Parenting – the days are long but the years are short. I first saw this quote attributed to Liam Neeson but I’m not sure if he was the one who came up with this nugget of wisdom. I’ve seen it a few times since and I think it holds a lot of truth.
Most of the older generation of women I speak to about parenting always tell me the same thing; “Cherish these years, they are the best years of your life.” Somehow I already know this is true. There is such a simple beauty in the little moments. The firsts, the little things Thomas does that makes my heart melt, I couldn’t possibly love him any more.
But then there are those long days that stretch into long nights. The never ending colds, germs, sick bugs. The new phases; attachment issues, terrible twos, the irrational sides of a toddler. Being at home is often easier than taking Thomas out but sometimes those four walls feel like they have become your new best friend.
Parenting is challenging. Being away from my little boy to work so many hours tore at my heart strings so often. It wasn’t how I’d pictured motherhood to be. But then being at home with him is no picnic either. Of course there aren’t many things more important than raising a small human, but it can often feel like a thankless task.
It requires so much effort and planning; what do we eat, where do we go today, who can we meet, what activities can we do at home. The guilt of not educating or entertaining him when I try to get chores or a little work done.
When I’m feeling strong, motivated and optimistic; I feel like I’m winning at life. Some days are incredible, they (mostly) go to plan and I feel like I’m right where I should be. Other days and weeks, like this week, don’t go quite so well. Weeks where we’ve all been struck down with nasty bugs; feel long and tedious. I am learning that I need to take the highs with the lows, the rough with the smooth.
I suppose without the lows and the difficult times, we may never really appreciate the highs and the good times. And I have to admit that now the good times do feel so much sweeter, I feel like I savour them and enjoy them much more than I used to.
When we are feeling good, eating well, exercising and putting our best foot out into the world, we’re in the cycle of success and good things come to us more easily. When we are ill, eating terribly and have barely left the house for days on end, it feels that much harder to shine. One lesson to take away from these experiences is to not be so hard on ourselves for not always ‘achieving’ what we want right away. Sometimes we have to stop fighting the universe and just be.
Now pass me another piece of chocolate…