Young moms: you have been lied to. Just a little bit.
The lies are uttered with the best intentions from liars who aren’t malicious– just forgetful.
“Cherish every minute,” random people tell you. “These moments are precious and fleeting and you will miss them when they’re gone,” they claim.
I roll my eyes at these fools and their rose-colored glasses of yesteryear. For your sanity, let me set a few things straight:
Your children are indeed precious. They are beautiful, created in the image of the Creator, and when they sleep they look exactly like angels. Whether you gave birth to them or adopted them matters not– they are humans of infinite value and worth. Please do cherish your children. You’ll never regret the work they take or the sleep you lose, and your heart will continue to swell with love for them forever, it seems.
However, some of the parts of young motherhood are exhausting and horrible and you will, in fact, not miss them. And you shouldn’t feel guilty for loathing certain parts of the job because you’re basically doing the world’s hardest work around the clock.
The list of things you will not actually miss:
You will not miss screaming toddlers in the car, running three different directions after three tiny children, watching five episodes of Calliou in a row, Goldfish Crackers smashed into the carpet of your vehicle, potty training accidents, explosive poopy diapers in expensive stores, holding them down for immunizations, temper tantrums in front of Grandma, keeping them out of the pond at the park, chasing them around the jungle gym, screaming fits at church, nursing a baby seven times in three hours, marital intimacy interrupted by a hoard of short people pounding on your bedroom door, small fingers reaching under the bathroom door as you try to tinkle in private, STICKINESS EVERYWHERE IN YOUR HOUSE (good lord, how do they get everything so sticky??), or digging in their mouths for whatever foreign object they just popped in there.
One day you’ll be sitting quietly with a book or wandering thoughtfully through a store, clothed and in your right mind, and your children will be right there with you– walking quietly or even having an intelligent conversation.
Sure, they’ll be older and sassier and might smell a little funny. Their teeth might be coming in all cattywampus and they might be wearing socks that haven’t been laundered since October. You will miss the pudgy baby buns and the wispy, feathery hair. You’ll miss how they lisped words wrong for a while, and you’ll remember how sweet they smelled after a bath.
And yes, you will certainly miss the days when they couldn’t talk at all and therefore couldn’t sass back or point out your every error.
But please ignore the fools who will try to get you to believe every single moment is precious and adorable and glorious. They’re simply too old to remember the work that tiny children require. Do not beat yourself up if you’re finding your life less than enjoyable and sometimes think about running away to a beach in a tropical country with no cell service.
You are a good mom, even when you don’t feel like it. You’re doing a great job, even when your children are insufferable and you’re sure you’re screwing it all up. You will make it, even though you feel like your last nerve was shredded two days after their birth.
Motherhood is hard. Anything worth doing is often hard, and rarely requires that every moment has to be bronzed and polished and remembered with joy.
You’re doing it, Mother of Little People. And your kids will one day grow into great humans because of your work. Don’t lose hope.
And know that some of the older moms around you keenly remember every tantrum and endless day– we’re rooting for you, not silently judging you in the canned vegetable aisle. We’re on your side, I promise.
Together we can outwit the liars with the bad memories who make you feel terrible on accident. Just remember these days accurately, so you can one day throw a lifeline to a mom younger than yourself.