You’ve all seen it, the tongue-in-cheek blog making its rounds on facebook about the poor overworked mom who is accosted by the elderly ladies in Target who tell her to seize the day, to cherish the moments while her children are young … because they go so fast. Well this advice, “while all good and right”, bugs poor Glennon Melton, because seizing the day, just “doesn’t work” for her. Glennon Melton finds parenting to be “Brutiful”, both beautiful and brutal and often writes to help her heal from her “bulimia, alcoholism, and jerkiness”. No, I did not make this up, she wrote that tag herself — catchy, isn’t it?
Every time I’m out with my kids — this seems to happen: An older woman stops us, puts her hand over her heart and says something like, “Oh, Enjoy every moment. This time goes by so fast.” Everywhere I go, someone is telling me to seize the moment, raise my awareness, be happy, enjoy every second, etc, etc, etc.
I know that this message is right and good. But, I have finally allowed myself to admit that it just doesn’t work for me. It bugs me. This CARPE DIEM message makes me paranoid and panicky. Especially during this phase of my life – while I’m raising young kids. Being told, in a million different ways to CARPE DIEM makes me worry that if I’m not in a constant state of intense gratitude and ecstasy, I’m doing something wrong.
This particular article bugged ME. Really really bugged me. I think poor harried Glennon, needs to step back and think about what these advice givers are really saying. Of course, it’s not fun to clean up spills one right after the other, of course we don’t enjoy the meltdowns in Target or the knocking down of mannequins at the mall. What these seasoned moms are saying is live in the moment, be there. Really hear your child crying and laughing. Remember the sound. Truly study his or her face, soak in their beauty. Hold your child, remember what she feels like. Embrace a late dinner, allow the stares of the gapers to penetrate you, imprint the smell of your freshly bathed baby in your mind, experience the pressures, the pain, the joy, the stress, the excitement and then enjoy the solace at the end of the day as you sink into a hot bath with a book and smile as you recall the day.
I think the worst feeling in the world, worse than the tantrums, worse than a messy house or a destroyed car … I think the absolute worst feeling would be to wake up one morning to a quiet and empty house and feel like you missed it all. The pain of that emptiness would be overbearing. It really does go by so fast. A few years ago, I had my first child, now today she is 18. I take solace in the fact that I’ve never been in a rush and homeschooling has simply expanded my peace, it’s slowed down the rush of life. I don’t look forward to the days when the kids will be off fending for themselves. So, rather than seeing your children as an interruption to your established routine, take a deep breath, relax, and just go with the flow. Because you never get these days back. Ever. So I do, actually, Carpe Diem as much as is humanly possible and so should you!