Please, parents of older children, please. Stop telling me to savor every minute. Please. Your advice is not helping me. It only tells me that my future will be full of regrets and misery over missed opportunities to be a better parent.
Your advice is well-meant, I know. But when you tell me, "It’s over before you know it!" it feels more about you projecting your disappointments on me than actually encouraging me to enjoy what I have.
Leave me alone to screech at my little ones when they are impossible and to hug and kiss them when they are adorable. Your finger-wagging does me no good. You are not here in the kitchen to turn down the damn volume on the kids’ CD or get to the oven before the potatoes burn or console my second grader over her impossible homework. Just shut up and let me do my work. Let me grumble. It’s the only relief I get some nights.
I know your words are part of your grieving process for your grown children. We all go through some version of this. I’d bet you ten bucks there are moms out there who wept on their child’s second day in this world. “Oh, boo hoo hoo! She’ll never be one day old again!”
Do you really think your gentle advice is going to make me stop in the middle of the morning rush and appreciate the delightful chaos of the moment? No. Remembering your wisdom will not stop me from yelling “Getting you to the bus on time is not my job!” at my eight-year-old who is examining her fingernails as I rush past her in frantic pursuit of her backpack, lunch, snack, bookbag, library book, homework, homework folder AND homework accountability worksheet.
It is the job of our kids to send us to the end of our ropes sometimes, just so we can discover how to hang on, even if it’s by our fingernails, or by some blind blunt instinct, or by sometimes nothing at all but an inner true grit that we didn’t know we had.
Time flies, I get it. I also get that motherhood has an inevitable cycle, joy dances with anguish, moments fly by with intense emotion and hours drag with boredom. Now shush, and let me get back to work.
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