It’s got to be the most used parenting cliché we hear: The days are long but the years are short.
Usually this adage is spoken by other parents, and most people I know – in any stage of parenthood – agree with it. Clichés always have truth behind them, no?
But I completely disagree with this one.
My kids are still little – I’ve only been moming for about 4.5 years. Four years of pre-kid life went by in a flash for me. Four years of parenting-small-children life has not, even through the lens of hindsight. You won’t see my photos captioned “I can’t believe my baby is TWO!” on my son’s birthday next month, because honestly, I feel like he should be about 7 by now. Not that I am wishing the years away – he is way too entertaining and adorable for me to even fathom that – it just feels like he’s been a part of our lives for, like, ever at this point.
Those first birthday posts that say “Wow, where did a year go?”…yeah, I never felt that way. Am I the only one over here shrugging my shoulders? It really seems like most moms would (and DO) say those things, and I’m not doubting their honesty. But I don’t think society isn’t quite as accepting of a darling little child with the photo captioned: “Love you, but that was the longest year of my life.”
Is it because I’m impatient?
Is it the sleep-deprived fog I’ve adopted as my new normal?
Is it because I miss some things about my pre-parenthood life that I know will return more feasibly as they grow out of the Little stage? (Hello, easy travel/enjoying restaurants/full conversations…)
Or maybe it’s simply my all-time favorite: the inevitable huge messy spill right after I’ve cleaned. I’m SO over that one!
I’m not trying to speed up time…ok, some days maybe a bit, but I’m pretty sure that’s normal. I’m doing my darndest to cherish these young years. It’s not lost on me that “I won’t get them back” (to quote another commonly used cliché). I loved the tiny baby clothes and snuggly naps and toothless grins. I love little kid toys and cute activities. I love the wonder of Christmas or the zoo or meeting a “real life” Superhero at an event through their eyes. I love the laughter and silliness that fills my home most nights of the week. I just find the whole “it goes so fast” attitude to feel foreign. And of course as a mother, it feels “wrong” if so many others do feel this way…annnd cue the guilt and feelings of inadequacy.
I still get sappy with each milestone, and I’m AMAZED at how my children are growing into legit little humans, it’s just…I don’t feel like we reached those milestones in an instant, or a blink of an eye, or overnight, or whatever everyone else seems to suggest. Maybe my feelings will change as time continues to move ahead, slowly as that may feel right now.
I 110% know that I’ll miss a lot about these years someday. But that someday is taking its own sweet time to get here.