I get it! This is why everyone keeps telling me to enjoy my kids now

BabyCenter Guest Blogger
posted: February 15, 2018, 9:12 am
By Jamie Lincow

Whenever a mom of older kids sees me with my tribe of 3 little men (ages 8, 6, and 3), she usually offers the same advice: Enjoy this time.

At first I didn’t understand why someone would feel the need to remind me to do what I’m already doing. I do enjoy spending time with my boys: watching them play sports, testing out new baking recipes together in the kitchen, seeing movies, etc. But a few recent events have encouraged me to take those words literally and to really live in the moment.

As a working mom, I want to maximize my enjoyable time with my kids as much as possible during the weekdays and spend less time on the mundane activities– like packing lunches, picking out clothes, and giving baths.

Until recently, I dreaded the assembly line of lunch boxes that I had to fill and the daily trip into each son’s bedroom to pick out tomorrow’s outfit.  But then it clicked for me- the sage advice that those older, more experienced moms have been giving me- and my entire thought process has been forever changed.

Maybe it’s that I like to be in control or that I’m overly conscious about the way my kids look and what they eat, but I continue to pack their lunches and pick out their wardrobe despite the daily time commitment.  So I’ve made the conscious decision to stop looking at those mundane events as chores. Instead, they are activities that allow me to live in the moment and fully enjoy the young family that my husband and I have created.

I like making sure that my boys have a nutritious lunch that will keep their bellies full throughout the day, and I also enjoy making sure that they look put-together each morning. I relish in their outfits and love matching their wardrobe to their personalities.  I also know there will come a day when they want to make their own sandwich and pick their own snacks, or close the bedroom door and choose their own outfits.  I recognize that eventually my boys will not want me washing their hair and drying them off after a bath.

Last night, when I came upstairs to go to bed, I saw my oldest son sleeping in the threshold of his bedroom.  He was nuzzled up in a little cove that he had constructed for himself with his sleeping bag and pillows, and he had even tucked in his blankies next to him.  At first glance I groaned, thinking that my husband and I would now need to remake his bed and put away the toys he had taken out, but then it dawned on me that this 8-year-old will not be making forts on his floor and tucking in his blankets when he’s 18.  I saw how tranquil and innocent he looked, and I stared at him for just a few extra minutes to really take in this memory and store it forever.

When I choose to appreciate the moment and recognize that my daily activities today will not be the same in five or ten years from now, I find more happiness in each day and I catch myself smiling more.  I want to echo the wisdom that the moms of older kids have given to me, because it forces us to live in the moment at each stage of motherhood.  The routine bottle feedings, diaper changes, or even nail clippings may seem like a chore today, but let’s remind ourselves to take an extra minute to engrave those activities in our memories.

Eventually my little boys will grow into men and hopefully the sacrifices and continual devotion that I have given them will guide them to make the right choices in their adult lives.