There’s a song and video doing the rounds called ‘Slow Down’. Everyone gushing how they sobbed when they watched. But I didn’t. I’m clearly a cold-hearted freak. Am I missing an essential mothering gene?
Apparently Mothers around the world are hailing it the best song ever made. Accompanied by a compilation of videos of children playing, smiling with their parents and siblings and showing beautiful memories of everything in a perfect childhood.
The message is clear, “time with your children moves so fast”.
I get the message – there are plenty of ‘blink and you miss it’ phases of raising a child. I’m just not feeling the sentiment with quite the same emotion, for two reasons:
The stages the singer wants to Slow Down weren’t that fucking picture-perfect in reality
My experience so far tells me that actually it just gets better. So bring on the future!
I can honestly say that every age my Ginger Boy has been so far, has been my favourite. When he was a new born baby, I remember people saying that babies are boring until they start to talk and show some personality. I was absolutely outraged! Had they not met MY baby? My completely gorgeous, expressive baby whose gurning face made me laugh every single day?
But of course, as he grew in size and expression, I have to admit, babies are pretty damn boring compared to what comes next. And while I cherish all those memories of me bursting with love as his tiny fingers wrapped around mine, they are also entwined with memories of a period of no sleep, a mini breakdown and phoning friends asking how long this period of crying through the night (him and me) would last.
I most certainly did not want that time to Slow Down!
Last week my friend made a sad face because her youngest is now potty trained. I was amazed that this was not a celebratory event. She explained that it signifies he’s growing up and he’s not a baby anymore. Apparently many people feel the same way when their kids hit a significant milestone.
I get it (I think), but again I was left thinking that I must have a heart of stone. When we reached that stage there was absolutely no mourning period. All I felt was a joyous realisation in a garden centre that when Ginger Boy told me he needed a poo, I was no longer required to perform the obligatory shit-sniff before taking my toddler into a disabled toilet, lay him out on a plastic tray, stinky end nearest my face, and hold his windmill-propelled legs away from my head with one elbow, to stop me being hit in the face by a shoe, a wet wipe or, let’s get real… actual shit. It never EVER occurred to me that I might look back on that phase with anything more than a vague fondness for the comedy shit related memories. I certainly don’t ‘miss it’!
And that’s how I feel about life, not just motherhood. Life phases are amazing. I don’t mourn for any of them or want them to Slow Down because there’s always something else ahead to look forward to.
‘School days are the best of your life’. Yes they are but…. I couldn’t wait to grow up and be old enough to go to the pub
The butterflies in your tummy for a first kiss are fantastic. But… Look at what comes later (sex obvs!) – a long term intimacy that’s well worth moving on from those butterflies
My single, party days were amazing. But…. then I got to meet my husband.
Does my practical attitude mean I’m cold? Maybe. Should I take the video’s advice and Slow Down? Perhaps. The good phases and the bad phases and everything in between, all move fast. Thankfully I have a good memory and about 1000 photos to help me remember the good bits (I never took any photos of the poo windmill in action, so maybe I’ll forget those bits. Maybe that’s not a bad thing).
I guess in summary…. I’m thankful for where we’ve been so far, happy with where we are now, and excited about where we might go to tomorrow. I don’t want to slow down OR speed up. I’m just grateful to be on this roller coaster of a parenthood ride.