You’ve heard it a million times… “They grow up so fast”. As a kid you can’t believe it, as a young adult you start to get the picture, and by the time you have kids of your own you start to say it for yourself.
Why is it then that a rough pregnancy, the struggles of toddler woes, or even the fight of getting a young one dressed and out the door steal the joy from the precious few moments we have with our children while they are young?
The answers to that are many and varied, but we wanted to spend some time reminding you why, how, and when to make sure you don’t miss the most precious years life has to offer you as a parent.
The days are long and the years are short when rearing young children. It seems silly to think we’d have to spend any time convincing parents that these precious irreplaceable moments need to be cherished and children need love. However… it’s hard to remember that when the contents of your purse were spilled all over the store floor, while a potty training child wets their pants and you some how have to get everyone buckled up in the car in 30 below weather.
All those things may be true, but the WHY comes in when you consider the treasure that it is to have the honor of guiding a precious life through all the ups and downs that life has to offer. You are the one and only mom or dad of these little ones and without you, so much is missing. The WHY that is to keep you going is that tiny smile, hug, and picture that shows a small thank you for your investment. You won’t see a final pay off any time soon, but in a culture that thrives on instant gratification we say – hang in there – time is short.
Now to get to the hardest part. The HOW. The best we have to offer is, take it one hour at a time, or maybe even 10 minutes at a time.
No one hands you a magical guide when leaving the hospital to tell you everything that might possibly come up when parenting for the next eighteen years and beyond. The best thing you can do is give yourself a little break. Stop comparing yourself to the friends on Facebook who have it all together (seemingly), or your neighbor down the street who has three kids and still finds time to read, or even your spouse who may have an extra gift of patience. You are you, and you are exactly who your child needs to be by their side. Never forget the difference you make just by being there. On the thankless days, don’t loose sight of the role you have in your child’s life.
WHEN you ask should you take time to enjoy these moments? The only answer is NOW. If you are someone who loves to be on their phone or taking pictures, put the phone down and look at your child as they tell you for the 100th time about their favorite dinosaur. If you have a stressful job take a few extra minutes on your drive home to change your mindset to be about and for the ones you work. Prepare to play and revisit the best years of your life. If you are a parent who is with multiple kids all the day long, try to find a restful activity or way to reset so you can be present and excited in the trenches. To summarize, have fun, be a good example, and love the days away as you watch the world’s future run, laugh and play because as we all know, they grow up fast.