I’m going to be honest guys; thirteen years ago when I was a new parent, I had no idea what I was in for. All I knew was that I had a sweet little baby in my arms and that I was going to do this parenting thing right. That feeling lasted for, oh, about the first five minutes at the hospital after my oldest son’s birth. Because within hours of his entry into the world, I found out that I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. From that first poopy diaper where I helplessly dangled him in the air with all the knowledge I had so hoarded leading up to his birth vanishing from my head to the teenage moments I now find myself in with him, I’ve discovered that the only thing I can expect when it comes to parenting is that the unexpected will happen. And I’ll admit, that’s a scary thing. But over the years, as I’ve raised him and added another child to the family, I’ve realized something. Parenting is hard. And at times it’s frustrating. But in those moments when your child walks for the first time, smiles for the first time, has their first graduation or even their first school concert; in those moments of pride it’s easy to forget all the moments you weren’t prepared for and instead be engulfed with this overpowering feeling of love. It’s easy to overlook the landmines and obstacles that sometimes seem to block our way as moms because along the way, those moments where we find ourselves saying it’s all worth it are enough to make us forget even the toughest times.
I know for a fact that it’s easy to get wrapped up in everyday life so much that you forget to live. It’s easy to be so busy parenting that you miss the true moments of being a parent. I’m more than guilty of this myself. But as my kids get older; as I realize that there are fewer first that I will experience going forward, it’s enough to make me remember that little moments matter. It’s enough to change my way of thinking and find a way to make those moments into more. And while I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t mastered it yet and I’ve likely missed some major moments along the way, I’m changing the way I look at being a parent. I’m stopping doubting myself. I’m embracing the fact that I’m the best mom my two boys could possibly have and I’m remembering that everything I do for them each and every day is all worth it. So how am I making these changes?
Over my thirteen years of parenting I’ve learned that I can read every book on the market but when it comes to being a good parent, the best thing I can do is be present for my kids. For me, that means putting down my phone. Walking away from the computer. And simply giving every bit of my attention to them. It means being in the moment for those special moments. It means putting aside other things and realizing that work and life will always be there tomorrow but my babies won’t. It means whether it’s a first time, a second time or a millionth time, I will be front and center cheering for my kids through every one of the moments because you never know when that one moment in a million will happen.
Over the years, I had no idea when my children would take their first step, smile their first smile or even lose their first tooth. But instead of worrying about other things in my life that don’t matter, I’m making sure that those special moments when I find myself saying it’s all worth it are engraved on my heart forever.
For me this goes hand in hand with being present but special moments don’t happen if you don’t make time for them. There is a quote by John Lennon that says “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” I’d agree with that but I’d even challenge it to say that with children, once in a lifetime moments are what happen when we’re busy trying to appear to be the best parent. Let me tell you a little story. When my oldest was a baby, I always made sure I had it all pulled together when I went outside the house. He would be dressed perfectly. I would be dressed perfectly. And I would make sure we looked like we had it all together.
The truth of the matter was, those moments of making sure we were perfect on the outside led to missing moments that were truly perfect. They meant missing the chance to sit with him on the floor and watch his little face light up as I told him a story. And looking back, I’d quickly trade the look of outward perfection for just one of those perfect moments with him; the moments when my hair was messy and I hadn’t showered but his sweet smile made me feel like I was truly the most beautiful person in his world.
Savor Every Moment
It’s no secret that there is a pretty big age difference between my kids. And if that has taught me one thing, it’s that the years we have these sweet precious children goes by in a blink. The moments we think are infinite are actually quite short. And in reality, it’s the everyday moments, the imperfect moments, the messy moments that make this thing called parenting all worth it.
So I challenge you, don’t miss them. Don’t look back with regret in five, ten or twenty years when you realize that you’d give anything for that one moment back. Instead, look for your moment with your children today.
Remember that it can happen at anytime. And whether it’s a first or simply a moment when you look at your child and your heart explodes with love, this thing called being a parent is not just something we get to do….it’s a treasure that we get to be and through it all – the good moments, the sad moments and every moment in between, it’s all worth it.
Just as I’ve learned a thing or two about parenting over the years, I’ve also discovered that when it comes to being the best mom possible, it helps to have healthy baby and toddler products that I can trust on hand. That’s why through all the firsts, through both of my children and through all the memorable moments, I’ve trusted Gerber foods to help my boys #GrowUpGerber. From first foods to the the perfect snack in those special moments, Gerber baby foods have been by my side to ensure that while I may not have known it all, I always knew the right food choice for my growing boys.
No matter how old your child is, start making the most of the moments that make motherhood all worth it today. Take time to create memories. Stop being so wrapped up in schedules that you miss the special moments. And more than anything always be ready for those moments that remind you why this job of being a mom is the best one you’ll ever have.
Tell me, what parenting moments make it all worth it in your life?