By Crystal Cook of The Qwiet Muse
Lately, I’ve noticed a trend among newer moms, many of whom seem to be banding together and bonding over something some of them seem to be annoyed and insulted by, and I’m having a difficult time wrapping my head around it.
I’ve seen it on blog posts, on Facebook, and on Twitter. It’s a thing now to be angry at a certain something being said by moms who have already been there, done that, and thrown away the stained t-shirt.
It can be said in different ways, but the gist of this offensive comment is this – “cherish every moment.” Somehow this has become an affront to mothers with young children. They don’t want to hear it. Is it really such a dastardly thing to say?
I’m trying to put myself in their shoes, because the truth is, I’ve been in them before. Admittedly, it was a while ago, but I certainly haven’t forgotten how it felt to walk in them. How it felt to pace the floor with a crying baby in them or chase after an energetic toddler in them.
I haven’t forgotten how it felt at the end of the day when I could finally slip them off for a while. I haven’t forgotten any of it, because sometimes, it really does seem like just yesterday I was wearing them.
When my kids were little, the same sort of things were said to me: cherish every moment, they’ll be grown up before you know it, make the most of every minute, and other such sage words of wisdom from moms who managed to survive parenthood. There were even moments I was relieved to hear it, to be honest, because there were days I really needed those words to remind me there was indeed a light at the end of the diaper strewn tunnel I was living in.
I respected those words, I held on to them and I tried my best to heed them. One day I was standing in line at the grocery store with four little house trolls all vying for my attention in one way or another, not cherishing the moment at all and listening to some woman remind me how fast time flies, and then the next, I was that woman. I was the one standing in line behind a frazzled and tired young mother just wishing I could tell her that the moment she was in was going to be nothing more than a speck of a memory in what will seem like such a short, short time.
Now, when I find myself wanting to offer up what I thought were kind and comforting words to a young mother, I bite my tongue. What if she doesn’t want to hear it? What if she finds offense in it? It makes me sad because truly, there is no offense intended.
I’m not trying to be condescending or make light of the struggles they may be going through. I’m not making the assumption that they don’t already cherish every moment, or that they in fact need to be told time passes quickly and that in what will seem like the blink of an eye, their children will be grown and those mommy shoes will be tucked away in the back of some closet of their minds.
In some ways, I want to say it because I remember and sometimes long for those days again. I say it because it’s true, and if I could have stretched out those moments and made them last a little longer, I would have.
It’s not meant as an insult; it’s never meant as a condemnation of some sort. It’s not meant to mean anything other than what it means: cherish every moment. Maybe I say it to comfort myself, to assure my own heart I made the most out of every day I had with my young children. Maybe I say it because time is still going by so quickly and every second I spend with my children now is all the more precious to me. I don’t want it to move so fast and it still is.
Moms need each other. It doesn’t matter at what stage of parenting we’re in, we belong to a sisterhood who should be encouraging, building up, and protecting each other while we cherish every single moment.
The day will come when we all walk in similar same shoes at some point.
This post was originally published on The Qwiet Muse.
About Crystal Cook
Crystal Cook, otherwise known as Qwietpleez here on the interwebs, goes by many names, most notably, Mommy. Proud wife and mother four, she is an Autism Warrior Momma and advocate for those with special needs and their families. She writes about about life and love, the good and the bad, the serious and the silly over at theqwietmuse.com to retain what is left of her sanity. Sometimes to make some spare change for venti iced coffees, she occasionally writes about other things. She is new(ish) to blogging and socializing, and is a recent and reluctant hashtag user, which she stubbornly maintains should be referred to as an octothorpe. Her hobbies include sleeping in and defending the oxford comma. You can find her musing on Facebook and on Twitter and, of course, at The Qwiet Muse.