A Piece of Advice

“Enjoy this time, it goes so fast” is the single most repeated piece of parenting advice that I’ve heard since having kids. Since I chose to become a single mom at an older age than my friends, having my kids at age 46 and 50, I hear it from my peers not just the older generation which makes it bear even more weight for me.

My kids are now 2-years-old and 6-years-old – there are a lot of parenting years I have not yet covered. But in the phase of parenting I’m now in, there are very many life skills my kids haven’t mastered both in terms of basic care and feeding and also regulating the emotional ups and downs of life. It’s a very physical job that takes a lot of patience. But while I’m needed often for kissing boo-boos, the beauty of this phase is that my kids’ problems are small and my kiss can fix almost anything that happens to them.

Breaking the advice down and applying it to where I’m at: “Enjoy this time.”

Enjoy this time which means enjoy this phase that’s a lot of work and is full of ups and downs. Enjoy this time which means celebrating it even when my shoulders are heavy with the responsibility and worry for this family. Enjoy this time which means treasuring every drop of this intimate closeness even when it’s full of sticky, raw emotion both positive and negative. Enjoy this time which means cherishing the weeks when it’s completely impossible to complete my personal tasks and create a stable experience for my kids when they are sick, the world is sick or even when I’m sick.

And then “it goes so fast.”

It goes so fast implies that if I look away for a second, it will change to something else. It goes so fast means that time is ticking even when it’s not fun. It goes so fast tells me that if I’m dreaming of a moment in which I can have a routine that isn’t so urgently tied to others’ needs, I will miss something unfolding in the life of today.

And back together, “Enjoy this time, it goes so fast.”

Enjoy this time, it goes so fast tells me to savor what I have. Enjoy this time, it goes so fast implies a richness to the mess of a life I have now. Enjoy this time, it goes so fast means that this is the heart of life experience beating right now.

Now that I break it down “enjoy this time, it goes so fast” isn’t specific at all to parenting. And I’m wondering why it isn’t the most offered piece of advice given to every person on this planet.

Are you enjoying this time? What’s a piece of advice that you’ve heard a lot or has resonated with you?

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21 thoughts on “A Piece of Advice

  1. Thanks for sharing more of your insights, Wynne–great post! The realization that has helped me the most is knowing that NOW is all there is. I’ll be looking forward to your next post! 🙂

    1. Ah, yes – NOW is all there is. That is very true and goes so hand in hand with “enjoy this time, it goes fast!” Now IS this time!

      Thanks, Art!

      1. I agree, Wynne. It’s quite a strange realization to a lot of people, when they first really “get” it. 🙂

  2. What a lovely and thoughtful post. It’s interesting to me how often we fail to extrapolate lessons. What a great reminder that time does pass quickly regardless.

    1. I like how you put it, Em – failure to extrapolate lessons. That is so true – especially when in the midst of “life” that ties us up in knots, we don’t take a step back to ponder. And yes, time passes quickly whether we like it or not. Thanks for the comment!

  3. I must admit that time goes really fast. My son will be soon 21 and I really enjoyed any moments spent with him, also now when he almost does not need me anymore (he lives in the Netherlands and in September he will move to Rome). But each time he comes home my heart is filled with love. Children are made for the world but they will always live in their parents’ heart.

    1. Wow – that’s a powerful perspective, Cristiana! Children are made for the world but they will always live in their parents’ heart. Indeed!! So I need to cherish the time where they are both in my heart and in my bed. 🙂 So interesting to have you affirm how fast it goes!

  4. Lol. Wynne, do you ever stop and think that nearly every one of your posts could be turned into a sermon?! You come by it honestly! You may be surprised to learn – I know I am surprised myself – that I am enjoying being old very much. Who knew! But as for that saying re enjoying your kids while it lasts …, I think it’s because we are so darn busy when they are at that stage of life that we often don’t take the time or find the time to appreciate the little things that are so precious. Parents of young kids can be utterly exhausted much of the time, as you must know, and while you’re trying to stay on top of everything it’s easy to miss that which should be cherished. I think you are extremely good at knowing how to cherish.

    1. Oh, I’m laughing about your phrase “come by it honestly” because I love that phrase. But to answer your question – no, I never had thought about my posts’ possibilities as a sermon. Hilarious!

      I love knowing that you are enjoying being old very much. I’m not surprised – that comes across whenever you write.

      But I think you are right on about being so exhausted as a parent of young children that it’s hard to really cherish things. And I love that you provide this perspective that really gives me something to hold on to. I try to cherish it and writing really helps me do that!

      There are some days when I have to put on 6 shoes before heading out the door (including my own and my 6-year-olds who can put them on herself but sometimes it’s easier to do it for her instead of struggle with the psychological motivation to get her to do it) — and then I’m tired BEFORE we’ve even left. 🙂 Enjoying the path that we travel is an extra step that I try to always remember to take as well.

      Thanks for this beautiful and fun comment, Jane!

  5. Another great piece Wynne! When my kids were very young, so many people gave me that same pice of advice (enjoy this time- it goes fast) that I got tired of hearing it. I wanted to yell “Ok everybody- enough! I get it!”. And I think I really did. But even so- the time really did go fast, and now I find myself giving that same advice to other parents with young ones. I don’t care if they’ve heard it a million times too- it’s too important a tip to risk not hearing- whether in parenting or any part of life.

    1. I love hearing that you heard it a lot too — and now offer it up. What a fun full circle that is! Thanks for reading and adding this perspective for me!

  6. You’ve said it so well.
    That piece of advice should be used in every aspect of life, not just only in parenting🧡

  7. I agree with that last paragraph. I’m not a parent, but this is an excellent piece of advice that encourages people to make the most of their lives

  8. The experience is yours to create. Im so glad that you chose to do what you want despite the possible burdens and troubles you may face.
    The post sure made me reflect to not just be stuck in writing and books and spend the time i have well.

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