I love being a mum, I really really do. I have brought two beautiful boys into this world and they have changed my life completely. Although it was only 3 years ago, memories of life before children are a blur and are somewhat overshadowed by all the amazing memories that have been made since. Yes, being a mum is the best thing ever.
Except when it’s not.
I struggle to get on board with the whole ‘cherish every moment’ approach to parenting. I love my boys and want to remember and treasure as much of their childhood as possible but I would be telling a massive lie if I said I want to remember all of it.
Motherhood is a journey of many ups and downs and twist and turns, obviously there are going to be
loads a few bumps along the road. I know I am incredibly lucky to have two children and I should be grateful for the tough times as atleast it means I have children to experience the good times with.
But no, I don’t cherish every moment and I bet if you thought about it, you don’t want to keep every second of motherhood securely stored away in your memory bank forever either.
Here are just 5 examples of why cherishing every moment seems crazy to me. You can tell me I won’t feel this way when my children have grown and flown the nest but I’m not so sure. I’m all for keeping memories of the good times and those are the things I will miss when I’m no longer a mother to two little boys but two grown men instead. I won’t miss all of these things…..
5 reasons why I don’t cherish every moment
1. I miss the days where leaving the house was as simple as grabbing my keys, putting my shoes on and opening the door. I don’t savour the hours spent asking Leo to get his coat on, find his wellies, to stop throwing his toys around and to just get outside to the damn car. The battles to leave the house every single day, I’m not cherishing those one bit.
2. I quite like my clothes to stay clean for more than 2 hours at a time, changing my outfit more times than a model at fashion week is not something I have the energy or time for. I don’t fondly gaze at the sick on my shoulder, the wee stain on my top or the snot trails down my leggings. One day my clothes will not be covered in someone else’s bodily fluids, I don’t cherish being a human tissue.
3. I won’t miss the unexplained baby cries, the ones that leave you feeling completely clueless what to do as you feel like you’ve exhausted every option. I am not making a conscious effort to remember all the times my children have cried and I have not known what to do to help them. I won’t miss the sound of those cries or the stress they so easily induce, I am certainly not cherishing them to recall when the baby days are over.
4. The struggle to get my 3 year old to eat healthily is not something I will long for when he is all grown up. Pretty much every single meal of every single day is centred around a battle of wills to try and get Leo to eat his vegetables and to not smother everything in red sauce. I actually look forward to a day where we can sit and have a meal together where my son doesn’t declare ‘I don’t like it, it’s gross’ before he has even touched anything on his plate.
5. I am most definitely not cherishing the thousands of tantrums I have had to endure. There is no way my heart will ache when I’m fifty for the days where Leo was screaming on the floor, kicking, hitting and trying to bite me. I will not desperately want to be reliving the moments where I have had to apologise to other mums after Leo has had a fight with their child. I won’t be wishing to feel the stress caused by trying to leave soft play or the playground with a fiercely independent toddler who doesn’t want to leave.
Cherish every moment? No way. Cherishing the little people who make up those moments? Of course I am.
I never want to forget their little faces, the way their mouth and eyes look when they smile and laugh or the way Leo’s little voice sounds when he sings to himself or tells me he loves me. I don’t want to forget how soft Alex’s little hands are or the feeling of him snuggling into my shoulder when he’s tired. These are the things I will cherish along with so many more moments because you know what? Unfortunately, remembering the bad times is a lot easier than recalling the precious every day moments that can get lost amongst the chaos of life with two small children, it is those special moments I need to make a conscious effort to cherish.
So yes, I only photograph the good times as they are the moments I want captured forever, they will be the moments in time I will wish I could return to when my children have grown up. If I ever do feel the need to remember the hard times, I’ve got most of them documented here on this very blog so I can always go delving into my archives if I am craving memories of tantrums or arguments over broccoli.
What should happen to the memories of the hard times you may ask? Well as far as I’m concerned they can disappear into the part of my mind that is currently holding on to things like how to do algebra and how to speak Welsh. The place where memories go when I don’t need or want them anymore but are not lost forever. Just in case.
What do you think? Do you cherish every moment? Do you think you will miss every part of parenting children when your kids have grown up? Do you think I am wrong and I should be trying to store memories of this time with my kids, even the hard times? I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
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