As we all know, parenting has its fair share of challenges. Lately, I find myself thinking thoughts where my mindset is future oriented rather than present oriented. Whether the thought is “I can’t wait for Jonas to be past the tantrum phase where we can reason with him” or “life will be so much easier once he starts listening better”, I seem to unintentionally be wishing the days away. This attitude causes me to get wrapped up in the tough parts of motherhood rather than all of the magical moments that I get to experience on a daily basis.
At the end of the day, I’m sometimes focusing on everything that went wrong instead of the big kiss Jonas gave me after nap time or the joy on his face when he sees daddy walk through the door at the end of the day. The truth is, whether your child is a newborn, two, or thirteen, every age and stage presents new and different challenges. Maybe your child sleeps through the night now but holy hannah do they talk back to you with some serious sass. Or maybe you can reason with your child and have a rational conversation, but they choose not to listen to you (I’m getting flashbacks to my teenage years while writing this).
Something that I’ve noticed lately is that whenever I’m talking to my parents or my mom and dad in law about memories of raising children, the stories are so often positive. Sure, they share the messy moments too but it’s undeniable that when we end the conversation, it’s on a positive note. The focus is on how precious and quickly those childhood years flew by.
While i think it’s completely natural to get down on yourself as a parent when things don’t go the way you thought they would, it’s so important to not fixate on these moments. When I find myself focusing on the negative, I realize that I’m wishing the days away. I’m not living in the present and the truth is that I’ll blink my eyes and be attending Jonas’s high school graduation and his wedding (okay stop pregnancy hormones… I’m way too emotional to be writing about my son’s future wedding right now!).
Moms and dads, my challenge to you at the end of the day is to make a list in your head of all the moments with your kids that you don’t want to forget. The ones that you want to tuck away in your brain to remember ten years from now. Don’t get me wrong, i think it’s important to think about the tough moments and how you handled them, but the challenge is to not become fixated on them.
The moment someone announces their pregnancy, everyone shares their advice on child rearing which always ends with the saying “the time goes way too fast.” This statement couldn’t be more true. Wasn’t it just yesterday that my little boy was a newborn sleeping on my chest? Live in the moment, soak it all up, focus on the moments that melt your heart, and don’t take a single moment for granted.