Saturday #286

brother-and-sister-on-swing

The other night, I read an piece from No Regrets Parenting entitled, “How To Spend More Quality Time With Your Child.” In the first paragraph, author Dr. Rotbart suggests that rather than struggling to increase the quantity of time you spend with your family, focus on increasing the quality of memorable moments with them.

It appeared that Dr. Rotbart and I shared a similar parenting philosophy, so I continued reading. I had no idea I was about to get a glimpse of something far worse than the sight of a nit on a hair shaft or the contents of a sippy cup of milk after four months under the bed.

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In fact, mid-way through the article, I looked down and wondered if that was sweat or tears filling the spaces between my computer keys. And surely those guttural sobbing noises I was hearing were not coming from me.

What was going on here?

Well, I can tell you; it was this line: “There are only 940 Saturdays between a child’s birth and her leaving for college. That may sound like a lot, but how many have you already used up? If your child is 5 years old, 260 Saturdays are gone. Poof!”

Whoa. Hold on a minute, Dr. Rotbart. Did you just tell me I only have 680 Saturdays left with my youngest child?

Given the fact that the doctor used the pronoun “her” and the example age of 5, it did seem that he was, in fact, personally delivering this bad news to me.

And I wasn’t taking it well.

In fact, the further I read into the article, the more emotional my reaction became. I felt my eyes and mouth grotesquely contort into the “ugly cry face.” You know the one: snot runs down your nose into your mouth, and you don’t even care because you’re so distraught.

Blame the hysterical breakdown on this paragraph: “Picture their tousled bedrooms as clean and empty. See the backseat of the car vacuumed and without a car seat or crumbs … Then rewind the imaginary clock back to now, and see today’s minutes of mayhem for what they are: finite and fleeting.”

The thought of Express Car Wash Guy no longer needing to call in back up with hazmat suits when I pulled up actually made my lip quiver. I couldn’t bear to imagine the day my car would be void of treasures like a fossilized teething biscuit from 2001 or the beloved one-armed Polly Pocket that I thought we left poolside at Holiday Inn in 2005.

I realized I was TOTALLY missing the positive message of the article. Yet, I couldn’t get past the fact that I had been living my life unaware of the fact that there is an exact number of Saturdays before my kids permanently leave the house.

I cursed the hospital staff for neglecting to inform me that my newborn baby came with “minutes,” just like a pre-paid phone card. And just as one who had carelessly wasted calling minutes by drunk-dialing, making prank phone calls, and multi-tasking while talking, I felt desperate to get those minutes back.

But it was hopeless.

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I could envision the sour faced sales manger of “Minutes With Your Children,” shaking her unsympathetic head at me.

“I am sorry, Ma’am. You HAD 940 on your card and now you only have 680. I cannot give you a refund just because you now decide you shouldn’t have spent your credits bitching and moaning about lack of sleep, dirty clothes on the floor, and not being able to go to the bathroom by yourself.”

I was sobbing uncontrollably now. I didn’t know how I would break it to my husband. How could I tell him we had a deficit of 260 on “the card” for our youngest child? (And God only knows the even smaller number of minutes left on “the card” for our oldest child.)

But I never had the chance to tell him.

As soon as my backside hit the couch where my husband sat, my older child came wandering in. Having been asleep for several hours, she was squinty eyed, groggy, and had hair sticking up in ten different directions—she never looked so beautiful.

My child then spoke three words, which up until the moment I heard the ticking clock of “Saturdays Gone By,” were the LAST words I ever wanted to hear at 10 p.m. when I finally sat down to relax.

“I can’t sleep,” she gurgled and then burst into tears.

I bolted from my seat as if she had just announced they were giving out free chair massages and margaritas in her room. I didn’t even consider debating with my husband about whose turn it was to tuck in the unwelcomed sleepwalker. What was happening at that moment was a dream come true. I was being given some time back on “the card;” I was receiving the impossible refund!

As my child and I laid in the darkness of her bedroom, I began rubbing her tummy just like I did when she was a baby. Immediately, I wondered how many “Belly Rub Credits” were left on “the card.” Determining that she was almost 9 and might possibly decide at ANY DAY she is too old for this, I proceeded to rub until my arm lost all feeling and bordered on permanent nerve damage.

Soon my child was breathing heavily in a peaceful slumber. I studied her face. After all, she was still here, under my roof, in my care. In 680 Saturdays, she’d be getting ready to head out of her college dorm room without a coat wearing shoes that would eventually lead to back problems. After drinking “Boones Farm” straight from the bottle, she would dance all night with a gaggle of friends, and then eat a non-organic hot dog handled by a street vendor who very rarely washed his hands.

Needless to say, I cried myself to sleep that night.

The next day, my mental state had not improved. My thought process centered around “the card.” How many more episodes of Little House on the Prairie will we watch together before my kids stage a revolt and demand iCarly? How many more times will I watch her sweetly pluck the strings on her tiny ukulele before she dyes her hair pink and decides to play the drums?

While some of my new “awareness” was causing positive behavior change, thinking in terms of the time I had left was making me feel sad. It was also preventing me from living in the moment, which is what my “Hands Free” journey is all about.

I decided to take a moment to look inward. Why was I having such an intense feeling about the information in this article? Why did Dr. Rotbart’s message strike such a chord in me?

Maybe because the other morning, she made her own scrambled egg all by herself.

Maybe because the two of them walked to a neighbor’s house down the street and kindly told me they wouldn’t need me to accompany them anymore.

Maybe because while shopping for spring clothes they informed me they only wanted to match on “special occasions” from now on.

Maybe because we recently boxed up books to take to Goodwill, and they had no trouble tossing in beloved favorites that had been read to them at least a thousand times.

Maybe when the two of them sing in the car, I strain to detect one ounce of baby voice in their musical stylings and hear none.

Maybe because time is fleeting and I can feel it, see it, mourn it … so much more than I could in the long, exhausting baby days.

Maybe because my kids don’t need me as much anymore, and I realize this is just the start of what’s to come.

Although I know calculating how much time I have on “the card” is not a healthy, nor is it a productive way to live, I don’t regret reading that article. I needed the wake up call it produced. I needed to be shaken and reminded that having to sweep up the crumbs beneath their chairs every single night is not really a “problem.”

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I needed to be reminded that each time she still grasps my hand as we cross a busy street or asks me to “c‘mere” so she can show me a ladybug are moments to stop and savor.

I needed to be reminded that I could complain a bit less, cherish a bit more, let go of the have-tos and live a little more.

Because God knows, that day will come when I stand inside her closet, and I will be able to see the floor. There will be no brightly-colored clothes haphazardly hung from hangers along the narrow walls, no dirty clothes that had missed the mark of the hamper.

And I will place my hand on all that is left. And when I do, I will be so grateful that I hugged her that day rather than scolding her for writing her name on the wall of the closet.

That day was Saturday #286. It was the day I realized time was fleeting, and a moment of exasperation is as much a gift of time as is a moment of joy; it just comes without the pretty packaging.

About the writer

Rachel has been providing readers with simple, non-intimidating, and motivating methods to let go of distraction and connect with their loved ones since starting the blog "Hands Free Mama" in 2010. She lives in Alabama with her husband and two children who inspire her daily. Her book, Hands Free Mama, is in stores now.

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Soul 12 months ago

I have 927 Saturdays left. Just turning three months, she’s already so long she’s fitting in to 12 month clothes, her six month clothes are starting to get too small already. I started crying today when I realized she’s growing up too fast for me. She’s not going to be my LITTLE Little Bit, she’ll be big…I don’t want her to grow up so fast, I want to cherish every moment. She’s already getting two teeth trying to cut in, she’s started bracing herself up on her arms for tummy time, she’s rolling over…she ‘walks’ when we hold her upright. She’s going too fast for me. I don’t want her firsts to pass me by, but I’m afraid they have already started. I missed her first real smile, and I didn’t take the time to notice exactly what the crIes meant as her teeth are starting to come through. 927 Saturdays is not nearly long enough…

Britta Love Spencer 12 months ago

I work every Saturday. Now I feel like Shit. I would say “but we always enjoy our weeknights together” but now I’ve lost those nights off from work too. So I get to spend weekday mornings from 6:15 am until 7:45 am and weekday afternoons from 3:30 until 5pm with them. Yes, that’s only 3 (very busy) hours per day with my children.

Whitney Shaffer 12 months ago

I don’t like this approach and won’t be spending time worrying about how many days I have left before my son leaves for college. To me, it seems like a waste of time and a source of stress.

LMB 12 months ago

They still need you. Even more as they get older. Just in different ways. As they grow, you will grow, and they will keep you on your toes.

Chantelle Esteb Morris 12 months ago

^so true!!

Marlo Nittoli Boehlke 12 months ago

This was a great read. Definitely got me teary eyed!!

Shelly Suderman Loving 12 months ago

My kids only have 940 to be a kid… Playing with friends, going to camp, being carefree…with or without me.

Amber Justis 12 months ago

Awww this is a sweet reminder for sure Marissa Iniguez. Especially after Nick Dilts and I have been struggling with jaymasons sleeping lately lol

Nicole Lynn 12 months ago

This did not make me cry. I’m not a mom who feels the need to calculate how many Saturdays are left before they leave the house. I live in the present moment, and enjoy each day. Focusing so much on the “future” takes away from the here and now. We just enjoyed a coloring contest in the kitchen with my 3 year old and 8 year old after lunch. I felt everyone had a good time, and I’m not thinking to myself “another Sunday lost!”. I rejoice as my children grow up, and do enjoy time with my spouse (we went to dinner last night, kid free). Each moment in parenting is wonderful, from infancy to them going to college. Just enjoy the experience and live in the present. There is nothing to be sad about, and if there is, change whatever it is that you are doing.

Kia-Lynne Silverman 12 months ago

Considering I just experienced my 2nd Saturday without my Girl this really made me cry

Jennifer Duncan 12 months ago

Just yesterday I napped with my little one. I woke up before her. I picked her up and laid her almost three year old body on my belly and held her til she woke. I enjoyed every snore, drool and scratch from her jagged toe nails

Jennifer Duncan 12 months ago

What a lucky family you have!!!

Vicky Lynn 12 months ago

Stupidy stinky tears ::sniff::

Melissa Colella 12 months ago

Here in Toronto your kids need to know how to write their name, the alphabet and how to count to 20 before entering kindergarten. So I send my oldest to preschool, read to her and spend time teaching her.

Teresa Heath 12 months ago

If it was art we would have no problem. It’s flash cards. 100 high frequency words and the alphabet.

Megan Arbster 12 months ago

This story was poorly written. We all experience these feelings, but that’s part of aging and growing up. Try splitting your time with another family because of split custody, now that really sucks. You can waste your time being depressed and pathetic about it, or you can choose your parenting moments. Not everyone is perfect, but the moments that count can be remembered for a long time.

Jeiselyn Angelica Del Barro-Selva 12 months ago

I’m that mom that likes everything neat, and tidy.. Haven’t realized that I have about the same number of Saturdays left with my daughter as well.. I spend as much time as I can with both my children. They are all I think about, the whole entire day. But again, I do nag at them for leaving a mess, or making a mess on themselves when I just finished bathing them. Useless and selfish am I? I think so… I’m so glad I read this. ❤️ (& yes, I am BALLING my eyes out. Don’t care what anyone says about it.)

Kristy Thresher 12 months ago

Great read, but actually a sad realization!!

Rekha 12 months ago

That was a really beautiful and moving post. I hace two girls aged 5 and 8. I have an OCD for cleanliness because of which I keep shouting at them and scolding them. Your post made me cry for all those silly reasons because of which I have lost Saturdays. Indeed a much needed wake up call.

Natalie Summers 12 months ago

Love this x

Hollie Brown 12 months ago

Mostly everyone on here are haters of this article and say the devote every waking hour of their day to their kids-

Cynthia Jones 12 months ago

Love this article! I’m cherishing every Saturday with my little ladies, especially the ones without soccer games :)

Cindy Bryant 12 months ago

Hugs to you Christine Baldo Sturges and your mother.

Keeva Williams 12 months ago

If me and my daughter have a bond like my mom and I. It will be better than her being small. I will have a new best friend to talk, cry, and laugh with. Me and my mom have a bond like no other. I was her baby, her youngest now I’m her best friend. I use that with caution I respect her as my mom, but we are there for each other and we talk about everything. It just goes from one loving phase to the next. I miss her being a baby, is why I still have her pic on my Facebook, but she will be an awesome woman that I will love even more. I love her more and more each day. She started head start 3 months ago, I cried the first three days, but when I watched her grow so much it made me happy about something else. I was a full time mom and student for the first 3 years of her life. Those were VERY hard times. I lived off of my GI Bill and had her 24/7 GLUED to me. I’m also glad to have some time alone as some others have stated.

Danny Lindsay Smith 12 months ago

Time really does fly…. I think it’s important to remember that we really only get a little bit of time with them and that we have the power to make their childhood memories happy ones. My oldest is 16 and my youngest is turning 2… I am already looking back wondering where all the time went and thankful for all the good memories we have made this far…

Christine Baldo Sturges 12 months ago

My parents had a little more w my sister but still not enough. Hugs.

Krystal Who 12 months ago

So glad I don’t get sitters constantly and go out. So glad I choose to drink at home, when I feel the need.

Belle Sommerfeld 12 months ago

Krystal Who :( not enough time in their little lives

carol 12 months ago

I really needed to read this , after spending last night yelling at my 12, 10 , 8 and 5 year old about the constant mess and noise, I put them to bedtelling them how naughty they were and I myself went to bed angry at them. Reading this has reminded me about whats important,

Heather Sage-Hartery 12 months ago

So, so good.

Brooklyn Willett 12 months ago

SAHM here, too. With the same husband. It breaks my heart that he just doesn’t ‘get it’. He works so hard to provide for us, but I’m constantly trying to remind him that this is the shortest span in their lives and the time when they ‘need’ us the most. Often times, he seems resentful of me when the kids want me over him. Aside from the fact that I’m with them 24/7, they know I ‘want’ to be with them. They already pick up on his frustration and lack of patience… Sure hope he has a heart change while there’s time left on the ‘card’.!

Olga Mecking 12 months ago

I don’t get this. I don’t understand when mothers cry that their children won’t need them so much anymore, or when they become more independent. This is what it’s about. It means that the children are healthy and well. It means that we’re doing our jobs well. And thinking “I only have so much time left” makes me totally stressed out.

Julie DeFrancesco Fletcher 12 months ago

Amen sister!!! I’m sorry but I don’t feel any ticking clock, we just spent every waking second together all summer long…with the age range of my 3, it’s 15 hours a day, every day, of time with a kid. My kids are loved and taken care of, no guilt over not creating “moments”.

Julie DeFrancesco Fletcher 12 months ago

I share the exact same feelings. My husband will go days without seeing the kids because of his work hours. Then when he’s home will sleep late, be on his phone, has to do something else etc. It’s a broken record here, and really sad. :(

Patricia Gitersos 12 months ago

SM why do you always make my eyes leak?

Cindy Guentert-Baldo 12 months ago

Honestly, this didn’t make me cry for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I am divorced, so I’ve lost half my saturdays (half my weeks, really) with the kids. Secondly, I work Saturday mornings (oh, the joy of retail). I love the sentiment on focusing on quality time over quantity, which I do my best to do, but so much of my reality is losing time with my kids that totaling up the lost Saturdays doesn’t smack me around so much. I will say, however, that I am enjoying their current ages (8 and 10) WAAAAAY more then baby or toddlerhood. 😉

Abigail Michael 12 months ago

Deep breaths!! Lol

Chantelle Esteb Morris 12 months ago

The point of this comment is that yes, we have a limited number of weekends (or days, hours, minutes) with our kids while they are young. We get that. Putting a finite number on it makes it even more real. But some of us aren’t the type of women who are gasping and sobbing at the fact that our kids are going to grow up. We’re not all the type who can’t comprehend one single second away from our babies. We’re not judging the mamas who ARE like that. But for the love of all mighty, there are over worked and overwhelmed moms who DO enjoy a break now and again and we shouldn’t be judged for that either.

MyLove M. Barnett 12 months ago

I seriously didn’t get “super mom” out of this, or any implication that would add to “mom guilt”. It’s a perspective piece, that’s all. You know how when you’re bitching about how your 3 year old won’t sleep in his own bed, or how your two year old dumped juice and baby powder all over the couch, and hapless commenters say “I know it’s hard, but it all goes by so fast!” This is that. Just a beautifully written perspective piece about one woman’s realization that her kids’ childhood has an expiration date.

Jeralee Koenig 12 months ago

This post doesn’t make any sense with the point of the article…

Cindy Bryant 12 months ago

Thank you. I still have days with my boys. They keep me going and the youngest , supplies many hugs. Lol.

Laura Starkweather 12 months ago

My son is 2 days old & I’m sobbing.

Dawn Pelej 12 months ago

Print out the article and leave it in the bathroom. That is what I do when I want my husband to read something :)

Sandra Ludden Najemy 12 months ago

These girls look like my twins

Stacy Arnold 12 months ago

Agreed 100% :) My son is in Kindergarten this year, he already thinks he’s too old for kisses :( I cherish the moments he comes to me for love ❤️

Grace Manter 12 months ago

Not enough love in the world, but sending you some anyway! ❤️❤️

Maria Nastri 12 months ago

I wish I had read that at the start of the school holidays!!!

Grace Manter 12 months ago

Welcome to my brain! Thanking God and the people in my life that I’ve been able to go part time at work… Now I get to count our Mondays and Fridays together!

Sara Latham-Lombardi 12 months ago

Agreed Monique! I am ALWAYS with my kids! I’ve even had dentist apts with one on my lap! Lol the time I get without them only enhances the time I have with them!

Monique Fischer 12 months ago

As a stay at home mom, I have to say, this article actually made me happy. Weird I know, but I spend EVERY. SINGLE. WAKING. MOMENT with my child and she runs me ragged. I’m screen free all day long until she goes to bed at 8:30, so I kind of like the fact that there are only so many saturdays left, because I love having a Saturday to myself. Every other day of the week I am all in, so I want my Saturdays back. I love my daughter to bits, and I know time passes by in the blink of an eye, but I want to watch horror movies in the dark and not worry about my daughter waking up and coming downstairs in the middle of a gory scene. I want to sleep in instead of waking up early on a Saturday to get the cleaning and tidying done before we spend yet another day colouring, painting, and playing, just so it can all start over again the next day. I want to soak in the tub for an hour or two with a glass or two of wine instead of rushing through it with bath toys jumping me from every side. So yeah, we might just have 940 Saturdays, but we have 940 of every day of the week as well.

Sarah Kocurek 12 months ago

*sniffles* Anyone else keep a tissue or 3? :'(
This article made me regret not only what I missed out on but also my mistakes.

Kirsten Alexander 12 months ago

I’m down to 420. Looking forward to making them the best ever!

Ryann Beach 12 months ago

I read the headline to the post and thought “pssht, I won’t cry” and there I was half way thru trying to cry as silently as possible because my little one is taking a nap…

Teresa 12 months ago

I’m not going to lie, I only made it half way through your article, before I peered behind my iPhone and saw my sweet 8 week old son staring at me, as if saying “You’re missing the point, mommy.” I set the phone down, held him close, and rocked him to sleep. Then of course came back to finish the story, but I just had to stop and say thank you for reminding me to make the most Saturday #8 and the next 932 after it.

Rebecca Simmons 12 months ago

I love this!

Viviana Solórzano 12 months ago

ALL THE FEELS.

Sarah Peggins 12 months ago

This made me cry. And I dont even have kids. I have two puppies (so it kind of made me aware of how limited my saturdays are with them too. a fact i try very hard to deny) Now I have to go smoosh their cute faces and take them back to the dogpark. Cant imagine how sad people with kids feel now :(

Barbara Mastroddi-Lackey 12 months ago

Same here. My daughter still needs me, but does have those occasional moments where I’m not. It can get to you at times, but it is a part of growing up (and hoping they’ll be with you because they WANT to, not because they HAVE to).

Lisa Rolince 12 months ago

Ahh! Mommy friends, this will make you cry :(

Cindy Bryant 12 months ago

Thank you

Chantelle Esteb Morris 12 months ago

Hugs. BIG hugs :(

Rebecca S. Riblet 12 months ago

This hits home with me as I was deeply affected the other day talking to my daughters school about her new classroom and teacher. Realizing how much she is growing and developing. The simplicity of moments with her are so fleeting it makes me sad. She is changing so quickly and at only 31/2 I miss the “baby” she used to be. I have to be reminded sometimes that her little world is so important to her to share with us and even though I’m exhausted from working all day and have laundry to do, a house to clean and a meal to make etc… I have to remember this chaos of life is only for a short time considering I can still remember the strain in my back from “baby wearing” and complaints about sleepless nights like it was yesterday.

Chantelle Esteb Morris 12 months ago

If you are a mother of five, you ARE a super mom!!!!
And I understand what you mean. Yes, my daughter is absolutely the love of my life and I would literally die for her, no question. But the weekends she spends with grandma? So awesome! Am I spending that weekend partying it up at a club? Uh, no, I’m in my jammies watching law and order or reading a good book. Nothing wrong with admitting you enjoy a child free weekend (or moment), dammit :)

Shari Wippert 12 months ago

As a stay at home mom who spends all my time with my girls, the one thing this article made me wish for was that my husband would read this. He doesn’t get that his time with our girls is limited and would rather spend his free time sleeping, or gaming rather than playing legos with our oldest, or jumping with our middle daughter (her favorite game is to hold hands and jump till she falls down and then have me tickle her) or cuddle with the baby as much as possible before she gets to old for that. It makes me sad and alittle angry that he doesn’t realize how much quality time he’s missing out on.

Helen Hatfield 12 months ago

I thought I heard my 13 month old after reading this jumped up to give him a cuddle. But no he’s flat out…I want a cuddle!!:p

Sarah Barfoot 12 months ago

Defo made me cry

Cindy Bryant 12 months ago

385 Saturdays I had with my girl. I wish I had one more.

Geneva Robb 12 months ago

This is so good

Leah Liston 12 months ago

I needed to read this. I let the little things bother me, the lack of sleep, balls bouncing everywhere in the house, crayons left out. The day will come where I am gonna want that all back.
I am not gonna waste anymore Saturdays :)

Bonnie Sajbel Cote 12 months ago

Now I see why the hashtag is in ALL CAPS. Beautifully written.

Claudia Schink 12 months ago

Another super Mom article.Sorry I am not one of them,wait…I’m not sorry.I am a imperfect working Mother of five who enjoys Kids free time,if I have 900 Saturdays left or 20.

Kristen Washburn 12 months ago

It makes you realize what is really important.

Sarah Richardson 12 months ago

Life is cruel and unfair. Everything is just so hard when they are little that we all keep wishing it would move faster, and then in an instant they will be grown and we will wish to go back. Sigh.

Amy Anderson Radosevich 12 months ago

It made me cry and I have a 9 week old and haven’t slept in 9 wks!

Melissa Colella 12 months ago

Changed our plans tonight! We can see a movie alone when the girls ( 3 yrs & 11 months) are in university. My husband thinks I’m crazy lol

Serena Alexandria Marie 12 months ago

Stupid non waterproof mascara..

Emily Hone 12 months ago

annnnnd enter the ugly cry…

Tara Noonan Diehl 12 months ago

move to someplace like Germany where almost everything is closed on Sundays. No stores and bakeries only til noon. I really disliked it when i moved here but it does make you take time off. And for those with families it is usually good family bonding time…

Stacy Arnold 12 months ago

This instantly depressed me :(

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Hands Free Mama 3 years ago

Sasha, I am so, so sorry. Thank you for sharing your experience so that we can all hold our children a little tighter and remember to trust that little voice when something feels off. May God bless you and give you strength. Sending you love and peace, dear one.

Roxanne 3 years ago

If you are divorced and there is a visitation order, cut the number of Saturdays in half.

Sasha 3 years ago

Little did I know that our lives would never be the same after August. It was the most heartbreaking gut renching HORIFFIC time in my life, husband’s and siblings life. I knew I was getting signal,after signal of warnings in a way but my mind would say thats ok because of what ever. LQQK for distractions that were always in the way. Losing a child to murder is the the worst nightmare a stay at home mommy any mommy can even begin to try and endure. Our youngest son 16 is usually always with us and he took it the hardest of them all. His chronic illness kicked back in. He was almost teased about the siblings death and his favorite sport almost killed him. He will not go back to school even when he gets better. Stress is the real kicker. I am for what makes him happy and not about forcing him to go back. Although I tried because I was being told by family members it’s just wrong. He is well rounded but when murder that could have been totally avoided wasnt, I must think of him. He has been bribed, threatened, received the cold shoulder, his answer is no. I begged only. He saw death knocking 70 years too early at his sibling’s door and now he wants to stay home. He can get a diploma and he can socialize when he is feeling better. He is mature beyond his years. I will support him and will not smother him. I only have a hard time crying and not having him catch me. I think we take our children sometimes for granted. I must be careful to not go to the time thing. It will screw up my head for good. My son needs me more than ever or I would be with that sibling right now. God bless and don’t trust anyone. If your gut tells you to do something ignore the lazy mind and do it for God’s sake! It will save lives.

Heidi Bryan 3 years ago

This post was exactly what I needed to see after yesterday. My two children tried to send me over the edge in the final hours of our day together. I greeted my husband with a “thank God you are home, I just opened the vodka.” last night. I even shed a few tears just thinking about the prospect of so few Saturdays being left to spend with my sweet babies, especially since I only work Saturdays and Sundays so that I can be home with them during the week. Thanks for the reality check :) I am adding your blog to my reading list.

Kate 3 years ago

This makes me sad to think that one day my best friend will be all grown up . She is 5 now going on 20 . I was never close to my mom until after I had her and I believe that she was born so that I could be close to my mother . I get mad at my daughter when she gets out of control but then I realize that the things I get mad about I should not because the real problems don’t start until they are big enough to tell you they don’t need you anymore . I cherish every day that I do get to spend with her and this makes me cherish it even more

Christa the BabbyMama 3 years ago

I am a clock watcher, and it’s hard for me to see the positive in his message or your message even though I know it is right there in front of my face. I’m a day counter, a count-downer, which is a downer. How many Saturdays do I have left? I think about it even more that I’m at work and she’s at daycare. Her first two years? Felt lengthy. Uninterrupted. Glorious and long and slow. Now? Time, it flies. And it scares me.

Sarah 3 years ago

*reminding, I meant to write. Sorry…mommy brain! ;p

Sarah 3 years ago

This is a beautiful post. Got me a little weepy. Every night I sweep under my baby’s high chair and it can sometimes feel like just another “chore” – thank you for remindeding me to put things into perspective. I waited years to be able to have such a daily chore to perform! And someday that sweet baby boy won’t need me to clean up after him. (Sigh.)

Student Mom 3 years ago

Yes!

Michelle 3 years ago

Very good post. I know how you feel, my daughter left for college last fall and I wish I could go back.

Carrie 3 years ago

Oh, goodness…when you break it down like that, it puts a whole new spin on time and the important things in life.

And certainly helps prioritize on what is and isn’t important.

Great read.

Michelle Saunderson 3 years ago

I found this utterly depressing considering I am divorced, so I have to split the Saturday’s with my ex….so my teens have even less time with me….

Lollie – The Fortuitous Housewife 3 years ago

Fab post! I giggled while reading, and there’s still a lump in my throat.

My guys are 6.75 & 4.75 (they demand full credit for their aging) and I feel the poignancy of these fleeting moments of full-time Momming on a daily basis.

I work from home, so it’s so easy to just run upstairs to finish one last email, make one more call, but then I’ll tuck them in that evening & realize how little time we actually spent interacting or connecting that day. So I’ve been working on once they are home from school, disconnecting from my stuff & reconnecting with them. With just a minimum of effort and imagination even laundry or a trip the Trader Joe’s can be fun.

Thanks for shring. Thanks for reminding us to cherish the fleeting.

Cassie 3 years ago

I have been feeling this way too. My son is turning 2 in two weeks, and I can’t believe how quickly time has gone. I know that people say this all the time, but now I can really see that “if you blink, you will miss it” saying is true.

Just Jennifer 3 years ago

I LOVE this. For so many reasons. Like, because my children are growing up and because my husband has major health problems. Really great!

Marta 3 years ago

I had read/heard about the Saturday thing too. I wish I had had a similar reaction to it. I know I should be more appreciative of every Saturday that I have left but I need to get so much done on the weekends and sometimes its hard to slow down when its my only time to run errands, clean, etc and then get brief moments of me time. I need more Saturdays. Many more Saturdays. Or perhaps a clone of myself.

Michelle Evans 3 years ago

I needed that! Thank you so much! Headed to hug my precious 3 year old girl right now!

Hands Free Mama 3 years ago

Thank you, Marisol, and EVERYONE who took the time to write such positive comments about my blog post! It is quite an amazing feeling to feel “understood” as a parent and affirmed as a writer all at once—which is what all of you have done with your messages here. I am truly grateful!

Marisol 3 years ago

Thanks for the marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading it, you could be a great author.I will make sure to bookmark your blog and will eventually come back someday. I want to encourage that you continue your great writing, have a nice day!

Mary 3 years ago

I can’t thank you enough for sharing this. After I stopped sobbing, fear crept in … I’ve wasted so many Saturdays running around getting “my stuff” done, wishing the hours away til bedtime when I’d get a break. After reading your beautiful post, I hope to slow down and be truly present for the little moments with my girls (3 & 8) tomorrow. Thank you!

Mir 3 years ago

This is brilliant. A must read for all parents .

Cory 3 years ago

I like the way you think! My kiddos are young, 5, almost 4, and 18 mos. I love them and really do cherish the time together, but hopefully they will become people who can stand on their own someday! I pray for them that they become wonderfully passionate, independent women who make a real difference in the world! I love watching it all unfold :) Oh and I’ll vote for a sewing room! hehe…

Wendy 3 years ago

Very nicely written. You have to savor every moment. One of those annoying things my Mom always said about my brothers and I. “I put you on the kindergarden bus in the morning and you came home in the afternoon graduating high school’. I cannot tell you how true it is. My oldest is in college/living at home. I also have one in 10th grade and one in 4th. I am still in shock at how fast that high school graduation came. I’m so happy I savored the time I had with them. I used to cry thinking of them growing and and leaving too. Right now, they drive me nuts (my oldest’s boyfriend also lives with us *on the couch* so I’ve gained a teen). I’ve been telling my friends the teenage years are to get the parent ready for the child to move out. But with that said, I don’t know what I will do when they do.
I’m so happy I savored the moments we all had together as a family. The wonderful family vacations we had together, just the four of us. I know it helped shape the adults I’m having the pleasure of watching them become.
And chin up. Who says they will move out forever at 18? With the price of college and the size of the student loans some of our kids will graduate with……we may be able to add MANY Saturdays to that card.
(Just have to end with a giggle).

Sarah 3 years ago

I’m counting myself lucky that we have so many kids and so many more Saturdays. It takes the sting out of having an almost 17 year old. I loved this SO much!

Meredith Johns 3 years ago

Eloquent, profound and gut-wrenchingly true…oh how this post resonated with me. Thank you sincerely for the heart-felt and brutally honest kick in the ass reminder I needed to be present and savor my sweet girls while they’re still young enough to want me around. I’m too afraid to calculate how many Saturdays I’ve spent griping about how the dog just pooped out Polly Pockets shoes because they leave accessories all over the living room floor or complaining about how carelessly they let their Popsicles drip all over the front of the new dressed their Nana just bought them or how desperately I just want them to puh-leeze go to sleep and not beg for one more book or one more story so I can have an hour of uninterrupted grown-up time in front of the television. You are sooo right. It’s all finite and fleeting and I’m frightened of how much time I may have wasted already worrying about insignificant things. I can’t wait until tomorrow! This Saturday I am going to let them drip all over themselves, let the toys stay a scattered mess, and read as many books as they ask me too and I will relish in it all! Many, many thanks!

Shirley@motivatedmommyoftwo 3 years ago

Thank you for this post, everything about it struck a cord with me. From now on I am going to cherish every time I have left with them because I never realized that time is running out.

Erica Stevens 3 years ago

Thank you for your last lines in your article as they sum it up completely. I so agree that I too could complain less and live for the moment far more. Thank you for making me think!

kazza 3 years ago

I gave up work last year to spend time with my daughter b4 she starts school next year. Having worked with pre-5 children for 20 years I thought “easy looking after just one”. But I found it hard. After reading ur blog, it made ne realise how precious my time is with het b4 she starts school and I slowly lose her. Thank you for reminding me how much I love her.

Michele 3 years ago

Thanks for this post! I’m sitting on the kitchen floor smiling at all the Cheerios now!

Karin 3 years ago

So beautiful! Thanks for another wonderful post, Rachel!

mom taxi julie 3 years ago

I have a friend that constantly thinks this way. “only so many _ left til they are off at college”. I feel like she spends more time doating on the fact that it’s going to be over soon instead of just enjoying the time she has.

Yes, they grow up. Hopefully we have a good enough relationship that they still want to come around after they move out. If my family is any indication my kids will hopefully not move far away and we’ll have BBQ’s once a month with everyone.

AND I’ll have a craft room! WOOT can’t wait 😉

Sweety Darlin 3 years ago

Okay I think I am officially broken! I have already past the car seat and the crumbs. I am into the changes of clothes school books and undergarments in the backseat. I stopped trying to keep the car clean and just try to be able to see carpet on the drivers side.

I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel to “GET OUT”. I want my girls to grow up, become the AMAZING women I know they are, and have their own lives and experiences and stuff.

I want to watch all that too. I am amazed at them daily, and soak up all the hugs and “mommykins can I have” moments. Then one day I will get to meet my man friend again, he is that guy that has slept next to me for more than 10 years and will be closer to 15 when they leave. He is a pretty awesome fellow too, and I wanna soak up more time with him. He kind of gets put on hold while I soak up all the mommy moments.

Kande 3 years ago

This is why I work part time now – which means delaying retirement down the road – because now is when I want the time,not when they are moved out. But with the general business of life, it is easy to miss the quality time moments. Recently though, I have been trying to tune in a lot more recently not from the finite number of Saturdays measured to when they leave home – but due to the recent press covering the abduction and murder of a child the same age as my own. While I mourn for the child I never met, I also feel obliged to realize how fortunate I am that I can keep having time with my own children. Tragedies show us how the things missed the most deeply are not necessarily the big moments, but the combination of all those little precious moments of time, moments that seem infinite until we find out that while time goes on, those moments actually do have an end; it highlightshow extraordinary the ordinary really is.

tblev 3 years ago

I have to say, I read this post while sitting in the Dr.’s office with my 18 year old daughter (who turns 19 tomorrow) and who is currently attendling college 3 hours from home. I immediately started crying. As she stared at me with a mortified look on her face, I told her-I’m not crying because I only have 240 Saturday’s left with your sister, I am crying because I don’t have any left with you and your brother! I immediately started sobbing as the Dr. walked who then proceeded to ask her about her all kinds of other embarrassing topics-as I sobbed.
As a Mom of a 22, 18 and 14 year old-thanks for the reminder to enjoy the time you have been given.

Sarah 3 years ago

Aaaaand, now I’m a mess. And I’m at work, so thanks for that 😉 Loved the piece, and it’s all true. Now I’m off to check our your blog, just as soon as I re-plan our weekend. Less spring cleaning, more tickling.

Ali 3 years ago

This is by far THE BEST blog post I have read in a very long time. And it’s times like this that I’m so glad I suck at math because I don’t even want to know how many Saturdays I have left. And now I’m pissed that I have to spend tomorrow at a darn baby shower.

Pauline 3 years ago

Beautiful post! Thank you for sharing your heart. You helped to change my perspective as well.

Hands Free Mama 3 years ago

Thank you for all these amazing and wonderful comments about my post today! What an honor to publish on the Scary Mommy blog and to be received by all of you with such love and encouragement! Thank you for reading and for hopping over to “The Hands Free Revolution” on Facebook to join me on my journey to let go of distraction and grasp the moments that matter! You have all MADE MY DAY!

Jennifer 3 years ago

OK, that should have come wiht a hankie alert!!! Thanks for the wake-up call.

Megan 3 years ago

This article really struck a cord with me because it put into words what I’ve been feeling for my 3 years of motherhood. It’s always seemed like I can hear the clock ticking; counting down the days until my one and only leaves me behind. That is so depressing. I too take time at the end of the day to snuggle my son to sleep, and yes he sleeps with me. Some people call that bad parenting because my son doesn’t know how to fall asleep himself. I say if that’s the ONLY way that I screw him up I’m doing a fine job. We actually bought a king size bed the other day to replace the full size one that my “boys” and I no longer fit in comfortably. People look at me like I have 3 heads when I say this. Honestly, I dread the day when he no longer wants to snuggle with me.

Jennifer Rustgi 3 years ago

Thanks for the reminder to cherish these moments!

Jill 3 years ago

I needed this. In the biggest way possible. And now to figure out a way to have my husband read it as well. I am mother to an 8 year old and 4 year old. As much as I hated seeing the number of Saturdays, I’ll be sitting in the rain this week watching baseball and being glad for it, happy about it, rather than wishing I was doing something else. Thank you.

Amanda 3 years ago

Wow! This post moved me! I am weeping like a child! So often I do complain and forget that in a blink of an eye all of what I complain about, I will painstakingly miss. My daughter is almost nine as well. My son is in kinder. They are my life. Thank you for sharing this beautifully written article.

Andrea 3 years ago

What a beautiful reminder to savor the moments rather than rant, bemoan and wish them away.

dtt 3 years ago

I chuckled at the sad at the loss of Saturdays. I have only maybe 10 left with my son according to this author. But I know he will always be my son, so until one of departs from this earth, I have a ton of Saturdays left. Just because your children grow up, doesn’t make them your kids.

Christina Rodriguez | The Diva’s Home 3 years ago

Love it! I am grateful that my 12 year old daughter still wants to hold my hand walking through the parking lot (sometimes). I am grateful that my 14 year old son may not want as many hugs and kisses, but still cuddles with me on the couch when we watch American Idol. I am grateful that my 9 year old daughter is still young enough for lots of hugs and kisses. I am grateful for all the kid time we still have left!

Allie | Ramblings of a WAHM 3 years ago

Thank God for Fridays and Sundays!

I get what you are saying. I almost couldn’t read most of the post because you reminded me that time is so limited with our children. Mine are 11 and 13 so most days they seem fine without me or dad. They rather do their own thing. But when we do have that special quality time they still light up. They still want to be with mom and dad! Relief! Just as long as nobody from school sees them, lol.

~Allie

Emma 3 years ago

I think this all the time… when we’ve had a rough day and all I’m waiting for is my 1 1/2 yr old to FINALLY go to sleep so that I can think for one single minute! And then he does fall asleep and I notice how big he’s gotten in the past 20 months and how quickly all that time went by. And if that time went by so quickly, the rest of it will fly by the same way. And I kiss him all over his head until he bats me away so that he can focus on dreaming. So we snuggle, because how much longer will he WANT to come to our bed and snuggle with his mum? Not forever, so obviously not long enough.
I’d like to cry in response to this post, but I’m at work. :(

a Book for My Daughter 3 years ago

This is one of the most beautifully written—and personally touching—posts I have read in a long time. You are a truly gifted writer, each and every word sucked me in. My daughter will be 12 next week, and although I have never thought of my time with her in terms of number of Saturdays, I have had those moments of realization that it is all too fleeting. Your post spoke directly to me, and I thank you for the reminder. You have a new follower. Thanks!

Amanda 3 years ago

Beautifully written post! It makes me think about the time I have left with my little guys. They’re seven years old and soon, they’ll be driving away to college. Thank you for the wake up call.

Stephanie 3 years ago

Great post! I have been thinking and wrote about exactly the same thing about a week ago (or a few days…the passage of time totally escapes me), PLUS that man has been stalking me on Twitter for a solid week now. SO, I am going to take all of this as a sign to read what he has to say (because maybe he’s not a hack after all). Thanks for ANOTHER reminder, as I lose perspective with three toddlers aged 2 and under more frequently than I care to admit. And I’m going to go Like you on Facebook, now, too. :-)

tracy@sellabitmum 3 years ago

Oh I love this so much and that article hit me quite hard too. gulp. xo

Bridget 3 years ago

WAAHHHHHH! This had me teary eyed towards the end.. i had to get up and walk away because i’m at work and i don’t need the ‘what’s wrong??’ looks and questions.. i’ve been thinking a lot about it since i have a 6 month old and a 12 year old.. i keep wondering how my 12 year old became a little man/teenager overnight! i miss him being my little baby boy.. :-(. I know better with my 6 month old.. i keep telling my husband to enjoy her at this age because they grow soooo fast!

Maureen Umehara 3 years ago

Thank you so much for sharing your struggles and insights. I know exactly how you feel. We can so easily get lost in the feeling of “missing out” on moments with our child just as much as we get lost in the struggles of every day moments with our child. I so agree that while realizing what we have lost (and will lose) is a great wake up call, it can ironically put us in a state of missing out on the current moments we don’t want to miss.

So happy to see you modelling the balancing between being aware of the struggles but staying awake to each moment….and cherishing them all whatever package they come in.

Thank you very much for sharing your struggles and insights. We can all use such a great reminder.

Amy at Best Baby Strollers 3 years ago

Love this article and your writing style. Cherish right now so you have no regrets later on. Relationships are more important than anything, especially with your children. Checking out your blog now!

Denise 3 years ago

Speechless and teary-eyed.

wadchmommy 3 years ago

Wow! As I sit here sobbing into my coffee thinking how to spend the Saturdays I have left! Thank you so much for the reminder because I have been saying “not now, maybe later” a lot lately since we are remodeling. Today when they ask to be pushed on the swings I am dropping everything!

Kate in Ohio 3 years ago

I was never a good mother of babies. I wished the crying for no apparent reason and middle of the night waking-up away as soon as possible. Now my kids are 6 and 12 and I enjoy them so much more. Looking back I don’t really miss it all that much, but I will miss the interesting conversations we have now where we talk about their young views on the world. They are so much more interesting now.

Lynn from For Love or Funny 3 years ago

Yep, I’ve got a sophomore in high school, so we don’t have many Saturdays left before college. I keep offering to “homeschool” her for grades 13-16, but she’s not interested. Go figure…

Gigi 3 years ago

Oh hell. Even though this was a beautiful post, I shouldn’t have read it. I just realized I only have about 20 more Saturdays with my only child before he heads of to college!

CJ 3 years ago

This is a beautiful post! I have a 7 month old son and this post made me count my credit left! Amazing post. Loved it!

shanan 3 years ago

Here’s to letting it go and living it up! My oldest is 9 and when she hits the big 1 0 it will be tough but she will be so happy. Now we know what our parents and grandparents meant when they wisely said ” enjoy it while it lasts, they don’t stay little very long” sigh…

Tanya Doyle 3 years ago

This post struck home for many reasons. The most obvious being that I am constantly struck by how fleeting my moments are with my boys. I catch myself trying to polaroid these moments in my mind, but I’m too aware that my “film” is not so good!

Also loved the reference to Boone’s Farm, straight from the bottle.

Chris @ CleverFather 3 years ago

Wow, this really struck close to home for this dad. My wife and two daughters have been at the in laws for a week now.

While it was a nice relaxing week, I’m not going to lie, it still feels like a week wasted. A week without bedtime stories, a week without snuggling a chilly toddler after her bath, a week without the random babbling that only the mind of a two year old can produce.

One more day then they come home! I’m going to start trying to make each Saturday better than the last, all the way up until #940!

Kristin 3 years ago

This post was beautiful!
My only son is 9 months old now and after a particularly trying night getting him down to sleep this is just what I needed :)
I want to go in and hug him, even though he took almost two hours to get down tonight.
The 1 am feeding will come soon enough. Thank you for putting it in perspective.