For example, my friend Julie wrote to me recently about being the mom of several preschool children, let's call these moms the Preschool Generation, and here is what she said:
How many of you in the Preschool Generation have had someone say, "oh just enjoy these years because I wish my kids were still little?" A perfect stranger said that to me just a couple of days ago. And as Julie says, we do try and follow that advice. We take mental snapshots of the sweet moments, and take time to cuddle and love on those babies while they still want hugs.
But does it also make you feel just a teensy bit guilty when you are absolutely struggling to keep sane through the hard physical and emotional labor of caring for preschoolers, and then someone tells you how great you have it? I am not at all criticizing moms who give that advice, because I do think they have learned how fleeting childhood is and just want us to make the most of it.
So why do we sometimes bristle when we hear these kinds of comments? Is it because we moms are just so ready to bash ourselves over the head with guilt? Maybe because we need to be affirmed in how difficult this work actually is? Because we already know that we'll forget the hardest parts?
I love how Julie wrote that being a Mommy is both glorious and exhausting. The greatest honor and the hardest work. Maybe we need to talk more about it being both?