Does time really go by fast when you are a mom? You hear it all the time. From moms reaching the end of the first year of their baby’s life. From the older moms who are nostalgically smiling down at the toddler around your ankles and the baby on your hip. From the mom who is packing up her son for college.
These are words of encouragement. They are reminders to try and cherish the moments. These words give perspective about your sleepless nights, sore nipples and defiant three year old. Are those words really true though?
Does Time Really Go By Fast When You Are a Mom?
For some, absolutely! I think for some time really does go by quickly. There are so many moms who approach their child’s first birthday and genuinely reflect, “Where has this year gone?” They are begging their child to slow down. The milestone of the first birthday is anticipated and yet mourned. They’re losing their baby, and they want to stop time.
That wasn’t my reality, and I felt guilty about it. My story is shared today for all the other moms who might feel alone in their impression that their time with their little ones feels sloth-like. I know I did, and I carried the weight of that shame. I don’t want to encourage discontentment, but I want to lighten the load for those carrying a burden about this season.
For some of us, when one of the lovely older moms smiles longingly at our young kids and says, “Cherish these moments. They go by so quickly,” we want to say, “Really? Because it seems to be taking forever.”
I did say that sometimes. Not in a snarky way, as it may sound. I said it in a light-hearted, giggle-it-off sort of way, but it was how I felt. Some would reply, “The days are long but the years are short.” I figured that my kids would grow, and I would be able to have that perspective. While absolutely acknowledging that may still be the case, my kids are now 6, 8 and almost 10, and I really don’t feel that way yet. I expected it by now, but it’s not my reality – and I still feel guilty about that as I hear other moms reflect on pictures of their littles, longing for that time back.
I can look at pictures (like the one above) or videos of when they are small (I encourage you to do that when you are having a rough day), but I still can’t say that time flew by.
Another popularized quote is, “Time flies when you are having fun.” My reality was that I wasn’t having fun. Yes, this revolved around my own sin and my own issues, but it was a hard time. I felt lost when I became I mom. There were too many days I had the mom blues. I had everything I ever wanted, but I found myself unhappy. Parenting was tough – a lot tougher than I expected. There were adjustments I needed to make to tackle those issues (help in the articles provided). Refinement is hard, but it’s so good. There was a lot of confession and repentance about my own selfishness, pride and lack of patience. I’m still working on it, but time was not flying by in those younger years.
Time is beginning to speed up. I’ve found that my age is like my speed limit. The older I get, the faster time seems to be going. It’s approaching the end of the first year when all of my kids were in school, and I’m thinking, “It’s spring already? Where did this year go?”
That said, I feel like I’m in a sweet spot in my parenting. We have our systems in place. There’s a beauty in sticking with it because you begin to see the results of your parenting as your kids grow. My kids are more fun to me right now. Quite frankly, I think with older kids are where I thrive. I taught kindergarten for a year, and by the end of the year I was begging the principal for a different position, which was granted. I loved my time teaching the older kids. Those years – babies and toddlers – were not my gifting, which resulted in time creeping by.
We all have our seasons. I want to encourage you younger moms that are in the thick of it and feel the way I did. I don’t want to offer the words, “It goes by so fast.” I want to tell you, “You are not alone. What you are feeling is normal for some women,”
Does this make us less of a mom? Does it prove that we are a sad excuse for a woman? No. I used that time to stand up and fight – to say, “I’m going to do this job better. I’m going to grow myself.” I want you to do the same. You don’t need to enjoy every moment, but try and find more opportunities to choose joy. Be consistent in your parenting. Find ways to engage with your kids. Use my kids tab as a resource for all kinds of crafts and activities you can do with them. Embrace the season – with all it’s ups and downs. Don’t wallow in the guilt of not feeling the way everyone else seems to feel about this season. That will keep you paralyzed. This is your journey. God is going to work and grow you during this time. Listen for His voice, His conviction and adjust appropriately. God doesn’t expect perfection from you. He wants relationship, so cry out to Him in those hard moments, and He alone can give you perspective.
Maybe the year will come when I look back and say, “It went by so quickly.” I know I look back with nostalgia when I look through pictures and videos. I’m sure I will be longing for my kids to spend more time with me as they get older. I want to establish those patterns by investing in relationship with them now.
Blessings on your journey – whatever it looks like.