One day you're going to miss it.
One day there will be a peaceful silence while you go to the bathroom instead of small hands busting through the door or someone wailing bloody murder outside with an owie until you jump off the toilet holding your pants in a panic.
One day you’ll miss the frantic desperation of never catching up because one day everything will catch up. Your children will grow up and you will get a decent break.
So savor the good times now, right? Not so easy. But I tell myself all the time that one day you’re going to miss it.
This is the thing I tell myself day in and day out when I’m on the verge of losing my sh*t. This mantra keeps me going because no matter how cliche it sounds, it’s true. I need this running thought in my head to remind myself.
One day there won’t be baskets of laundry overflowing with play clothes, gym clothes, or uniforms. One day there won’t be endless piles of dishes in the sink.
And you’re going to miss it.
You’re going to miss someone needing you all the time. You’re going to miss being called out for maybe a hundred times a day for all things great and small.
One day there won’t be anyone around to worry about entertaining on school breaks because they’ll have their own lives, friends, and passions.
That life you think you can’t wait for now — perhaps for time alone with your spouse, time alone with yourself — or just some time period — will come and then it will all be done. All the irritation over mud on the floor, stains on the carpet or messy rooms never cleaned will be washed away with the tides of life.
So maybe you can’t muster the feelings of cherishing the moment with your loud, messy, chatty children today, but it does help to keep in mind that this day will pass and one day you are going to miss it.
One day you’re going to miss dropping them off or picking them up from school. You’re going to miss their scrunched up, disgusted faces when they see what you’ve made for dinner. You’re going to miss being called into their room for the 10th time asking for a glass of water, another hug, a third story, or to excitedly tell you the sudden revelation they just had.
You’re going to miss all those endless questions because — guess what? — for a time they do think you know everything. This won’t last forever, of course.
One day they won’t be asking you to look at everything they do, every minute of the day. One day they won’t be constantly seeking your approval. One day, they will hopefully have the confidence to do most things without you.
So, the next time you feel like screaming, yelling, or running out the door because no one is listening to you about cleaning up, just tell yourself that there will come a time when you will miss all of this maddening, beautiful chaos. It might help a little to ease your sense of hopelessness on those particularly hectic days that are not kind to your sanity.
While it may not be possible to fully enjoy all the moments that come to you as a parent, it’s definitely possible to know that one day you will miss this.
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