You Don’t Need to Cherish Every Moment of Motherhood
If you have young children, and spend any time in grocery stores, malls, or on social media, you’ve probably heard some variation of, “Cherish these years, they go by so fast!” If you’re anything like me, you probably smile and respond politely, but the question plants little seeds of doubt in your head.
Between the sleep deprivation, the laundry, the tantrums, and the never-ending cooking and cleaning, you’re busy enough trying to keep your head above water. When exactly are you supposed to find time to cherish every moment? Are you appreciating these years like you should?
Let me assure you – you are.
Cherishing these years is not about enjoying the 5th wakeup of the night, the endless cleaning of the kitchen floor, or the fact that your children always – always! – want the toy their sibling is playing with. It’s not about the times that you lost your patience, and then promised yourself you’d do better next time. The work, monotony, and exhaustion that goes into raising young children is not fun, and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who enjoys every minute of it.
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Cherishing these years is about holding your baby a little longer than you have to during the middle-of-the-night feed.
It’s about the ridiculous game you make up to cheer up your toddler and the way your heart bursts when you finally get a smile out of him.
It’s marvelling at the knowledge and confidence that your kindergartener is gaining every day.
It’s about those moments when your catch your children playing together happily, or you see your toddler holding his baby sister’s hand in the backseat.
It’s noticing how the baby kicks her feet and squeals with excitement when you go to get her after a nap.
It’s choosing to take the long way home, so you can drive past the good Christmas lights.
It’s about the snuggles, the baby giggles and belly laughs, the games in the bath, and the family dance parties.
It’s about the way your child looks to you when he is upset, and knowing that – for now – you are all that he needs for comfort.
It’s about watching these tiny beings grow into individuals with their own unique personalities, and being so thankful that you get a front row seat.
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Cherishing these years is not about enjoying all of it. We need to cut ourselves some slack. Parenting is an exhausting, thankless job, and we do not need to cherish every moment.
Cherishing these years is about stopping to recognize the moments that matter, the ones that make all of the work and exhaustion worthwhile.
And chances are, you already do.