Ah, that phrase. Is there any one of us with small children who doesn’t hear it from time to time? Usually delivered with a wistful look in the eye of the speaker and followed by some cookie-cutter phrase about how these years go by so fast. True, kids are only kids for a short while, but why does everyone seem to concerned with telling us to enjoy them? Of course I enjoy him. I don’t not enjoy him. What exactly does that mean? And what about the following circumstances:
If you are beyond exhausted because your nightly REM cycles have been repeatedly interrupted by a hungry newborn or a one-year-old cutting molars and you sort of move through the rest of your day in a robotic form of auto-pilot, does that mean you are not enjoying your child?
If you just have to make dinner and you turn Curious George on Netflix in hopes that it will distract your baby just long enough for you to get things started, does that mean you are not enjoying that baby?
What if you just need to be introverted for a while and let your child play in his or her room, all the while hoping they aren’t digging the diapers out of the trash can. Does that mean you aren’t enjoying that child?
Or what about grocery shopping, laundry folding, toilet scrubbing? Those things are really important for a household to function well. How are you to “enjoy your child” amidst those necessities?
Obviously from time to time we have to accomplish things. And while I would love to ignore the laundry, dishes, etc. and play with Micah for hours at a time sometimes the demands of living life don’t allow me to do that.
So what then?
I have determined 4 things:
1. I never want my child to feel like he is bothering me,
2. I want to evaluate my day according to what I have accomplished, not what remains undone,
3. While it might feel good to get a jump start on tomorrow’s to-do list, I aspire to instead spend that time with my baby and husband, and
4. Some things will be left untended. I promise I will regularly rake my yard once we are empty-nesters 🙂
So if by saying, “enjoy your kids” people are basically telling you to slow down sometimes and soak up all the love nuggets you can, then I can honestly say I do enjoy my sweet little man.