Please stop telling Moms to enjoy every minute

Nothing makes me feel quite as overwhelmed as the words “enjoy every minute”.

Like do you mean right now while my kid is spread eagle on the Target floor demanding a slushy? Do you mean when I make dinner and half of the family is crying because it looks weird? Do you mean when I clean the toilets and I wonder how the pee reached the corner under the trash can?

I can do it; it’s worth it. But enjoying every minute is a different type of pressure.

In truth, there are a whole lot of minutes I feel annoyed or tired.

Being a mom is hard work, and that’s okay. It’s okay to admit it. It’s okay to cry about it and to vent about it. That doesn’t make us bad at this, and it doesn’t mean we love our kids any less.

It makes us human. It makes us “doing the best we can”.

I didn’t enjoy every minute when my nipples were cracked and bleeding, when I was falling asleep sitting up because I was so tired. I was anxious, I was milk-soaked, and I was overwhelmed.

When I look back at pictures of my babies during that time, I wish for them back. I wish so hard. It WAS way too fast.

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21yrs old with our first baby

BUT, if I look back at myself, a brand new mama, I wouldn’t tell her to enjoy every minute. I’d tell her to just breathe, it’s all going to turn out fine. I’d tell her she seemed like a fantastic Mom. I’d tell her it’s okay to be overwhelmed sometimes, and that we all are. I’d tell her not to listen to the voices that question her every move (whether internal or external). I’d tell her to enjoy what she could and cry (or scream into a pillow) when she needed to. I’d tell her that motherhood is a constant state of becoming someone we didn’t use to be, and that transition can be hard as crap. I’d tell her it would be worth it and she was going to do great.

I’d tell her not to lose herself.

I’d tell her she was enough (even though it is the hardest thing in the world to believe it).

I’d tell her there are other people whose microwaves look just as gross as hers.

I’d tell her to give away the pants that don’t fit.

I’d tell her that she will NOT under any circumstance be able to enjoy every minute.

I’d tell her to tell to speak her truth when it was hard. I’d tell her she’d find a wonderful community of women that way.

My kids are all past toddlerhood now and I still don’t enjoy every minute. Not even close. I struggle really hard to be present sometimes. There has never been a time when my kids were arguing or whining where I thought “this is so enjoyable“. What I thought was, GOD HELP ME NOT LOSE MY EVERLOVING MIND.

I know it’s easy to remember the highlights and forget the sweat and tears that come with parenting, just like we forget the pain of childbirth. When I think of my sweet babies snuggled in my arms, a part of my heart breaks in half, because it was the best and most wonderful.

But would you remember with me just for a moment?

Would you remember the sore nipples?

Would you remember the sleepless nights and the tears spent wondering if you were doing it right?

Would you remember the fog that comes with being a mom in the thick of it?

Would you remember the messy parts of raising kids?

Would you remember the constant-constant of motherhood?

Would you let us know you remember?

I’m already sad that this will be over before I know it. I already wish I could slow time down, but that doesn’t make this less intense and constant.

They are worth every tear, they are worth every glass of wine, they are worth IT ALL.

When these moments are all over I’m positive I will wish for them all  back.

But this is hard too and that’s okay.

We will enjoy what moments we can like flecks of gold hidden in mountains of dirty laundry and a drawing I just found on my favorite couch pillow.

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36 thoughts on “Please stop telling Moms to enjoy every minute

  1. theemothership

    This is seriously my life right now and super relatable. Working full time already puts stress on me as a mother who wishes she could spend every waking minute with my son and I am working toward a life that will allow me to do that. But lawwwd the pressure is real. Thanks for this🙌🏾😊

  2. jlbramble09

    Its nice to know that there are other Moms out there like me. Makes me not feel so alone. Im the only one of my friends that have 7 kids all 7 years old and under. It is hard and messy and sometimes chaotic but I love them all and would not change a thing. Thanks for your bloggs! I love reading them. Like I said above makes me not feel alone.

  3. wonderoak

    Awe the feeling is mutual! When I read responses like this I think, oh good, I’m not the only one haha.

  4. Marjorie Turner Hollman

    My kids are grown, but I have not forgotten how hard it was. If I stop a mother in the store who has children, I will say, ‘The years may fly by, but those days..they can be really endless. Take care…

  5. peteacher1

    Thank you for your insight on every one of your posts. You are an amazing writer to whom I can relate. I love your candidness! Too many times women try to make life appear seamless, perfect, flawless … and it does other women, especially moms, no good. Be honest, be forthright, and be YOU! I have said that raising kids is only about 10% enjoyable, the rest of the time is stressful, heartaching, hard as hell, emotional, gut-wrenching, aggravating…but that little 10% somehow makes it all worth it and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Keep on writing! You have no idea how many people you “touch” with every post. Thank you!!!

  6. Catiedawn

    I think what (older) Mom’s mean by that phrase is “be grateful for each day that you have with your kids”, because soon you will be helping your baby pack to move to another state and you will wonder where the time went. Without the blood, sweat, and tears of motherhood, the reward wouldn’t be as great. Each day (in the trenches) is a gift. I know Mom’s who have experienced loss that would give all the sleepless nights to be with their children again. Or women that desperately want a child that would gladly take it all. So be grateful, and assured that in our lack, He is sufficient!

  7. Dreaming It Together

    I loved this! I am a new-ish mom to an almost 11 month old baby girl. It has been the best, but I definitely haven’t enjoyed every minute. Would I go back and do everything all over even with the hard times? Heck yes, but you are right we won’t enjoy every minute and we should stop putting (more) pressure on moms to think that they should!

  8. Jess

    I really love this and am sharing it with all the new moms I know. That said, I think you’re looking for “feel” instead of “fell” in your first sentence. But otherwise you’re right on and I so appreciate your post. Wish I’d had this when my kids were toddlers! 🙂

  9. LaDonna

    The days may be long, but the years fly by. When I encounter young moms, I am guilty of saying “hang on,” but try to follow with, “Breathe, you’ll all make it through!”

  10. Tracy

    Yes…EVERY minute. Even the very difficult ones. Because one day, very soon, those moments and the reasons those moments happen, will be gone. The job that you once knew will be over and you’ll be wondering where the last 30 years went. So, I say breath, don’t sweat the small stuff and enjoy EVERY minute!

  11. Sarah

    Thank you for this post,I really needed to be reminded all this. I am the proud mother of a sweet one year old baby girl,and sometimes,when I am really tired and overwhelmed,I feel like I am a bad mother,as I don’t enjoy ‘every moment’,as others seem to. So thank you,it does help to see that I am not alone. 🤗

  12. Kristina

    I agree and disagree with this. I would tell a mom to enjoy every minutes but also tell her it’s okay to feel overwhelmed, annoyed and tired. I guess coming from a parent whose lost their only child and possibly the only child they will ever be able to have, I want every parent to enjoy every minute. The good and the bad. I’d kill to have a moment in time when my son is screaming at the top of his lungs on the target floor cause he wants candy. I’d kill to have my son keep me up all night and be exhausted the next day at work. Cause in those moments of tiredness and annoyance I would have my child in my arms. In my sight and in my life. So I’m sorry but enjoy every minute, the good and the bad.

  13. wonderoak

    Oh Kristina, I am so so sorry for your loss, and I’m so sorry if any of this was salt in a wound. I can see what you’re saying from your perspective and I will keep it in mind. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Jillian

    This resonated with me deeply & had me all in tears. Today’s mom group meet ups & social media facades have me feeling like the only person who is overwhelmed. I love my son beyond words & it comes through in my parenting but it’s also made for long nights & frequent power struggles w a headstrong two year old. Second guessing everything from nursing 18 months, cosleeping, to giving him too much freedom – when really it’s just tough to entertain a toddler all day everyday & still be sane. Thank you for your honesty & eloquent words.

  15. birdandthebeard

    Love this! I have a 10-month old and it’s already been a helluva journey and I definitely haven’t enjoyed every minute, not even every other minute.
    I think what surprised me the most was how hard it was and what annoyed me the most is that nobody told me it was going to be hard! So I’m so happy that we’re starting to talk about the reality of parenting, and not only about the beauty of a sleeping baby (what’s that?!), the heart-stopping joy when they smile (which can be rare on some days) and the overwhelming love you will feel . Those moments do make it worth it but they are hard-won.

  16. Deborah

    And… as a grandmother now, when you are actually feeling angry with your one month old, because she gets you up every two hours all night long, every night – and at two months … please know this. You are not a monster for being angry with a baby. You are exhausted, frustrated and not actually quite rational because of this. You are not the first, nor the only mother experiencing these feelings – and that does not make you a bad mother. I thought I was horrible, as I wept while nursing, and changing a diaper, and resenting this child who would not allow me to sleep. Back then, I had never heard anyone else talk about this. Motherhoid was all glorious, fulfilling and joyful. And it is… overall.

  17. Sandy

    Wonderful, I felt conected. IT’s ok not to enjoy every minute. That’s exactly how I felt. It doesn’t mean that I love my babies less… Love them more that ever before.

  18. Sonshyne Wayner

    When we say “enjoy every minute” or some similar comment, we aren’t trying to exert pressure. What we’re trying not to do is tell you that it never gets any easier! In fact it just gets harder. And we know that would be very hard for you to believe. We also know you probably don’t want to hear that. What we’re trying to say is these are the easiest years, so squeeze every second of joy out of it that you can because you are going to need that later. Get all the sloppy hugs and innocent kisses that you can and store them in your heart. Look into those sweet babies eyes and let your heart swell with love given and received. You’ll need that later.
    I’m 50 now with eight great kids, oldest is 30, youngest 13, and I’m seriously waiting on this whole parenting gig to get easier. I’m starting to suspect it never will. My kids are great, they really are, but oh if I could go back to the toddler days when a kiss made everything better, you almost always knew where they were, and your biggest battle was what color sippy cup! They really truly are wonderful busy crazy exhausting days! But they really truly are such wonderful days!
    We aren’t trying to pressure you – and you shouldn’t pressure yourself either – we’re just doing the best we can to tell you what we wish we had known.

  19. revronbennett

    When I was a single dad of four I remember times I just fell on the bed three hours of sleep is a good night I learned to find joy in the moment because like you said there are a lot of days when doing what’s necessary isn’t the most Joyous. I will pray for your family and may 2018 be a year of laughter and great things

  20. Ashley

    This is everything I’ve thought but didn’t want to admit during the hardest struggles because I thought that others would judge me for not enjoying every minute. I LOVE your blog! I’ve been sharing to my fellow mom friends who feel the same way. 😊❤️

  21. angelinaenglish

    Wonderfully written! So true. I have a 7 month old, and I can’t believe how fast the time is going by. There were hard times, but I’m constantly wishing I could relive those times when my baby was younger because I can’t keep up with how fast the time goes by!

  22. southernmamasecrets

    My step mom and MIL both shared the world famous blog on enjoying every moment this morning.. I have always been so put off by the phrase, but I couldn’t find the words- you nailed it.

  23. mamaofkings

    Completely agree with you! As a mama of 3 ages 3 and under, I can 100% relate to this. Moms don’t need to be reminded of where they went wrong, or be pressured into feeling differently about their situation. I’m sure we all realize the blessings that come with Motherhood, but the support through the bad days is what we REALLY need.

    I’m a new blogger, myself, and a lot of my content will be geared towards the support aspect and letting other moms know they aren’t alone! I’d appreciate it if you would check it out when you get a chance! mamaofkings.wordpress.com

  24. Pingback: Please Stop Telling Moms To Enjoy Every Minute – Her View From Home

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