If I were to say, “Cherish every moment.” Would you be offended?

Time-Flies

Lately, I’ve noticed a trend among newer moms, many of whom seem to be banding together and bonding over something some of them seem to be annoyed and insulted by, and I’m having a difficult time wrapping my head around it.

I’ve seen it on blog posts, on Facebook, and on Twitter, it’s a thing now to be angry at a certain something being said by moms who have already been there, done that, and thrown away the stained t-shirt.

It can be said in different ways, but the gist of this offensive comment is this – cherish every moment – Somehow this has become an affront to mothers with young children. They don’t want to hear it, is it really such a dastardly thing to say?

I’m trying to put myself in their shoes, because the truth is, I’ve been in them before. Admittedly, it was a while ago, but I certainly haven’t forgotten how it felt to walk in them. How it felt to pace the floor with a crying baby in them or chase after an energetic toddler in them.

I haven’t forgot how it felt at the end of the day when I could finally slip them off for a while. I haven’t forgotten any of it, because sometimes, it really does seem like just yesterday I was wearing them.

When my kids were little the same sort of things were said to me, cherish every moment, they’ll be grown up before you know it, make the most of every minute; and other such sage words of wisdom from moms who managed to survive parenthood. There were even moments I was relieved to hear it to be honest, because there were days I really needed those words to remind me there was indeed a light at the end of the diaper strewn tunnel I was living in.

I respected those words, I held on to them and I tried my best to heed them. One day I was standing in line at the grocery store with four little house trolls all vying for my attention in one way or another, not cherishing the moment at all and listening to some woman remind me how fast time flies, and then the next, I was that woman. I was the one standing in line behind a frazzled and tired young mother just wishing I could tell her that the moment she was in was going to be nothing more than a speck of a memory in what will seem like such a short, short time.

Now, when I find myself wanting to offer up what I thought were kind and comforting words to a young mother, I bite my tongue. What if she doesn’t want to hear it? What is she finds offense in it? It makes me sad because truly, there is no offense intended.

I’m not trying to be condescending or make light of the struggles they may be going through. I’m not making the assumption that they don’t already cherish every moment, or that they in fact need to be told time passes quickly and that in what will seem like the blink of an eye, their children will be grown and those mommy shoes will be tucked away in the back of some closet of their minds.

In some ways, I want to say it because I remember and sometimes long for those days again. I say it because it’s true, and if I could have stretched out those moments and made them last a little longer I would have.

It’s not meant as an insult, it’s never meant as a condemnation of some sort. It’s not meant to mean anything other than what it means . . . cherish every moment. Maybe I say it to comfort myself, to assure my own heart I made the most out of every day I had with my young children. Maybe I say it because time is still going by so quickly and every second I spend with my children now is all the more precious to me. I don’t want it to move so fast and it still is.

Moms need each other . . . it doesn’t matter at what stage of parenting we’re in, we belong to a sisterhood who should be encouraging, building up, and protecting each other while we cherish every single moment. The day will come we all walk in similar same shoes at some point . . .

Seems like only yesterday sometimes

Seems like only yesterday sometimes

Today became yesterday
before I knew it had passed,
I pray my sweet memories
of each moment will last.
When tomorrow arrives
I will cherish the day,
for I know that it too
will pass quickly away.
In the midst of a moment
precious memories are made,
we wrap them in love,
in hopes they won’t fade.
We gather them up,
tuck them safely away,
inside of our hearts
to look back on someday.

Crystal R. Cook

I wrote this little poem years ago, I recall just how I felt when I sat down to pen the words to a page. I’d had a moment of heartbreaking realization, time is fleeting. I could not believe how fast my children had grown. They were still babies then really, now those mommy days have passed , some days it truly does feel like it was only yesterday.

Time really is fleeting.

5 thoughts on “If I were to say, “Cherish every moment.” Would you be offended?

  1. I like the sentiment behind “enjoy every moment,” and I think if you look at the sentiment and lose the literal part, it’s a good philosophy. But I definitely don’t think that all moments are enjoyable, which is how some people read that statement–and I think that’s where the hang-up can be sometimes.

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  2. I love this so much Crystal. The way you explained this perspective is nothing but beautiful. I wish every mom could read it- because this perspective is exactly what is needed in our sisterhood.

    Time IS fleeting. And those blurry years with little ones are treasures- despite the exhaustion and stress.

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  3. I have seen what you are referring to, as a mother of three young children I am already missing when they were babies. My youngest is a little older than two and needing a big boy bed, and I can’t tell you how sad it is making me to see his kid grow. it’s sad to me that some moms think those words in a negative light. lovely poem the end btw.

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  4. Although I’m not a mother and therefore can’t respond directly to the question of being told to “cherish every moment” while raising a child, I have been given similar advice during my life. As a teen, I recall people telling me that those would be the best years of my life and I should therefore cherish every moment. My life then was somewhat chaotic compared to that of many of my peers, so I hoped they were wrong about those being the best years of my life. I simply couldn’t wait to become an adult and start living what I believed would be my “real life.”

    In retrospect, I wish I’d listened. Despite the chaos of those years, some of the friendships I formed and the experiences I had were great! In my mid-twenties, I began to read some books about Buddhism and the practice of mindfulness. (I’d discovered Vietnamese Buddhist monk and author Thich N’hat Hahn, whose books explain the Buddhist concept of mindfulness for people raised in the Western world.) Cherishing every moment, in the sense of being fully present in each moment, began to make sense to me. It’s helped me to become more calm and more patient with myself, others, and difficult situations. It can be difficult, in the midst of turmoil, to maintain a sense of humor about oneself and others. As a mother, responsible for growing children, the task is both rewarding and terrifying. For those of you struggling with being a mindful parent and maintaining a sense of humor check out the YouTube: http://youtu.be/WSpIzwWDboI.

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