The days are long, but the years are short

That is my favorite parenting quote, but I’d like to revise that to include the following:

The hours are long, especially that hour right before dinner when your kids are whining for a snack, but dinner is about 5 minutes away from being finished.

The minutes are long, especially the 5 minutes you have to wait for your kid to poop in a port-o-potty while Not. Touching. Anything. Or the 2 minutes that your toddler is flipping out in his high chair because he wants to eat MORE WAAAAAfffles (and not the eggs or fruit that will do his body good.)

And then time speeds up and you look at your 6 ½, 5, and 2 year old children and recall memories of them being born. Being able to carry them in the crook of one arm or being able to stand under the kitchen table – just remembering them in a younger, smaller, more vulnerable state. I’m sure this parental nostalgia of younger days will continue as the kiddos get older and continue to blossom into teenagers, young adults and beyond.

When other people would tell me that “It goes by so fast!”, I never really believed it. Parenthood will be filled with both moments that you want to pause and moments where you want to fast forward a little bit, and I find a biggest challenge is in staying in the moment. I’m working on it, but it definitely takes some practice.

Having three kids in different stages helps me appreciate that the moments I want to ‘fast forward’ will eventually pass. It reminds me that whatever phase my kids are in, it’ll likely change in a couple of weeks, months or maybe years. Whether it’s being afraid of balloons or never wanting to wear shirts with buttons; whether it’s never wanting to wear jeans or always wanting to wear a headband; or whether its obsessing over flags and clocks, the phase will likely end or morph into something different.

Yes, the days are long (as are the hours and minutes), and the years are definitely short. I realize that I won’t enjoy every minute, but I hope that I’m enjoying most of the days the best I can.

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