Thursday, 28 April 2016

The Words I Hate to Hear

"Make sure you savour these moments...they're over too quickly"

"Oh how I miss those baby days, they're grown up and gone before you know it...enjoy every moment while it lasts!"

These are the kind of statements mums of young children hear on a regular basis.

Personally I'd say I hear these things at least every few days.

My eldest son is 3 now and it feels like that has happened in the blink of an eye, so I get it to some extent...and I can only imagine how quickly it seems like the time has passed for mums whose children are in their 20s, 30s or even 50s.

And so, when a mum whose children are grown up see's a mum who's in the thick of it struggling a little...or seemingly taking it all for granted...or perhaps just not relishing it all as much as she ought to be...she passes on that warning.

"Enjoy every moment, they're over too soon"

With the best intentions of course.

They just want to make sure we're savouring this precious time - I get it. And I appreciate their intentions, I really do.

But...and maybe its just me... sometimes I can't help but feel really panicked by these words.

Because while you look at me and see a mum going about her day to day life, muddling through with 3 young children, rushing about to complete all the chores, stressing out about whether the toys are put away, having a little moan every now and then about how stressful bedtime was or how many tantrums we got through today...and you assume that maybe it's all passing me by or I'm not stopping to smell the roses enough...You don't see what's going on in my mind.

And nothing could be further from the truth.

I'm an anxious person by nature...I always have been and I probably always will be.

 I worry a lot...about everything.

One of my very biggest fears is the passing of time, the future, how fast my life and my kids childhoods are going to pass me's something I honestly think about and panic about every single day.

On top of that, I am hyper anxious about my children - I worry on a, an hourly basis about their safety. I imagine whole scenarios in my mind about them becoming ill, I worry incase they somehow run into the path of a terrorist attack, I worry about them being involved in an accident...I panic endlessly about something bad happening to them, and I cry most nights with absolute terror and fear at the thought of it.

I worry incase I'm not savouring it all enough, I try so hard to drink in every single moment, to commit every smile and every shared giggle to memory.

I try to capture as many memories as I possibly can on film and in photograph .

I try so hard to make sure that I'm enjoying it that I feel like sometimes my efforts to do so are actually detracting from my enjoyment.

I become SO worried that I might not be savouring it enough that I'm constantly consumed with yet more fear...fear which eats away at me, increases my anxiety, and detracts yet more from the enjoyment of these precious and fleeting days of my kids childhoods.

I know that's not what these people intend when they tell me how quickly it all goes can they possibly know the panic those words put in to me?

How can they know that I'll probably go to bed that night, remember their warnings and sob into my pillow with fear and terror at how quickly it's all going to be over?

They can't, of course. It's not their fault. It's nobodies fault.

But sometimes I really wish I didn't have to hear those words so often.

Sometimes I wish I could just roll my eyes at a tantrum or pass a comment about a hard day without needing to be reminded of how quickly these days of my life will be gone.

Because while I might not outwardly show it, I am so very very aware of it...and sometimes I think I'd enjoy these years more if I wasn't so petrified of how soon they'll be gone.

So please, mums who've done it all time you see or hear a mum like me roll her eyes or complain about something, please think twice before you warn her how quick it will all be over...maybe just say "It'll soon get easier"...those words don't scare people like me quite so much.


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  1. My girls are now 11 and 15 (in 2 weeks). I am really guilty of saying this. I had my babies when I was 18 and 21 though and most of the people my age are just starting out now, when my eldest is old enough to babysit! I guess when I say it I mean it's easier to feel like you can protect them when they are little. When they are older, all you can do is offer advice. Letting them make their own mistakes and watching your eldest stress over her upcoming exams, I do long for the days when they were little in a messy living room, counting the hours until bath and bed routine.
    Maybe another way to look at it is that maybe the mum that says it to you is wishing they were back at that stage, I know that's the case for me. I don't think I'll ever be the person that can't wait until their kids are up and out. The best years of my life were caring for they wee tiny babies that look up at you like you can protect them from everything x

  2. I don't know why people say these things as if it's a bad thing! My little boy is nearly 2 but I don't feel like life is flashing before me. My nephew is 3 months and I remember Ollie that size and loved those days but wouldn't wish them back because then I'd lose now. I don't worry about losing now because my other nephews are 9 and 11 and I'm looking forward to seeing what Ollie is like when he's a bigger kid and when he's a man I hope he goes for a pint with his dad and is still our friend! I'll savour all of the moments! And so will you! They're all precious years!

  3. I could have wrote this myself I too suffer anxiety & worry about my children grown up. I have a teen too so I hate how quick children grow xx


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