They say it all the time. “Enjoy every second.”
And when you’re a new mom, it gets kind of annoying.
You hear it over and over again, as though you’re exuding the essence of something other than “enjoying every second.”
Sometimes it even adds to the already growing pile of mom guilt— how can you complain of feeling tired or overwhelmed when you’re supposed to be enjoying every second?
I know. I get it. I’ve been there.
But I’m coming to you from not so far on the other side; my babies are only toddlers now…and I’m starting to get it.
I used to think people said it because they were so sad their kids weren’t babies anymore—you know, tiny, little newborn cuddle bunnies or six-month-olds learning to sit and giggle with those adorable chubby cheeks.
But that’s not it— because, you see, as they grow, so does your love. I can already tell that each “phase” will have its own perfection, each age will have its own adventures, and each moment will have its own joy.
I think they say it because they know all too well that in the beginning when it’s all so very new, it’s just really hard to truly stay in the moment.
Let’s be honest, it’s nearly impossible.
Being a new mom and entering motherhood is life changing in all the ways—all of the beautiful, miraculous, and sometimes incredibly overwhelming ways.
So, I think the women saying this may be looking back and thinking they’d probably do some things differently if they could do it again.
They’d probably care a lot less about what others thought, said and did in those early months and instead take the lead from their very own baby.
They’d probably forgive themselves a lot more frequently and give themselves a lot more grace.
They’d probably forget the dishes, the housework, and all the other things they’d plan to accomplish during their maternity leave and bonding time.
They’d probably trust their own intuition a lot more than the opinions of others.
And, you know what? They’d probably really, genuinely try to simply be present in every moment because they know now that as beautiful as the next moment is, the one you’re in right now with that little one will soon be over and you just can’t quite get it back.
They say “enjoy every moment” but I think they mean “be present in every moment.”
And I also think that this may be the single greatest life lesson we mamas may be able to model for our growing children.
This story originally appeared on A Place Within Me