We all hear it when they are at their smallest, “Enjoy it now, they grow up so fast.” As if when our children grow they become less precious, less loveable. They say it like, you’re a bad mother if you do not enjoy every single moment of your baby’s life. Well that’s no pressure! “If the truth be known, many of us are, at times, less than fascinated by the endless chores of socializing a little human being, of living at a pace established by the child, of the relentlessness of it all,” psychologist Shari L. Thurer writes in The Myths of Motherhood. We feel this pressure to reach this absolutely unattainable feat against time. We stress out over spending quality time together, to the point where we are not actually enjoying the present: we are busy freaking out over the future.
And what is so bad about the future? My daughter is as loveable today after almost eight years, as she was in her first eight days. Ideally, a parent’s love has no expiration date. So why the fear, the warnings of elders; “They grow up so fast.”
It may not be that we only love puppies. It may be that we fear our children’s love has an expiration date. “Later, mother must gradually relinquish her intense attachment,” writes Thurer.”As her child grows up, she must accept obsolescence with grace. The myth tells us that timing is everything. If the dispensation of mother love is stingy, excessive, or ill-timed, harm to the child is irreversible.” It isn’t that our youth obsessed culture is solely focussed on kids, it is focusses on us as parents. Us as mothers. Us as women. We only have some short window to raise successful, socially acceptable children that will no longer need us once we lose that young mom glow. We will one day become obsolete in our age, rendered useless because, what, we lived another year?
Well that’s bullshit. Enjoy your children every day of your shared lives. You’ll be happier, they’ll be happier.
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