankful for the moment.
I clung so tightly to that for so long. But the tighter I clung the harder it became. So one day instead of grasping to grab every single moment I grasped for the moments that actually mattered.
That. I realized that all the moments don’t matter.
They just don’t. Sometimes you have to clean and scrub.
Instead you just balance. You just do. You clean and you scrub and you rock and you enjoy.
Because you will drive yourself insane, and I mean insane, trying to enjoy every moment. I don’t care about that “cleaning and scrubbing” poem about babies growing up. Just ignore it. Please. Instead, do your best, show up and really learn to let go.
They grow up. My mom told me the other day that she thinks that we all need to know that we’re going to mess up. We just are. I have times a million. But that it’s not the messing up that matters, it’s really that we all do our best. And that is what is so important. My mother cleaned and scrubbed, just so you know. And she worked. And she taught us to clean and scrub. And she played with us.
She mothered. She mothered her best.
You WILL get the moments when you do your best. You just will.
Trust me. My eight year old reminds me of that. My twenty-one year old does as well.
They remember the moments. Not all of them, but the ones that mattered.
Do you best. They will grow up. And in the end, what matters is you doing your best.
ps.Cleaning and scrubbing can’t wait until tomorrow. Do it today. The kids will remember if you didn’t do that more than ANYTHING else.
pss. Despite having been a mom for almost twenty years I have NO advice on potty training except to have wine available at night.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! It has always bothered me how people (often older empty nesters) stop me to remind me to enjoy my kids because they grow up fast. With ZERO empathy or acknowledgment about how hard it is to be a parent of young children. They could say, “The early years are tough. But it’s worth it… hang in there.”
Yes yes yes! And make sure your kids see you cleaning! If you always clean behind the scenes, they’ll never learn. I used to always clean during nap time, but a) nap time doesn’t last forever and b) my oldest is now struggling to learn how to pick up and clean for himself.
Obviously you never had to bury a child.
I disagree with YOUR interpretation of this sweet poem. I get it completely!! I raised 4 wonderful children and actually sang this poem to them while rocking them to sleep for every nap and at bedtime AND I don’t regret a second!! I cross stitched this poem when I started having children and it now hangs in my grandchildren’s playroom in my house. My children always had clean clothes, a warm clean bed, home cooked meals everyday. When I had to choose between “cleaning and scrubbing” and spending quality time with my children I always chose my children and now my children AND my grandchildren. So Mommas hold those babies, rock them, love on them, give of yourselves. Because if God blesses you with a long life you’ll never regret those years of having babies and choosing them over “cleaning and scrubbing”