Stop Telling Me To Enjoy Every Moment

You’re staring longingly into your sweet baby’s face. She’s two weeks old and beginning to be more alert during the day. She stares back at you in wonder, examining every element of your face, as you are studying hers. You think to yourself how you’re killing it at this “mom thing” and you could not be more in love with this little being. The moment you set eyes on her, you knew she would change your life forever. It would change YOU forever.

Then you realize your lap feels damp. And then the smell finds its way to your nose. You slowly lift your baby up to see the source of the dampness and you see it: the biggest poop explosion you have ever laid your eyes on. It runs from the top of her diaper to her hairline. It’s coming out the bottom. It’s all over you and the swaddle she's wrapped in. It may have even made it onto the couch.

Continue scrolling to keep reading Click the button below to start this article in quick view.

Not sure what to do, you carefully strip your baby down, managing to get it in her hair and all over your hands. You look around for help but only your dogs stare back at you, without the ability to lend a hand. Baby girl starts to fuss and then all-out lose her mind.

You are still not sure what you’re next course of action is, but you know it’s been days since you last showered or changed your clothes, so you look for the silver lining. Maybe it's an opportune time to get that shower in.

Unfortunately your baby needs to be cleaned up first. You smell like baby poop and body odor. You’re exhausted and craving a shower, and maybe even a hot meal. But duty calls, as you put her in the bath. You both begin to cry as the words, “enjoy every moment” come to your mind. Ha, that’s funny. This is the exact opposite of an enjoyable moment.

Related: 15 Ways A New Mom Might Struggle In The First Three Weeks

If you can look at this story, or rather have this moment play out in your own life, and think, “Oh yes, that was such an amazing moment. I have never seen so much poop, I am so proud of my daughter,” or “We truly bonded over the shared layer of poop that covered our bodies. It was her first poop explosion,” then mama, you need more sleep and a check of your sanity. Nothing about a poop explosion is enjoyable. Except maybe that you earn a shower out of it… maybe.

Listen up ladies and gentlemen, especially those older than me, you don’t need to remind us to enjoy every moment. This is especially true when we mention our exhaustion, how the baby won’t latch, or how difficult your toddler was when you took him to Target. We already feel guilty enough and we don’t need the added pressure on our plates.

The truth is most moms are already beating themselves up because they aren’t enjoying every moment. There is already a tremendous amount of pressure for mothers to be perfect, to post glowing reviews of new parenting on social media, and to bounce back after giving birth.

What new mothers do not need is one more person setting them up for failure because not every moment in a parent’s life is enjoyable. Hell, not every moment of anyone’s life is enjoyable, and if it is, please share with the rest of us your secrets or give us the address to your home planet because that’s a place I want to live.

The trouble is that most people who say this are not ill-willed or mean for it to torture new mothers. Most begin to think of their own lives and how fast their kids have grown and are reminiscing about the past as they see you experience the same parenting woes. The days are long but the years are short, and we know this. It’s in every movie, TV show, parenting book out there. But we need to lay off the pressure.

Related: Baby Boomers Have To Stop Saying, “Well My Kid Survived.”

In my own experience, well-meaning relatives send me memes telling me not to blink because time moves so quickly. Most of the time I move onto the next thing quickly before the guilt can get its claws into me. Most days are about survival for me in this current stage of motherhood. I have a very strong-willed, independent, 5-year-old boy and a sassy, funny, silly 3-year-old little girl, two dogs, 2 jobs and a house to maintain while co-parenting with my husband who works weird hours this time of year. It’s pure chaos.

I do not enjoy every moment, nor every day. But there are moments in every unenjoyable day that I do enjoy, that will stay with me forever, and those will be the ones I remember. Isn’t there a saying or maybe a country song about how you need to experience the rain to have a rainbow?

Parenting is really hard (replace a good f-bomb for really). We have a range of responsibilities and we’re doing the best we can to raise our kids in a scary world. We can see everyone’s perfect Pinterest life on Instagram, but that’s not what I am looking for. I am looking for fellow “hot messes” because that’s my experience with motherhood. I need other moms to show me that they too don’t enjoy every moment and that’s okay.

Admitting it does not make me a bad mother. It makes me more relatable and others can see that they are not alone. You can still love your children unconditionally while not loving every tantrum or sleepless night. This job is the most difficult job you will ever have, and while it’s not always enjoyable, it’s rewarding when you can find the bliss in those unenjoyable periods.

Related: 15 Ways Mom Is Hard On Herself

Research Shows Moms With Epilepsy Are Less Likely To Breastfeed

More in Moms