Those 3 little words that every new mother has heard at least once, normally followed by ‘it goes by so quick’.
I remember those days, long, relentless days where nothing went quick (well except for nap time). I remember feeling guilty for not ‘enjoying every minute’ because I should, everyone else does, it goes in too quick and I will be wishing to relive these days again. I knew all of these things with it being my second baby but in the thick of those really hard days I remember timing Annie cry for 6 hours solid before she finally settled to feed and I breathed a sigh of relief. As she lay nursing and began to she drift off to sleep Bella came in and informed me she needed a ‘plop right now’. I used to regret having her toilet trained so young, at least I could have changed her when it suited me. I know, selfish thoughts but that day it was am inconvenience as when I jumped up to help her the crying began again, I wasn’t enjoying every minute that day.
However I know I did totally love some moments of that day, I remember it clearly when both girls fell asleep on me. My heart bursting with pride like I made it across the finishing line of a marathon. I remember getting Annie into her Moses basket, having Bella on my bed, going down to make a cup of tea and bringing it back up to lie beside them and stare at them both. I remember taking a photo and thinking this is totally perfect, then one wakening and beating myself up for not closing my eyes instead of faffing.
I swore I wouldn’t tell a new mum to enjoy every minute but today in the chaos of the Next sale I caught myself saying it. I walked away and thought about it. Maybe when I have been told to enjoy every minute it’s really because they wish they tried harder too.
Everyone that has ever told me to enjoy every minute didn’t mean it quite literally, they didn’t mean to set high expectations nor did they mean for you to feel guilty when you do not. What they really are telling you is that it goes in far too quick, even the long days you will soon look back and they will be a blink, sometimes you can maybe take comfort in that thought, they are telling you to look for the moments you can really enjoy, even if that is the 20 minutes peace at nap time or your beautiful bundle settling on your chest and savour them, they are telling you that one day sooner than you realise you will be that lady telling another lady to enjoy every minute and wishing you could go back in time and try that little bit harder.
It’s not just the baby years you can have these feelings, I remember after having Bella wishing I enjoyed my pregnancy more and the labour (yes really) but the point is it’s never too late to really consciously enjoy it because if they are 8 months or 8 years sometime soon you will wish they were that small again.
If you are expecting a little one don’t beat yourself up if you don’t enjoy every single moment but I promise you the amazing moments mute the tough times.
* this post was also inspired by a little conversation myself and Tríona had, she blogs over at A Little Londoner check it out.