Carpe diem OR ELSE.

19 Jan

Glennon Melton is a blogger who recently wrote a piece called “Don’t Carpe Diem” at the Huffington Post.  The post is a reaction to comments from older women to young mothers like “”Oh, enjoy every moment. This time goes by so fast.”  The writing is funny, honest, and realistic.

Being told, in a million different ways to CARPE DIEM makes me worry that if I’m not in a constant state of intense gratitude and ecstasy, I’m doing something wrong.

The piece resonated with me – and thousands of other people – because I have the same feelings of guilt whenever someone tells me to “enjoy every moment” while Seabass is tantruming on the cement floor at Trader Joe’s.  To paraphrase the author, it’s tough to see a forest of love for the poopie-diaper trees when you’re just trying to make it through the day.

To be fair, I completely get what you older women are saying when you tell me that it goes by so fast.  And I want to enjoy every moment – I really do!  But enjoying every moment of parenting a willful toddler is a little like achieving world peace: Man, it sounds nice, but…how????

So that’s my question to you, beloved readers: How do you enjoy your little people even when things are hard?  How do you make the most of your parenting experience?

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9 Responses to “Carpe diem OR ELSE.”

  1. Colby January 19, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

    I *try* to remember to smile, even through the real difficulties and this somehow allows me to see the humor, or the temporariness, and sometimes when I’m lucky the beauty in my day to day with two young kids. It’s not easy, I loose it, and cuss a lot (hopefully out of earshot of my 2 year old). I DO appreciate the reminder that it IS important to find ways to enjoy my kids and these very quickly changing moments with them, snotty nose, no naps, pickiness, diaper rashes and all.

  2. Kristin January 19, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

    I have to just let myself give in. Forget everything else… the laundry, the groceries, the dirty sink, dinner, and just be Benny’s mom, his pal. Even if it’s just for 5 minutes, if I can forget everything else, and give myself just to him, we have the sweetest moments. Then I peel myself off the floor, try to go back to chopping veggies, folding socks, whatever, and let out a sigh when he is instantly back at my legs, “Mamamamamama.” Didn’t we just have our moment? He’s been so clingy lately and a bit under the weather. After nap today we just rocked, head on shoulder, for a long time, and it was bliss.

    • Datherine April 26, 2014 at 6:45 am #

      I cannot tell a lie, that really heedlp.

  3. Monika January 19, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

    If I’m having a hard day, I just accept the fact that it sucks. Then I remind myself that tomorrow is a new day and that nothing lasts forever.

  4. Patty Thayer January 19, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

    Everything is better in sepia tone. The deal is: I know how sleep-deprived and time-deprived I was. To inappropriately quote Dickens: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” It ain’t easy being a Mom. That being said, I wish I’d taken one more look at my 2 baby’s faces before they grew up so fast. I wish I had taken that hike my son begged me to take instead of cleaning the bathroom. I wish I’d made that football game in King City, instead of working till 7 promoting a concert that no one remembers. I wish I’d played that Monopoly game till midnight instead of getting everyone to bed on time. Its complicated. The author had it right: enjoy those moments when you realize them. Try to remember what’s really important when you can, and forgive yourself when you can’t. My Mom told me: “You love them. You do the best you can. And then… you let it go.” A very smart woman, my Mom.

  5. Anonymous January 20, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    To me it just means looking right at them. No matter what they are doing. Sometimes i find I don’t look at them and that’s when I know I’m taking them for granted. And it seems when I look them right in the eye, no matter what they are doing, for the life of me all that I do is smile and tell them I love them. My 7 year old can’t help but to smile back, blushing, and tell me she loves me too – even when she’s being a total turd.

  6. Marta January 20, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    I find this extraordinarily difficult regardless of having two children. I’m not sure if being able to live in the moment is a skill you learn or just need to have been born with this personality trait. I am too endlessly focused on the future (while slightly hung up on the past) to TRULY appreciate the present. Perhaps I am appreciating it enough but am waiting for some sort of movie kiss moment with fireworks and classical music to give me the cue that this is what living in the moment feels like. It seems like time is so fleeting and finding time for reflection and appreciation endlessly challenging.

  7. Anne of Always Half Full January 25, 2012 at 6:07 am #

    I read that post as well, and really appreciated it. I don’t think there is any way you can truly smile and giggle through the screaming, hitting temper tantrums and think “wow, I love being your mommy at this very moment”. But I do think it is possible to start re-cherishing your little one just after those moments. Remember their developmental abilities, your part in the tantrum, and that your attitude/mood can set/change their attitude and mood. I work hard to let go of the frustration, anger, whatever as quickly as I can so that I/we can get back to happy moments. Holding on to those feelings (grudge if you will) only makes me continue to react in ways I regret. Sometimes it takes a time out in his room and me flopping on the bed to recharge the emotions. But it helps. And every night after I come downstairs from putting him to bed, I think about some of the cute, neat, smart, fun things he said or did that day. Always puts a smile on my face!

  8. Isaac April 26, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

    Let me know if you need some vegetarian trates sent up north! I’m guessing that the vegetarian protein selection isn’t much more than dry beans and tree nuts. (I’m realizing how grateful I am to be in Seattle)

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