Tuesday, February 3, 2015

"Enjoy it while you can, it goes by so fast" and other generic statements

It seems no matter where I go these days with Natalie, someone inevitably will come up to me say "Enjoy this time, it goes so fast" or "Enjoy this time, you have no idea what you're in for," or "Man, I miss these days, enjoy it now while you can."

I always smile, give a little laugh, and say "Oh I know, thanks!" and go on my merry way. I know that these comments are always well meaning. It allows one to impart some wisdom on a young, unassuming person who is just starting their life as a parent. I also know that babies are automatic conversation starters, and I like that. Anywhere I go I will be asked the following questions/hear these comments: "Oh how old is she?", "Oh, is this your first?" "Oh, what a beautiful little girl!" etc. etc. But sometimes, the whole "Enjoy it now, it goes so fast" comments can really irritate me:

When I feel like I hear how fast my life is about to flash before my eyes almost everywhere I go, and from every chatty person I meet, it kind of gets depressing after awhile. 

I don't really want strangers, friends, or even family members, to remind me day in and day out of the fact that before I know it, I'm going to wake up and Natalie's going to be a 15 year old throwing a teenage temper tantrum. Just let me enjoy this. Please.

I am well aware that time seems to go faster when you have children as opposed to when you ARE a child. Though I've only been at this for a year, in some ways the last year of my life seems like the longest of my life, and yet the shortest at the same time. My life "Pre-Natalie" feels like a lifetime ago. It feels like years ago when I was commuting to Manhattan every single day for work, reading books on the train, planning dinners with friends every Friday and Saturday. Now, when I do pop into my office, there are new employees, new doormen, new faces everywhere and it's weird. Oh - life does go on in the outside world while I'm at home...Huh.

I've wanted to write a post about this for awhile, but I came across Jess from Keeping Up with the Casey's post last week called: The Answer to Slowing Down Time,. This is what finally prompted me to write about this. She has the same feelings I do about this whole "time goes by so fast" sentiment, and I loved her takeaway:

"It's not about slowing down time at all, it's about acknowledging the present."

So often we look back on periods of time in our lives as truly great. That summer I lived in Little Italy, Manhattan for instance, was a summer I'll never forget. The 4 years I went to college, the 2 years I lived in Astoria. Those were moments in time that I have fond memories of and will always look back on with great joy. But so often, we don't realize how great they are until they're past. We don't realize until we're on the other side looking back saying "Wow...that was a great year" or "What a great period of time that was." 

I know that I'm living a "great time" right now. I know that this time alone with Natalie, without the pressure of other kids, or school, or after-school activities taking up most of our time, these days with Natalie I can never get back. So if I blog less, if I disappear for a few days, if I fall off the grid for awhile. It's just because I am trying to soak up these days as much as I can.

And so what can we, the people who will one day soon, see a new mother or father with a little baby say to them that won't be so depressing? What do I wish I would hear more of from other people? How about:

"Congratulations! Believe me, it only gets better from here." 

12 comments:

  1. I so needed to read this today. I feel like a year has gone by so quickly, but I have the most amazing memories of that year. I've spent hours filling out Jeanette's baby book and calendar, making books on Shutterfly and combing through photos. Life is a lot different and I agree that sometimes things fall through the cracks, but enjoying life as a little family is SO important :)

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    1. I know, I so hope that I can keep up as well with the photos, the albums, the baby books with my next kid(s)!

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  2. I so so agree. All of those warnings gave me a bit of anxiety and made me cry lots when JaiseAnn was a newborn. Time flies faster than I'd like but I am having so much fun with her. I truly believe it only gets better from here..and I hope that continues to be true, teenage years included (though I want to BAWL just thinking about that). When we become a bit more seasoned as moms, we'll have to tell the new moms that very thing!

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    1. Yes, agreed! I really think that it will just keep getting better and better over the next few years and beyond. Honestly, that's why I hope to have lots of kids - so that I can relive all the exciting things with kids over and over again - and not have to suffer from empty nest sooner than later :)

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  3. Love this!!! I think it even applies to life with your husband before baby. So often I am pre-planning for when we can have a kid, I have to take a step back and appreciate life alone with just the two of us. Great post.

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    1. yes, definitely a good idea - I'm the same way, always looking to the next thing and so excited for the next thing. You should def. take the time to enjoy this time pre-baby :)

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  4. I love this. As I sit at my desk crying wishing I were holding my baby tight. What I wouldn't do to slow it down. As an anxious person I am always worrying about "What comes next?" or "What's going to happen?" I want to be be different and I don't ever want to think I missed a moment because I was so worried about the future.

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    1. It's next to impossible not to worry about certain things in our future as mom's...it's inevitable. But sometimes, a little reminder here and there to embrace the present can be a nice little change of pace. :)

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  5. Well said Mama! I couldn't agree with you more!!!!

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  6. Great post! Even though I don't have kids yet, I feel that my life is going by faster and faster. I'm trying to live in the present and enjoy all the little things rather than just wishing for the next big trip, holiday, etc.

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    1. Yea - embracing the present should apply to all people at all stages of life, and it's a good reminder to everyone every once in awhile.

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