I know I cannot possibly be the only one who rolls her eyes and feels equally stressed out by the images constantly floating around about only having eighteen summers with our kids and twelve chances to play Santa, among other things.
I mean, in this fast-paced society where the expectations placed on us are near impossible to achieve, do we really need yet another reminder that we must love every moment with our kids when we open our social media to scroll?
I am painfully aware of how fast time goes. My eldest son is turning ten in a few weeks. My daughter already would rather spend her time with friends than my husband or me. Sometimes it feels like it was just a couple of days ago that I was pushing strollers and waking up for nighttime diaper changes and feeds, and now my five-year-old calls me “bro.”
We need to stop loading on the guilt. I love being a mom to my three children, but I do not like every day of it. Sometimes when we are making memories during one of those eighteen summers, the kids are miserable and exhausting. I do not enjoy that. Who does? Often, the kids prefer the days we spend in the yard, at our town beach, or going to camp without me.
Additionally, parenting does not end when our kids stop believing in Santa or the Tooth Fairy. Holidays are still fun and magical, and traditions carry on. Parenting does not end, ever.
I am thirty-eight years old and still always ask my mom for advice. I also still do fun things with my parents. Recently my mom and I had dinner together and saw a show. I am sure she never felt the societal pressure of squeezing it all into eighteen years.
I do my best to focus on the big picture. There are really cool things that happen when our kids get older. And, last time I checked, life is not always supposed to be easy and fun. There are hard days while they are growing up during every phase. It is our job to make sure they are taken care of, and somedays that is simply doing the bare minimum.