So for today's Flashback Friday post, I thought I would share a bit of advice as an ‘experienced’ mom who has gotten through the baby stages three times and lived to tell about it.
This isn’t going to be a preachy “spare the rod, spoil the child” open-letter kind of advice post, since I hate those. Instead I want to share ONE thing I learned about motherhood after my first child was about two years old, and it has changed my perspective about EVERYTHING.
Ready? Here it is:
When you have a new baby (or even older kids) the days can feel long and repetitive, and the monotony of your routine can become mind-numbing.
Motherhood doesn’t always seem memorable or noteworthy. In fact, most of it seems downright dull. After you've changed the 100th diaper or answered “Whyyyy Mom? Why!? But WHY!? Moooommmm!” a dozen times you often found myself wishing that you could just make time fast forward.
It is difficult to enjoy all the stages of their childhood, because you are in the throws of it. In the trenches. SUFFERING.
We all have those days. The kind you never thought you would have, since it isn’t that way in the baby shampoo commercials.
Like the time the baby found the cat food, and appeared to enjoy it more than your lovingly prepared well balanced organic lunch:
Or the day your two year old “helped” fill out your DMV registration forms:
Or when your four year old thought that the dozens of freshly painted cabinet doors were, in fact, hop scotch squares and tracked paint EVERYWHERE.
Oh yes, we ALL have those days. And as much as I can look back and laugh at it now, at the time other thoughts were running through my head:
During those long, repetitive days so may things are routine and we take them for granted. But it turns out it isn’t only the big events and major milestones that you will love and cherish, but those little tender moments that didn’t seem like a big deal at the time.
Trust me, once those moments are over they will mean even more since in reality, they will have gone by way too fast.
We need to stop and look around and really SEE our children. Just stop and take in the fact that there will NEVER be another today. Even if today feels a lot like yesterday, and you think it will be the same tomorrow.. it actually won’t.
That baby girl you see today:
Will be a goofy five year old in the blink of an eye:
Your spunky 4 year old:
Will soon be venturing out into the world with her own hopes and dreams:
Your skinny newborn:
Will turn into a little boy with nothing more than a haircut :
And you are going to step back and wonder:
In order to celebrate the little moments that make my children so extraordinary, and so they will have a reminder of how special they really are, I made them this video.
I am proud that they are my kids, and I am lucky to be their mom. When I was selecting images for it, It was fun to look back through all my photo albums and remember back to all those little moments: The ones I forget, the ones that made me smile, and the ones I wish I had savored more.
Those extraordinary moments that didn’t feel that way at the time.
And it was a great reminder that their childhoods aren’t over yet! As quickly as it is flying by, there is still time to stop and appreciate the extraordinary. We should NEVER take the time we get with our children for granted, since you never know what the future will hold.
Our family has been so blessed to have healthy children, and it is often so easy to forget just how lucky we are. We have been so fortunate that even with our fair share of bumps and scrapes, we have never had to hospitalize any of our children for a major injury or illness. I am acutely aware that not every family is so privileged. Good medical care is something you don’t really think about until you need it, and you always hope you will never will.
When we moved to the Bay Area we were really happy to find a pediatrician affiliated with Stanford Children’s Health and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. Although we have never had to use it, is reassuring to know that we live in a area with access with the top-ranked Children’s Hospital in Northern California, They are committed to providing extraordinary care for children and in hopes of letting every child live a happier, healthier life.
It shouldn’t take a child getting sick for you to realize how short your time with them really is. Even though it may not seem it at the time, those long days will be over soon, maybe even too soon. So try to make sure you don’t miss it.
A great to way to start would be to create your own video, and take a trip down memory lane. (It really was easy, just drop in the photos and personalize the sentiments and the app will do the rest.)
And remember, even though your days may feel painfully long, the years will be unbelievably short.