Recently as we visited with my husband’s grandmother she pulled out an old photo album and revealed pictures of her family when she was raising toddlers. It was fun to see my mother-in-law as a 2-year-old in pigtails, but what she said afterwards has had me thinking.
“Enjoy every moment,” she said with a hint of a choke in her voice. “That’s what I most want to tell people.”
Why Is it so Hard?
We moms of young kids get this advice all the time. And while I know it’s always well-intentioned, sometimes we just don’t want to hear it. But today it resonated with me. “Yes,” I thought, “I need to enjoy these moments.”
The temptation to rush through our present stage of life is not unique to moms. I remember having to consciously decide to enjoy college while wanting to get home to my fiance. And there were definitely days as a teacher when I just wanted summer break to be here already!
But I think moms of young kids struggle most with enjoying every moment because sometimes it feels like our kids consume just that – every single moment.
Maybe if we had every Friday off then it wouldn’t be such a challenge…
I’m a Little Nervous.
As I talked about in my post “Why is Husband a Taboo Word,” we are expecting our second child this summer. And while I am delightedly excited, I’m also a bit nervous. Sometimes I struggle with what to do with one little one – how am I going to handle two!?
And I know there are lots of you out there with three, four, or more little ones. So how about you – are you enjoying every moment?
Enjoying Every Moment is Not the Point.
If we’re being honest, none of us enjoy every moment. I’m not sure if it’s even possible to enjoy cleaning up vomit in the middle of the night or disciplining a temper-fit-throwing child.
But I don’t think when they say to “enjoy every moment” that that’s exactly what they mean. I think they’re saying to soak in the little joys of life. That we should really see our little ones and capture as many mental pictures as we can. That we should pause long enough in the chaos to just enjoy what God has given us.
And that’s what I’ve really been thinking about lately – how blessed I am. God has given me an incredible husband and a heart-melting son who is a joy and a half to be around. Okay, not all the time. Some days I think I’m gonna’ lose it. But when he’s not getting a new tooth (Curse you, teething!!!), he’s happy more often than he’s not. And watching him learn and develop a personality is truly incredible.
It’s a choice.
This winter has been so cold and long I’ve been wishing it away with every fiber of my being. (Unfortunately in Cleveland, Ohio, March is still part of winter.) And my husband will tell you that I’ve been pining somewhat for the exotic vacations we were able to take before we had a kiddo.
But it’s my choice, really, how I want to spend each day. Do I want to spend it frustrated and annoyed at my lot in life or do I want to spend it enjoying God’s goodness in the form of little hugs and the joy in Clayton’s eyes when I come to get him out of bed?
I don’t know how I’ll feel tomorrow or next week or next month. But for today I’m going to enjoy the little moments. I’m going to choose to notice them, to savor them, to store them away.
And that’s all we can do, isn’t it? We can’t worry about whether or not our heads will be in the right place tomorrow. We can only choose to enjoy today.
Because before we know it we’ll look up and our little toddlers will be heading off to college. And we’ll be so glad we savored the slobbery kisses, the mischievous grins, and the crazy antics. We’ll be glad for every time we put aside our to-do list and went to the park, built a blanket fort, or played (yet another) game of hide and seek.
We’ll just be so glad that we savored (almost) every moment.
Do you find it hard to enjoy every moment? What is your biggest challenge? What helps you keep perspective? Share your thoughts with a comment below.
First photo by tanya little