Motherhood is Hard Enough Already
“We never fully appreciate the value of a moment until it becomes a memory. Treasure every one.”
“Make every moment count”
“Enjoy every moment of your life.”
Just a quick Pinterest search and a plethora of quotes and articles appear about how you should be making the most of every moment. Have you ever tried to make the most out of every single moment of your life?
I know the heart behind the sentiment is a good one. We shouldn’t let our lives pass us by as we live distractedly behind our phones, or lost in envy – but the way to have a deeply satisfying life is not to exhaust ourselves by micro-focusing on all the moments of our lives.
Motherhood is hard. It’s actually the hardest thing I’ve ever done. The sleepless nights (that last long into childhood), the never ending requests, responsibilities, mental effort, and NOISE is enough to drive us to insanity. The last thing we need to do is add another item to our long list of do’s and don’ts. Motherhood is hard enough already.
I myself feel the guilt of failing to treasure every moment while I press play on Disney+ and the kids munch on cereal for dinner while I try to close my eyes to rest. I feel the guilt when my kids want to snuggle and I’m all touched out and really need some personal space. I feel the guilt when I should be waking up before all the kids and having “me time” or exercising but I can barely pull myself out of bed. The pressure to soak in every moment of life because “it’s going to be gone soon” is absolutely crushing.
We have to stop feeling guilty for surviving. Often motherhood is a lot of living in survival mode. My generation are some of the most stressed out and anxious people on the planet . We don’t need anything else to feel anxious about. Human beings don’t have endless energy, endless patience, and copious amounts of time on our hands.
When I feel pressure to be immersed in every second of my life it ends up stealing my joy. The way to live a life you will look back on and be proud of is to be grateful – not to treasure every single moment because of the looming threat of time.
Grateful Not Guilty
The happiest people alive are the people who are grateful for everything they have. Gratefulness is what sets people apart.
When I take a nap instead of playing with my kids the trick is to not be resentful towards my kids but to be grateful for those kids who made me overwhelmingly tired. When I’m grateful for even the hard things I find more peace and less guilt. Just because you say no to snuggling, or yes to a nap, or leaving on a weekend girls trip you can still be so grateful for the kids and family you are leaving behind. You don’t need to stress about all the moments you are going to miss or not be a part of, or cry about all those minutes that are escaping you, but you can smile, feel peace, and be so content for the life you have. Taking care of yourself AND your family.
I found myself thinking, “Even though I really don’t want to snuggle right now, I know you are going to be older before you know it, so I’ll live in this moment and snuggle anyway.” This sounds nice, but is actually the path to burn out.
You’ve heard it before, but I’ll say it again: You can’t love other people until you love yourself. Self-care is important for everyone to take seriously. Love yourself enough to say NO when you need to and free yourself from the expectation of being present for every moment.
Take that nap.
Watch that movie.
Go on that trip.
You don’t need to be a “perfect” parent to be an amazing one.
I’d love to know what you think! Is living by the mantra to “treasure every moment” more helpful or harmful?