I haven’t written in a while. Life gets in the way. But I feel like I wanted to put this out there.
I was in the grocery store yesterday. Covered in white paint. Dirty from cleaning and finishing up one of our rental homes to get it on the market. My two little ones were with me, happily unaware that I had just completely ignored them for the last couple of hours as they played in the room next to me. We were rushing through the aisles, trying to cram in the necessity for filling our completely empty pantry and getting to the bus stop on time.
Then a lady stopped me. I guess I looked like I needed advice. I think I permanently look like I need some type of advice. So she gave me the “it goes by so quickly, you better enjoy every moment” speech. You know the one. The one that makes every mom feel guilty for not savoring every moment of our kids’ childhood and rethinking every life choice from when they were born until now. These people don’t try to make you feel bad on purpose. They genuinely see you trying to gasp for air and think that this is the life raft to throw to you.
But this isn’t the raft I need right now. I can’t feel guilty for not enjoying every moment. I’m too deep into this motherhood thing. The bubble that I lived in has popped. I’m not going to feel guilty for the unattainable. Motherhood is not always joyful. Tantrums and stomach bugs and running to a bazillion after school activities are not enjoyable. Painting and scraping 30 years worth of scum off windows while keeping a 1 and a 4 year old busy is not always fun.
Some days it’s hard to see the enjoyment in it. We ‘mother’ whether we like it or not. We ‘mother’ through shitty days and good days and busy days and slow days. Our job isn’t always to ‘enjoy it while you can’. In fact, that’s rarely our job. Our job is to raise our kids in a loving, encouraging, hopeful environment and if that means comforting a sick kid while cleaning puke off my white couch, then that’s what I’m doing and I can tell you that I’m not going to particularly enjoy that day.
Instead of feeling the pressure to enjoy every minute, I’m going to pause every once and a while and squeeze everything I can from that moment. Like yesterday, I forgot all about the painting and aggravation and all I can remember is Oak’s face when he was sitting on my plastic painting tarp and he smiled the biggest goofiest smile I’ve ever seen. One tooth and all. I stopped life for a second and held onto him. Memorize every detail in those moments. When you need them, they will be there. I’ll forget about the stomping of the entire bag of goldfish that happened right after 😉
Will I look back in 10 years and regret a few things? Absolutely. But I can’t regret now. I don’t have time. I’m going to find joy in the moments I can and not stress about not loving every minute of the day.
Some days the best thing I can do is focus on enjoying it later. Some days surviving the moment seems to be a much more attainable goal than to actually find joy in it. And you know what? I’m ok with that.