“Enjoy every minute.” When I became a new mother, I heard this all the time. Strangers would come up to me in the drug store, ignoring my dark circles and greasy hair, and tell me every moment is precious. I would smile, thank them, and roll my eyes as soon as they walked away. Enjoy every minute? Are you kidding? I was just trying to survive every minute. Every time I heard that comment I swore to myself I would never say that to a fellow mother. Having a newborn was hard, plain and simple. I didn’t have time to ‘enjoy the moment’ between cluster feeds, lack of sleep, and worrying over every little thing.
I now have a nine month old girl who is crawling, very loquacious (baby babbling to the max), and growing every single day. It seems like she’s learning some new cute trick every week. She’s a tiny human – complete with unique facial expressions, favorite nonsense words, and attitude. She mostly sleeps through the night, she eats well, and her doctor tells me she’s healthy. Suddenly I have time for myself again, and funny enough – I enjoy every moment I have with my girl.
Now that I’ve got the hang of momming, I get it. I understand why the seasoned mothers would approach me and my newborn and tell me “it goes by so fast.” I understand why people say “enjoy it while it lasts.” Even though some of them were hard, I am so glad for every moment I’ve had with my girl. For every difficult moment we went through – the blowouts, the sleepless nights, immunizations – there were the precious moments too. Her first smile, first laugh, even her first sneeze. Those are all moments I will never get back.
Soon enough, I’ll be back at work and wishing for all the time with my kid. I’ll wish for the tickles and the toys, the midnight cuddles and the slobbery kisses. I’ll look at the new mom in the grocery store, trying to pop a soother into their fussy babies mouth, and fight back the urge to tell her to enjoy this. I’ll be wishing I could go back in time and truly enjoy all of it.
People say “enjoy every minute,” because so many of those minutes in your baby’s life will only get to be experienced for the first time once. That is what is so precious, and that is what us mom’s crave to hold onto. So yes, it’s cliche and sometimes irritating to hear – but really, Mama’s. Enjoy every minute. You only get to be a first-time mom once, and your baby is only a baby for so long.