Every time I leave the house at the moment I know it’s coming. The moment I inevitably lock eyes with someone (a random, usually well-meaning woman) who will utter the following in some form;
“Enjoy them while they’re little, it goes so fast!”
And every time it happens a little part of me dies because I just don’t have the heart to turn around and tell her that of course, I enjoy my little babies. They are my life. My heartbeat. My reason. My never-ending, all-encompassing love story… AND.
My kitchen’s a pit.
My house is never tidy.
My body is still healing.
I’m questioning myself daily if I’m doing a good job.
It took me so long to get out of the house.
I’m emotionally tested all day by a thriving, spirited four-year-old.
My baby still wakes twice in the night.
Oh, and did I mention I’m tired?
I don’t need to be told to enjoy this time. I literally put my body on the line to make this dream of mine come true, there is no one more grateful than me for these kids.
What I really need. What mums really need?
Just a soft rub on the shoulder and tell me I’m doing a good job. I don’t hear that enough. In fact, the soundtrack of my days is usually my inner mean girl questioning my parenting and whether or not I’m messing up my kids because I wasn’t gentle enough today.
Can we universally erase this phrase now? We get it. You’ve forgotten all the hard stuff and you miss the softness and smallness of your young kids now yours are grown… but we’re still in it. In those long days and short years. Messy kitchens and full hearts.
Can we retire this “enjoy every moment” and replace it with a shoulder rub? Please. A reminder that we are, in fact, doing a good job.
That’s something I would not get sick of hearing. That’s something I need to hear more of. That’s something I need to remind myself of every day.
Please and thanks, sincerely, all the parents.”