This post also appeared on My Big Jesus!
Sometimes, cliches are stupid. You hear them, and you know they’re outdated, or they’re totally unrelated to how you’re actually feeling. (Everything happens for a reason and good things come to those who wait.) Other times, cliches are totally on par. (Two wrongs don’t make a right and laughter is the best medicine.) One cliche I’ve been hearing a lot recently (as in, ever since I became a mom) and I unfortunately agree with is this: The days are long, but the years are short.
Oh my, but the days are indeed long. They start earlier and earlier (can you say toddlers get up with the sun?) and they seem to be ending later and later. Here’s another cliche on this same note: Sleep is for the weak! Oh, that’s not a cliche? That’s just a stupid thing people say? Oh. You’re right. Anyway…
As I’m surviving my long days of diapers, chores, to-do lists, crying and clinging, I sometimes get frustrated. When naps don’t go as planned, my outings are cut short by tantrums, or the lovingly-prepared meals hit the dirty floor (for the second time), I can’t want to cash in my chips and call it a day, even if I’m in the hole.
But what about the second part? That bit about years being short… it surely hits home when I look around and see how time has flown. My daughter is a tall, lanky three. She’s twice as talkative as she was just a few short months ago, and today at the pool she was jumping off the diving board. I’m a proud mama bear, but I’m weeping on the inside, pining for her days of fat-cheeked giggles and learning to crawl.
I’m not really writing this to be like the old lady at the grocery store who tells you how much “you’ll miss this”. I’m not even writing it to say you should “enjoy the little moments”. I’m just writing it to say that, by God, you’re right. The days are long as hell sometimes. They’re so long and tedious that you’ll cry for a glass of wine and your pillow. But the years are truly short. They’re so short and sweet that you’ll be floored by how quickly the milestones are passing. Motherhood is full of these paradoxes and imbalances. So alright, I’ll say it. You might as well know that “you’ll miss this” and you should “enjoy the little moments” before they’re too quickly gone. Look for the fun in your long days, and savor all the moments you can.