People tell you to cherish every moment whenever the going gets tough. But EVERY moment? Being a parent is hard. Here are some I’d gladly forget about.
“Cherish every moment,” they say, since we all know time flies too quickly with kids. The once infant baby will soon be a crawling, walking, talking little guy. And next thing you know he’s too big to carry in your arms. So all those bothersome times you find yourself complaining? You’re supposed to cherish them just as much as the more pleasant moments.
But should we cherish every moment?
I admit, putting things in perspective and understanding what matters in parenthood is important. We shouldn’t complain about everything when we need to remind ourselves of how blessed we are.
When being a parent is hard
I get it. Heck, I’ve even advised it.
But every moment? Here’s a list of all the moments I’d rather not cherish. Some of these I’ve gladly said goodbye to and no longer wish to revisit. And others I don’t look forward to with my twins:
Am I so glad I get a full night of sleep every night. I never once cherished all those months when I was up putting babies to sleep or feeding them. Let’s not forget rocking them to oblivion while hearing their piercing cries.
My life turned around when I didn’t have to put any babies to sleep, either by rocking or nursing. And here’s the thing: I can’t imagine myself longing for those days.
Maaaaybe a few of those nights did I say to myself, “This feels nice.” I’d hold a cute, swaddled baby over my shoulder and snuggled with them in the middle of the night. But the sleep deprivation was not cool, nor do I want to go back to those times again.
One of the worst tantrums my eldest threw happened when I was 28 weeks pregnant with twins. Twenty-eight weeks in a regular pregnancy seems doable. But twin moms struggle to walk just one trip around the block.
So of course my son refused to come inside after our walk around said block and threw a tantrum. That meant I had to half carry, half drag him up a series of stairs, into the elevator and finally our apartment.
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I’m not going to miss those days.
Granted, I’m not in the clear yet, with my twins still two-years-old. But their temperaments are different. And no matter how challenging they can be in their own ways, they somehow don’t throw crazy tantrums.
(Of course I just probably jinxed myself.)
Scheduling our days around three naps
Remember the days when everything revolved around two-hour awake times three naps a day? Yeah, totally didn’t cherish those either.
I love outings with my eldest, where we can be out and about without nap times interrupting our day. Before he dropped naps, I worried I wouldn’t get my “breaks.” The times of the day when kids are napping (or supposed to be napping) and parents are able to do whatever they want.
But guess what—with older kids come a lot of independence. Even though my five-year-old is awake the entire day, he’s able to entertain himself.
I loved the Playtex Vent-Air bottles with just five parts, but I still hated washing all those bottles. And with twins, that meant all those parts times two.
Definitely didn’t cherish that moment.
Oh wait, I’m still dealing with this. Twice this week, in fact. Once at the beach when one of my toddlers cried for 20 minutes straight because we were at the beach. And another time when we visited cousins who owned a likes-to-come-up-and-lick-you dog.
I was proud of myself though. I didn’t dismiss their emotions as silly or petty. And I lose my temper or tell them to “stop crying already.” These are real fears to young kids who may feel anxious about things they don’t understand.
I get it. But did I cherish the moment? Nope. I made the best of it, held them, comforted them. But I didn’t wish the moment lasted any longer than it had to.
One time at work, I was lugging my huge pump case when a coworker asked, “What’s that you got there? Let me guess—a light box?”
Yep, I looked like I was toting around a freaking light box because that’s how huge that darn thing is.
I won’t miss washing pump parts just as as much as washing bottles. I didn’t cherish the awkward moments having my breasts getting pumped.
Not to seem ungrateful, because I’m glad I was able to provide milk for my kids. And I certainly understand the benefits of breastfeeding. But I’m sure I’m not the only mom who said “good riddance” and did a happy dance the day she didn’t have to lug pump anymore.
On the flip side, I mention these things not to belittle the “rites of passage” that moms go through. I’m actually able to chuckle about it now, not because I miss those days or want them back. But because I’m amazed I was able to get through them in one piece.
While I cherish many of the moments I experience, some I’d gladly never go through again.
Your turn: What moments of parenthood did you not cherish? Let me know in the comments!
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