It's interesting to me that this article should come my way today (via @Deb_Bryan), having recently posted my One Word that I will focus on this year:
Moms, you've probably all experienced this. You're out with the kids, doing a little shopping, possibly looking a little frazzled - something to do with child A tormenting child B while child C empties the contents of your purse into a bin of rice in the bulk foods aisle. A nice (or perhaps not so nice) elderly lady looks at you knowingly and suggests that you, "Enjoy these moments. Enjoy every precious one. They'll soon be over. They grow up so fast!"
When this happens, I tend to recognize the comments as a wistful look back by the speaker. I try to see them as a gentle reminder of what is so wonderful about my kid at this age, and I try not to think of the millions of ways in which I am not Supermom and sometimes not as grateful and calm and patient and engaged and perfect as I might like to be.
But... there are also days I would rather someone just commiserated with me than tell me I should be enjoying myself. It's wonderful - for these ladies - that they seem to remember only the joys. However, if they remembered at least some of the challenges perhaps they would be more considerate and more careful with their words. Glennon says:
Being told, in a million different ways to CARPE DIEM makes me worry that if I’m not in a constant state of intense gratitude and ecstasy, I’m doing something wrong.That really made me think. I do a lot of talking about gratitude myself, but the reality is sometimes reality just plain stinks.
I need to remember this when I am at that stage - when I pass through any life stage and feel the urge to give advice to someone at the beginning of it. I need to remember what it is like for me when someone else seems to know what's best for me, having 'been there'.
I just love what Glennon will say when she reaches that stage of reminiscence - when she sees a mom in the grocery store struggling to maintain order:
“It’s helluva hard, isn’t it? You’re a good mom, I can tell. And I like your kids, especially that one peeing in the corner. She’s my favorite. Carry on, warrior. Six hours till bedtime.”Take the time to read Glennon's article. It's brilliant. She has some great suggestions for a modified version of the elderly lady plea to treasure every moment.
I also loved this comment from "Rachel":
yes, yes, yes!
I will never forget the time an older woman came over to me after I had left my grocery cart where it was and was physically manhandling my screaming, limp toddler out the door. She said (and in hindsight, she must have been yelling!!!), “one day, she’ll be all grown up and you’ll miss these days.”
REALLY??? this one? you think?
As I replied to Glennon: "...I have wondered if I am doing a good enough job – not just of parenting, but of life in general – if I am not enjoying myself at least most of the time. In fact, I’ve felt enough pressure around that sentiment that I selected REJOICE as a word to focus on this year. It can’t hurt to try to rejoice a little more in the glorious things that happen... [but]... while rejoicing more where there are things to be joyful about makes sense, reacting in natural ways to the things that aren’t so great is no failure."
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Do you enjoy every single moment of motherhood?
How do you respond when people tell you that you should?
(I could use some witty retorts in case what happens to Rachel ever happens to me!)