An older couple reminds one mom to cherish the moments when the kids are little
Parents of young kids are regularly told to “savor every moment” by parents who have forged the way before us. It’s a well-intentioned reminder, but sometimes there truly are moments you never want to remember — because parenting young kids is surely not for the weak.
One mom recently shared a conversation she had with a senior couple during a particularly chaotic day, and it was a welcome lesson on living in the moment.
Anna Strode, the mom behind @bubs2bikinis, describes what went down during a disastrous family trip to a local cafe.
Strode was in the middle of juggling three restless kids –one of whom was crying, one of whom was running amok, and cleaning up a spilled drink. “Part of me wanted to laugh but the other half of me wanted to sit down on the ground and cry while screaming ‘Help me, I’m exhausted and I just can’t MUM today!'”
We’ve all been there. In that chaotic, panic-driven moment when you’re sweaty and stressed and trying to wrangle your kids and make them all happy — an impossible, monumental task. Especially in a public setting. In the midst of the mess, Strode heard an old man whisper to his wife, “Those were the best days of our lives.”
“I turned and smiled ‘REALLY?!’ And the little old man and lady both nodded at me as Mrs. Old Lady said
the best by far.'”
Strode says the chaotic scene unfolding around her suddenly didn’t seem so painful anymore. “I wanted to bottle it up and STOP time because I realized in that moment, that one day my babies will be all grown up with their own babies and they won’t need me anymore.”
Isn’t that the truth? Parents with little ones are absolutely, 100% justified in their stress and anxiety. But with every new milestone, with each passing year, our kids let us know that in certain ways, they need us a little less.
“It suddenly dawned on me that one day that will be Rhett and I sitting at a cafe watching young mums and dads with their babies and wishing our babies hadn’t grown up so quickly,” she writes. “Those eight words have been on replay in my head since I heard them 2 days ago. It really struck a cord with me.”
“The comment from the old man haas truly helped me see even the hardest days as a gift,” Strode tells Scary Mommy. “It’s really made me try and focus to live in the moment and enjoy each day, even the most challenging ones! I’m loving that sharing this has also helped other moms stop and appreciate these days. We’re all in this together, and if I can help other moms see the good in the challenges, then that makes me feel happy.”
As our children grow, the crying jags and temper tantrums get shorter and eventually disappear altogether, but the cuddles and comfort sessions get a little shorter too. Watching our little ones get older, more independent, and “easier” is the definition of bittersweet.
“One day we’re going to miss all this,” Strode concludes. “Sure, these days can be hard, they can be testing, they can be down right challenging but I bet you a million bucks, they will be the best damn days of our lives.”
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