You don't need to cherish EVERY moment.
“Soak it all in.”
“Be happy your baby wakes up at night because those late night moments won’t last forever.”
“Cherish every single moment.”
“Put that phone down and just live in the present.”
“Tomorrow they’ll be older than they are today and you’ll never get today back.”
These are all things I’ve heard time and time again regarding motherhood and heck, they’re all things I’ve said myself. I understand the sentiment - I really do. And I truly believe that soaking in those extra baby snuggles, laughing together and experiencing those little moments are what make motherhood so incredibly special. Those moments are my favorite moments and yes, they are and should be cherished but the more I hear those words, the more they break me down.
Yesterday was a rough day for me. Franky wasn’t incredibly needy and Ava was truly an angel but for some reason, I was just so down.
I needed a break.
I texted my husband and immediately he responded, “Want me to take the kids out so you can relax at home or do you want to go out somewhere for some space and I’ll stay home with the kids.” And you know what happened when he got home from work? I took that much-needed break from the kids for maybe 5 minutes before I felt just guilt pour all over me.
So much guilt.
It wasn’t that my husband needed me, asked for me help, or any of that. It was this…
“These babies are going to be a day older tomorrow and these precious moments — reading to the kids, tucking them in, coloring or just sitting there giggling with them and soaking it all in — will be gone if I take this break tonight.” It took every ounce of my being to sit there on the couch and let my husband just dad without me. The first couple minutes were great and then it was just guilt from there on out.
I cherish my babies. I do. I cherish them more than I can describe in words. But I also get tired and overwhelmed and I need my sleep so I can be the best mom I can be. That doesn’t change the fact that my babies will wake up at night and I’ll have late night feeds and late night sicknesses and all the late night potty accidents but let me be upset about those things because I’m allowed to be tired and I’m allowed to be mad. I may cherish those 3am feeds once in a while but I can promise you that 9.99 times out of 10 when I hear that baby cry, I just want to stay in my cozy bed and just sleep.
I get burnt out, I lose my patience and I cannot possibly live in the moment, every single moment. If you can, then more power to you.
So I’m here to say (to you and to myself), you don’t need to soak it ALL in. Soak it in, but you don’t need all of it. Cherish the moments, but let there be some moments without you. Pick that phone up and aimlessly scroll to your heart’s desire. Yep, they’ll be older tomorrow - I can promise you that. But I can also promise you that a happy mom tomorrow is better than an overwhelmed mom tonight.