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10 Reasons It's Not Possible to "Enjoy Every Minute" of Parenting

10 Reasons It's Not Possible to "Enjoy Every Minute" of Parenting

10 Reasons It's Not Possible to "Enjoy Every Minute" of Parenting

We moms of babies and small children all know it - the moment that happens over and over during the first years of your childrens' lives. It is the encounter (which occurs with a frequency otherwise seen only in the movie Groundhog Day) where an older friend or relative croons at you to "Enjoy every minute" of your time with your children, because "it will speed by!"

Most of us have learned to grit our teeth and nod, with a saccharine smile, when these conversations occur. Chances are, the mom on the receiving end does feel fortunate in a general sense. However, in a practical and immediate sense, she feels these other things - in this order.

1. exhausted

2. impatient

3. ineffective

4. exhausted (oops - said that already!)

5. sick and tired of poop


As a fellow parent who is just completing her last potty training, who has one child in school (but not the other!), and who interacts with a slew of friends with babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and older children, I am here to tell you that it is okay not to feel joyful about the downsides of child rearing that all these older folks have conveniently blocked out. Here is a list of things I grant you permission not to enjoy (and this list is by no means complete):


1. being a one-woman human waste management system

2. sharing your most personal moments with a child who wants to hand you a maxipad

3. sweeping up cheerios with determination that would leave Sisyphus in the dustpan...I mean dust

4. feeling like a trip alone to the grocery store is a spa day

5. getting drenched all day, every time it rains, because your kids won't get into their carseats

6. being awakened in the night by kids with wet beds, bad dreams, croup, and busted night lights

7. offering a variety of menu items that rivals a diner

8. hating the park, because it means you will lose your children and lose your mind

9. needing a sherpa to carry all the stuff your kids require on a trip

10. having people tell you to enjoy every minute

Let's face it - folks are not going to stop needling you to cherish these childhood days, because everybody loves to give unsolicited advice. The next time you are faced with this irritating moment (and you know it will be soon) remember that these well-meaning people are reminiscing about their own days of parenting through rose-colored glasses, and it's all because you managed to present your child as being sweet and delightful for their enjoyment. You, my friend, are a hero!

Now go change some diapers.

Image Source: A. Hutchinson

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

Join The Conversation
StephanieSiam StephanieSiam 5 years
I JUST told me husband last night: "I can't wait until we move [out of Saudi Arabia] so I can take a trip ALONE to the grocery store!" Here it's a three-ring circus, because everybody has to go, the stores close frequently, and what should take an hour ends up being an all-night affair! Ah, the luxury of walking the aisles at ease without having to argue with a 4-year-old and maintain patience enough to subdue the Titanic!
PauletteGuerriero PauletteGuerriero 5 years
Wow, I am SO right there with you! Especially the human waste removal system - I am SO tired of poop... "grocery store is a spa day", I laughed out loud at how true that is. Thanks.
CoMMember13631176592799 CoMMember13631176592799 5 years
LOL! Seriously, I say "dito" to Denise, Kelli, Gabriela and all the others! Motherhood is a serious challenge. As I have been just trying to comment on "miss perfects" comment, there has been several instances of chaos all around me. While I love my children, we should really continue to be honest with ourselves and other moms. It's tough. We all enjoy moments, but their are a lot of challenging ones we face daily. Cleaning puke off my face while trying to contain more puke isn't EVER to be enjoyed. lol Taking my 3 under 6 yr old boys to the grocery strore when faced with the choice not to, will never happen!
GabrielaLyons GabrielaLyons 5 years
Jeez, Anita, chill out. I suspect you're being completely disingenuous about the challenges of being a parent. The article was a humorous take on the yucky and frustrating aspects of parenting. Admitting we don't enjoy being puked on doesn't make us less capable than you, majesty. It makes us a bit more honest. Try being less sanctimonious from time to time. You may actually make a friend here on earth. God, I suspect, could use a break from you.
CoMMember13626553387859 CoMMember13626553387859 5 years
I suspect Anita is either heavily medicated or just plain loopy. Those kind of "preachy" comments come with a back story.
DeniseGill DeniseGill 5 years
Anita, I will pray for you. You are a self-righteous woman who has obviously lost her way. I pray that you temper your arrogance and obnoxiousness very soon, for the sake of your children and step-children. Blessings!
AnitaNorthern AnitaNorthern 5 years
That is ok because when you decided to have kids this came with the territory and I enjoyed every moment with my kids weather it was waste management, my child handing me a maxipad. How much cheerios are you giving your child that you have a lot to sweep up? Most people know you only give a few cheerios at a time. And when you have little ones going to the grocery store alone is a good way to relax and take a breath. But I can honestly say I always took my children to the store with me. This is where they learned how much food costs and even when they were younger it help to teach them they don't get everything they want. Why would you let your child get in the car by themselves to get in their car seats? That is part of being a mother, to put them in their car seat and buckle them in. Then once they are buckled in you give them a kiss on the forehead. Why are you giving them a night light? This is a waste of money. They have to learn to sleep in the dark sometime so might as well always do it from the beginning. And as for wet beds, you should have plastic on the bed and have plastic pants on them if you are potty training them or a pullup. Bad dreams,heck everyone has them and needs compfort and why would you not be with them at night if they have croup? When you have a family you fix dinner and not give them a choice. They will eat what you fix if you train them to from the time you start feeding them foods. Why are you losing your children in the park, you are suppose to stay with them and play with them. You know you have a lot you take on a trip and so your kids are going to have a lot. And the people who tell you to enjoy every minute are usually the good parents who didnt put up with the crap that parents put up with today. All the back talking and screeming and throwing fits because they want something and parents give in and get it. I let my kids scream when they throw a fit about wanting something when I say no. I dont give them everything and if they continue they get the butt spanked. Learn patience, discipline, self worth and respect and you wont feel so tired and worried when it comes to raising your kids. Get down on your knees and pray to God he can and will help you. i have seven children when you include my step children (Im only using that word step so you all can justify) I am going to have another and would not trade being a mother for anything.
JessaMarvelli JessaMarvelli 5 years
i lol'd at alot of these because i can relate but yet i have children and im on my 4th now. 7 weeks to go! yay >.> Even though all of these reasons are VERY VALID reasons. The one reason i think we continue to have them is because WE or at least I love being a mother. and i wouldnt trade it in for anything.
NicoleRichards22502 NicoleRichards22502 5 years
SO TURE!!!!!!! i have a two year old and a 10 month old they wake up in the night screaming don't know why. people tell me to enjoy the time that you have with them i don't get to see any of my firends iam in the house all day everyone asked me why iam not drinking iam at the point where i can't wait for them to go play by their slefs so that i might have time to my slef
SophieKendall SophieKendall 5 years
Too true! I have almost nobody I see on a regular basis as a friend, or even a close associate (other than my husband that is) and I get so frustrated with my 4 year old and 2 year old sometimes it's mad. When people, like my Mum for example, tell me to "lighten up" and "enjoy it while I can" and that they're "just being kids" I feel like slapping someone. Major kudos to you for writing this!
MelissaJones88411 MelissaJones88411 5 years
Unbelievably true and the Sisyphus comparison is dead on! I was just lamenting on how I have to sweep after every single meal... sigh. When people tell me they go by fast I say, "I hope so!" If they take it the wrong way oh well ;)
MadonnaMcCrae MadonnaMcCrae 5 years
finally!! there are others out there that understand my way of life! I am not alone, yay! now only if there were moms around where I live that felt the same way! great post by the way, it perked me up :)
BeckyHissey BeckyHissey 5 years
im so close to tears lol. thank you so much for putting up this article. i felt so guilty for getting fraustrated or enjoying 5 mins to myself
MaureenFortin MaureenFortin 5 years
It's so nice not to be "Guilty" anymore. Thank you. I loved the punchline too!
AllisonHart7519 AllisonHart7519 5 years
OMG YES to #5! It's one of those annoyances that I always forget about amidst so many other annoyances. Meanwhile, if I had to stand out in the rain or sleet for 10 minutes before having kids it would be the part of my day I'd bitch about. Now, it's just forgotten about and the fact that I'm freezing and soaking wet just goes unnoticed because a second later I get snot wiped onto my face.
JDBailey JDBailey 5 years
I completely giggled at #2. So far I have been able to hold off my girls from accompanying me to the bathroom for such moments. But it hasn't been easy. Great post!
NicoleShaw47973 NicoleShaw47973 5 years
I love the punchline! I'm a hero because other people enjoy my kid's and (at some times mistakenly) assume I enjoy them, too!
Kim41800 Kim41800 5 years
#5: This was me today. #8: The park, the mall, the grocery store, Target... Great list!
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