"The days are long but the years are short" has got to be one of the truest parenting clichés ever spoken. But sometimes, those days -- especially for parents of young children -- are truly too long, and it can be all too easy to forget how fleeting the years are.
The frequent night wakings are turning you into someone you don't entirely recognise. You've stepped on one too many Legos. You've exhausted yourself trying to convince an illogical toddler to do something life sustaining, like eating. You've tried repeatedly and then failed to soothe a crying baby, a tantruming toddler or a neglected partner. You wallow in a resentful funk that you took your few moments of alone time to clean the dishes. Too often, all these things happen on the same day. Those long days of parenthood.
It's at those times that I like to think of the short but precious years and of the fleeting moments that I'd like to grab on to with both hands, freeze in time and stick in my pocket to pull out and savour forever. During the long days, I comfort myself thinking of those moments.
If you're stuck in a long day, think of this:
1. Soon enough, your child will tell you unsolicited how much they love you. They will do it in heart-breakingly earnest and grammatically adorable way. Something like, "You are my best mummy."
2. Soon enough, upon pick-up from school or day care your child will run to you as if you've long been separated by some natural disaster. Their face will beam and they will be love --screaming "MUUUUMMMM!!!" That run will be the highlight of your day.
3. Soon enough, you'll wake refreshed after a long night of sleep and walk into your child's room to watch them sleep.