The other night, while my husband and I were lying in bed watching a movie with our 11 month old baby girl sleeping peacefully between us, I began to straight up ugly cry. Our daughter had drifted off during story time so rather than whisk her off to bed like any responsible parents would do, we put her between us, stroking her hair and soaking in snuggles. (Have I ever told you she is the world’s snuggliest baby? It’s true.) This isn’t all too rare an occurrence for us; in fact, it’s actually pretty common.
My husband and I both adore our family cuddle sessions, even though they always seem to end with the same arguments over whether or not she really has to sleep in her crib and who’s going to be the party pooper to put her there (spoiler alert: it’s never me). On this particular night, however, I became so completely overcome with love and happiness and … desperation. Desperation for time to stand still, desperation for this season to last forever, desperation for my baby to stay my baby forever and always. I was overcome with the frustration that I feel so utterly happy with my life in this very moment, yet I am so completely powerless in staying in it forever.
If I’m honest, this isn’t exactly the first time I’ve felt this way. In fact, anyone who has spoken with me about motherhood has probably heard my spiel on time. You see, ever since becoming a mother, I’ve become painfully aware of time and it’s passing. I mean sure … throughout my life I’ve heard all about “time flying” and “living in the moment,” but it never really resonated with me … until now.
Now … I look at my daughter, on the cusp of her very first birthday, and am so utterly desperate to freeze time that I would actually sell my soul to do so. I mean, I carried her INSIDE of my body for 9 months and endured 21 hours of unmedicated labor to bring her into this world, you’d think I would get some kind of say in how fast or slow her youth passes me by. Don’t get me wrong … I truly recognize that I am SO very lucky that she is growing and thriving and that I DO actually have more time with her. I just wish more than anything that I had some sort of control over the gas pedal.
I’m aware that I’m probably preaching to the choir when it comes to this topic. I mean, I’m pretty sure every mother can say she’s been told “Enjoy it while you can! They grow so fast!” at least a million times in the grocery store aisle by a complete stranger. In fact, I was actually told that by a man on an elevator as I was heading to an appointment to sign my life insurance policy. If that’s not irony people … I don’t know what is. And I’m embarrassed to say it, but I literally cringed when he spoke his advice to me. What that sweet, kind man didn’t realize was that his words of wisdom were actually rubbing salt into and already tender wound in this mama’s heart.
I’ve read countless blog posts and magazine articles reminding mamas to “enjoy our kiddos while they’re little” and “don’t let the hard days get you down”, but honestly … I really just cannot relate. It’s not that there haven’t been tough days (trust me, there have) or maybe it’s because my daughter hasn’t quite reached toddlerhood yet, but gosh ya’ll, I have never once found myself wishing for her to”grow up already” or for the day to end faster. I would gladly take exhaustion and poop stains and crying and snuggles and baby smells every.single.day for the rest of my life, without question.
With my daughter’s first birthday quickly approaching, I feel like I’m literally digging my heels in the ground, begging time stop being such a witch with a capital B and slow the heck down already. And although I am so grateful that I don’t take time fore granted, I kinda of wish I did – just a little. Worrying so much about enjoying this season before it’s gone kind makes soaking up those precious moments a little too bittersweet, at times.
So … as I embark on my 2nd year of motherhood, my goal is to find the joy in each season, no matter how short or long they may be. I’ve come to the realization that although I can’t harness time, I can choose how I spend it. And if I choose to spend my whole life worrying about life passing me by, that’s exactly what will happen, after all.