So yeah, I used to wish new moms well saying, “Enjoy every minute…the time flies so quickly and they are grown before we know it!” Were they really honestly supposed to enjoy every minute? Let’s continue with some other moments they perhaps might not enjoy as the years roll on…
What about the Sunday when everyone is dressed and ready to go to church finally! (albeit late, again!) and suddenly Mom's dress is soaking wet from an "accident" by the youngest, still undergoing potty training? Perhaps she was supposed to enjoy every minute when she finally got to escape for a girl's night out and got to her destination only to find that her blouse was smeared with spit up and she had donned two totally different shoes in her haste to get out the door and escape the guilt of her toddler grasping for her and screaming as she left?
Was she meant to enjoy the discipline she knew she had to dole out in order to create safe, healthy boundaries for her middle school daughter? What about the time outs that catapulted into screaming matches and then disrespect from her tweenager that tore her heart out every time she had to lay down strict rules in her home regarding cell phone, TV and social media use or dating limitations…were those there for her enjoyment?
Could she have enjoyed every minute, hour or day in the hospital, ministering to her seventeen year old, laying in a hospital bed after a car accident, just having received his driver's license?
I think it is only in admitting that we can't possibly enjoy every minute, that we get to enjoy many minutes, hours, days...on through the years of memories. If we can have an attitude of gratitude about the good things that happen in our kids’ lives and maintain an overall sense of peace in our homes, we are doing well! We can and should do our best...it would be wonderful to start letting go with no regrets, after our young adults have flown from our nests. But is it healthy to expect that we will or should enjoy every minute? Probably not. And we won't.
There will be hard things. There will be sad times. There will be disappointments and heart-breaks. However, the deep joys will hopefully overshadow the painful blows. In the end, we need to understand that grace is there for us to grab hold of when we may not have done everything right...and that's okay. If we haven't enjoyed every minute, that's okay. If there were times we wanted to throw in the towel and scream, that's normal. If our tweens have us crawling the walls and our teens have us bawling in the halls, that's par for the course. We don't have to enjoy every minute. But no matter how you look at it, motherhood is an adventure and an opportunity to leave a legacy of love. Let us not lose sight of the many minutes that are ours to enjoy, even with spit up on our shoulders or tears in our eyes.
If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to comment! Let me know what phrases irk you that people sometimes say in an effort to be friendly, without knowing the impact they have on new moms...we all see life differently and we certainly don't need any extra pressure on our already overwhelmed lives as parents!