We’ve all seen the poems, the articles, and the books. “Mom, I won’t always be small, and you’re going to miss these days – enjoy it while it lasts.”
While there are certainly aspects of truth in this, I find these things can make us feel guilty about the things we don’t appreciate, the things we know we actually really WON’T miss, no matter what a sweet poem tells us. I get teary-eyed reading those things just like the next mom – because OF COURSE there are things I will miss. I will miss being my little boy’s whole world, able to solve almost any problem with a kiss and a snuggle. I will miss quiet, sleeping baby snuggles. I will miss having my kids think I am the best mom in the whole world, having them look for me every time they achieve a new skill or need a grounding safe place. Of course I will miss those little voices, SO excited about a new morning, or a new discovery around the corner; wild, free giggles from a silly dance; mispronounced but oh-so-sincere singing. Of course I will miss those things, but those things are also easy to appreciate. I don’t need to be told I’ll miss them – I miss them if I spend an afternoon away! Those are reasons to love being a mom, indeed.
But I will NOT miss what you’re telling me I will miss.
- I will not miss being kicked in the face in the wee hours of the morning as I cling on to last remaining sliver of mattress I am allowed.
- I will not miss cutting up food for someone else while mine grows cold and my appetite disappears.
- I will not miss sticky fingerprints on my walls and windows.
- I will not miss fighting about what clothes are acceptable to wear out of the house, or what shoes are just too small, no matter how loved they are.
- I will not miss cleaning up toys every.single.night.
- I will not miss worrying at the park when I cannot see where my child has gone.
- I will not miss having some part of someone else’s body on some part of my body at every moment of every day.
- I will not miss climbing into bed, settling in, and dozing off, only to hear a cry start up and know I have to get back up.
- I will not miss trying to distinguish my husband’s voice and needs above the clamour of need that only children exhibit.
- I will not miss staying up too late in order to finally grab quiet time with God.
- I will not miss wondering how to pick up a crying baby, wipe a dirty bum, and pour juice, all at the exact same time, all with hands covered in raw meat because it seemed like a safe time to make hamburgers.
- I will not miss having all hell break loose the minute I answer the phone.
Call me selfish, call me callous, call me whatever you want. I love my kids dearly, but I want them to grow up. I will absolutely miss certain aspects of their childhood – above all else I will miss their childlike faith, their unconditional love, their freedom, and their joyful innocence. But above that selfish missing, I look forward to, Lord willing, seeing them grow up, seeing who and what they will become. I want things to change – that’s how life should be.
I want to enjoy the moment, but I don’t want to fear missing a moment. I want to treasure each year, not be stuck in the golden yesteryear.
I want my kids to know they are MY world, but also to know that they are not THE world. I want them to know that things will not and should not always revolve around them, their needs, their desires, their schedules. I want them to learn to speak and think kindly of others, and treat them accordingly. I want them to learn the art, struggle, and joy of service, of putting others first, and of accepting responsibility for their actions.
What do you think? Is the “you’re gonna miss this” hype helpful? Does it make you treasure your children more? Does it give you more patience? What are looking forward to most as you watch them grow up – the next baby coming along or how the children you have are coming along? I’d love to hear your thoughts!