Don’t wish their lives away

August 30, 2011

When No 1 Son was very small and I’d start planning a holiday for the following summer or talk about him starting nursery or school or reaching a milestone my mum would say ‘don’t wish your lives away.’ ‘Don’t be ridiculous,’ I’d scoff, thinking what a silly expression, we had all the time in the world. My boy was only little.

But now as we prepare for another school year, and we’re shopping for shoes as big as boats, and I don’t even know how this happened, how I have this big boy with Hobbit-size feet, I realise what my mum was trying to say.

And I wish, just for a few hours, I could go back in time and have that time again, when my baby was small enough to cradle in my arms. When my toddler would giggle at being tickled. When my little boy would walk with his darling hand clutching mine all the way to school and give me a hug and a big grin when I came through the front door after a day at work. I would hold on to every second and never forget a thing.

I know it’s going to be a relief for some of you when the kids go back to school. When you finally get some time back to yourselves, and you can fall back into a routine.

But take it from me, those precious moments when you are their whole world really do go so quickly. So don’t wish their lives away. Because tomorrow will be here sooner than you think.

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  • Hannah September 8, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Ah, you’ve got me in floods! I have rushed through most of my life (got married at 21 and had Esmae shortly after) but since she’s been born I have enjoyed Every Second. I still find watching her sleep magical and really, really hope I remember to savour every moment I have with her. Lovely post! x

  • Sandra Czachur September 8, 2011 at 8:09 am

    WOW! As my three of my children set off to uni next week this is SO poignant. Memories x

  • Steph September 7, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    It’s so true. Now mine are 6 and 4, this is going to be the first time I’ll truly be alone. I thought it was what I wanted, but I don’t. Really I just want to keep them with me forever and ever. Now I’m off to blub into my hankie again…..

  • Amy September 7, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Beautifully written. This post really puts it all in perspective!

  • Lara September 7, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    I love this article. My mum is also always saying “don’t wish your life away” but it is so easy to do so when you are looking forward to your next holiday or the next step your baby takes. I know that I will not be having any further children now so really do try to take the time to soak up everything my little boy Finlay does or I know it is just going to pass me by.

  • HerMelness Speaks September 7, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Yep…I cried all the way through my latest post – my son is 13 today. How on earth did that happen? I hated people telling me “enjoy them, they will soon be gone”, but I say it now to new mothers. Great post. *Sniff*

  • Sara August 31, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    It’s so easy to think oh when they are back at school or that bit older. I guess I have a unique perspective on this for me my child didn’t grow old. I’m so thankful for the nine and a half years we had but gosh yes if I could hold her in my arms I would give up any meal out,face any amount of back to school shopping. Anything. No one knows what tomorrow will bring so love today with all your heart.

  • Erica Whiteman August 31, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Very wise words… I have been reminiscing over my little dude’s past 4 1/2 years as he prepares to start school tomorrow. Life moves too fast…

  • Luckylauraq August 31, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    You have articulated the knot of dread I feel deep down somewhere everytime I drop my 4 year old to school or look at my 20 week old baby. More than anything I want to freeze time! I should be grateful that I am realising this now & not in 20 years time. A post every mum should read – made me cry xx

  • Crystal Jigsaw August 31, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Time goes too quickly and before you know it, you’re buying school shoes and uniform instead of nappies and soothers. I think we’re all guilty of the “I can’t wait for the weekend” syndrome yet when it comes another week has passed and we struggle to remember what we did the previous week. So many milestones and significant steps are forgotten whilst all the time our children are growing up in front of our eyes. I hope I’ve made the most of Amy’s childhood so far, but I sure intend to make even more of it from now on. Thanks for a lovely reminder and a great post.

    CJ xx

  • mum in Meltdown August 30, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    This is so unbelievably true. My boys are now 10 and 13 and I am always getting prepared for the next thing…….new school, new year, next b’day etc!! Yet I only have to look at a pic of them when they were younger to just realise how quickly the time goes and therefore how important it is to just ‘stop and enjoy the moment’ whatever that may be- a joke, a giggle, a cuddle or whatever!!

  • kathleen August 30, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    My 3 year old starts nursery school next week. I feel like this time has come round far too quickly. I don’t know what to say other than that. I read your post today and it left a lump in my throat because it’s exactly what my mum has said to me. He on the other hand is going to love it. He won’t want to be my baby for much longer!

  • GiddyGirl August 30, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    That brought an enormous lump to my throat. My 4 year old starts school next week and I also have a 12 week old baby. I am savouring every moment with my precious boys x

  • Musings from a mum August 30, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    So true but at the same time so hard to do! I try to live in the moment but so often we say “I’ll do it in a minute” rather than giving a hug or spending the time right away.

    My baby is going to reception this year too and its going to be so strange letting him go. But it’s a new adventure and I hope to treasure every moment of it and with him in the years to come.

  • Nicola August 30, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    What a lovely post and I totally understand the sentiment. However, having had PND for the 1st 18 months of baby’s life I was wishing it away for a reason, just for someone to make the crying stop, mine and hers. As soon as I recovered my baby’s personality changed and now she’s four I wish I could freeze frame what we have right here, right now. I wouldn’t turn the clock back though for all the tea in china.

  • Claire, Cheshire Mum August 30, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    I am preparing for my first baby, my baby boy to start in reception on Tuesday. When I say preparing I mean mostly crying. I felt a whole lifetime away but it has arrived faster than I ever thought possible. Tuesday closes the first chapter of his childhood, its been brilliant but I am missing him already 🙁

  • Jo Beaufoix August 30, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Oi Jarvis, this post made me blub, tsk. You’re so so right though. Miss E starts Secondary school in a week and I am so sad and nervoous even though she’s fine. M will be in year 2 and is still at the stage that she wants to hold my hand and runs and jumps into my arms, but E is too heavy to lift now and although I still squidge her on my knee she’s growing up.
    They really do get such a short time to be a kid don’t they?
    Ps Yes I can see your blog. x

  • LagosMum August 30, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    I can really relate to your post! My boy turns 1 next week – and I’m looking forward to first words, first steps, reading together, etc. But each time I look at him I miss his babyhood from just a few months (or even weeks!) ago. You have reminded me to just enjoy *now*.

  • Corinne August 30, 2011 at 9:50 am

    I am in the fortunate position of having had a baby when I was young and then a 10 year gap before having more children, so I have seen how time has flown. Like you say, my gorgeous little baby is now 12 and I missed out by waiting for the next thing. I now have 2 small boys aswell as my big boy and am trying to make the most of every precious moment with my family.

  • Insomniac Mummy August 30, 2011 at 9:35 am

    I know only too well that very moment is precious. Losing my mum when I was 5 has pretty much shaped me into the the mother I am now.

    I worry that every day might be the last. Every hug, kiss and giggle is so precious. Next week my boy starts school for the first time, and everyday I wish we’d had more time together, I almost feel like I’m mourning the loss of the first part of his childhood. 🙁

    I know there’ll be many happy memories to come, but you’re right – time shouldn’t be wished away and we should learn to appreciate what we have in the moment we have it.


  • Jo Norman August 30, 2011 at 9:28 am

    I can remember a few years ago walking through a meadow with my mum and my two (at the time) toddlers running along in front of us and mum turning to me and saying “remember this moment”. She was right and I do. You don’t need photos to instantly have a vision of a special moment but sometimes you need someone to prompt you to remember it. Lovely post and so true. I would love to go back for a couple of hours too.

  • Wendy August 30, 2011 at 9:17 am

    With two young children aged 4 and 8 years, I must admit I’ve been guilty of wishing the school holidays away sometimes over the past few weeks. Especially when half of the time they can’t be in the same room as each other without trying to beat seven bells of pap out of each other!
    When you’re caught up in the day to day grind it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that one day they’ll soon have ‘flown away’, and it’s only when you’ve grown a bit older and a lot more wiser like your mum that you fully appreciate it….
    She’s so right though, time does go awfully quickly and I for one will not wish it away as much.

  • Love In The Nest August 30, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Ah cute post, my 2 are still under 2 but the time is already going so fast. At the moment I can’t imagine not having a tiny baby around but it will happen one day not too far in the future 🙁 I am certainly enjoying every minute xx

  • Ali August 30, 2011 at 9:10 am

    I would have my two home all the time just because it all goes so quickly. Mine our 12 and 10 and yes where did those baby years go?

    Though my 10 year old has just sat on my lap for 10 minutes chatting about bugs and in a minute my 12 year old will shout out can I have a hug Mum!

    But yes today I will put the work on hold and spend more time with them as next week it back to the School regime and I know i am going to miss them x

  • kerry August 30, 2011 at 9:05 am

    What s great post. I totally agree! Always rushing to the next milestone. Now i just want to slam on the brakes!

  • notsupermum August 30, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Very true, and that’s one of the rules I’ve lived by with my own children. They grow up so fast, too fast, it’s important to enjoy them at the age they are right now.

  • @gourmetmummy (susan) August 30, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Beautiful post. I feel like I rushed through baby and toddler hood with my 1st two so am just drinking in my newborn this time. Childhood is so precious and you are totally right, every cuddle and every kiss should be treasured