Can We Stop Telling Moms This? Please?

I’ve gotten a lot of parenting advice over the past 10 years. Some was wonderful (leave music on while the baby sleeps so you don’t have to tip-toe around the house), some was laughable (like putting a hat on my baby on a hot July day) and some was just awful. My absolute least favorite piece of advice: “Savor these moments”. Really? Really?

Sure, there are moments to be savored. There are sweet, tender moments. There are frustrating moments that will make hilarious family stories in a few years. There are difficult moments you will overcome. You will savor those moments without anyone telling you to.

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There are also moments when you are covered in various bodily fluids and carrying a screaming child but you really need coffee so you venture out in public. You will be inches from tears waiting in line for coffee. That moment, that very moment, is when a well-meaning parent, whose memories have been softened by nostalgia and years of using the bathroom alone, will say “savor these moments”. No. Just no.

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There will be moments when you have exhausted your limits of playing with your child. When you just need a break, but it’s a beautiful day so you decide to forgo screen time in favor of the playground. Your child will be happily playing independently and you will be blissfully sipping (still hot!) coffee and playing on your phone. That moment, that very moment, is when you will feel the hot prickle of judgement eyes on the back of your neck and you will glance up to see that other parents are actively playing with their children. Someone will mutter something about how they choose to “savor these moments”. Stop it. Just stop it.

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There will be moments when you are at hours-long sports practice and you are soaking up adult conversation with the other parents like a desert plant soaking up a rainstorm. You will miss something. A catch, a pass, a goal, a hit… something. And some other, more observant parent or grandparent will point it out. And they will say something along the lines of “savor these moments”. Not okay.

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There will be moments when you are having a totally “on point” parenting day. Or you will be into a different stage of parenting and looking back wistfully at the littler years. You will see a mom who is elbow deep in the trenches of parenting, just trying to survive, but you won’t see that. Instead you’ll see a moment passing her by. You will be sorely tempted to remind her to “savor these moments”.  Don’t do it. Bite your tongue. Enjoy your (still hot) coffee. And savor your own dang moments.

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