If You Can’t Cherish Every Moment: A Pre-School Teacher’s Take will make all moms feel better. Being a mom is the most challenging yet rewarding experience ever!
Imagine, if you will, this scenario. A young mom with her hands full of babies, young children and toddlers, shopping cart in hand, is struggling to maintain peace, order, and some semblance of sanity. Her infant bellows for food, her middle child drops his juice box out of the cart, and another child is on the verge of a tantrum.
It is all she can do to pay for her things and get out of the store when an older woman looking at her wistfully tells her to cherish all these moments, for they pass by so quickly.
This frustrated mom now feels like a failure, because she’s not enjoying everything about the exhausting never-ending days, and the sleeplessness she’s trudging through, as if she were a soldier walking through a combat zone filled with Cheerios and Lego pieces. She loves her children deeply, but now she feels that she has failed. One. More. Thing.
If that mom is you, and if you’ve ever heard those words and felt the weight of a ton of a bricks on your spirit, I have a perspective to offer you. You are completely normal.
If You Can’t Cherish Every Moment: A Pre-School Teacher’s Take
For four years, I was a pre-school teacher, meaning I was a wiper of noses, a tie-er of shoes, and a counter of numbers from one to ten. Therefore, I must tell you something: watching children is no small task.
It is hard work.
It is physical work.
It is emotional work.
I didn’t cherish every minute. My fellow teachers didn’t, either. That’s because isn’t possible to.
I snuggled these adorable little monsters, read them their favorite stories, laughed at their jokes, and extended recess time by four or five precious extra minutes. But still, I can tell you that the tensions in pre-schools are real, and sometimes it is all we can do to just survive until the bell rings for dismissal.
We would grit our teeth sometimes and smile, trying not to lose our patience. We would nearly pass out from fatigue after the three-hour day would end and would pray gleefully for snow days. The end of the year couldn’t come fast enough, and we savored every moment of our summer vacation.
We chose to make our profession caring for these darling ones, but if we can’t be happy every second, I assure you that you can’t either. And that’s nothing to be ashamed of. It just means that you’re human.
Because the important function of raising little people takes everything we have. Pre-school teachers get time to recover, but most moms don’t regularly get to do so. We love the little ones in our care, but I can assure you that your child’s pre-school teachers also want to pull their hair out at times. We’re not superhuman and neither are you.
Moms, you love your children, and you continually lay down your lives for them. Nevertheless, to feel tired is human, especially when there are tiny people tugging at you at all hours for your time and attention.
The next time someone reminds you to relish every experience with your kids, remember that your devotion to them is real and that it doesn’t require you to be ecstatic every minute. Real love is strong enough to weather annoyances and lost sleep, missing shoes, and strained nerves.
You are making memories you will look back fondly upon, and your children will know how to handle conflict when they are older and not run away from it when they are busy making families of their own.
There is more to the story than what can be seen in a split second, and the old lady isn’t even really talking to you. She’s talking to the younger her, as she was, 30, 40, or even 50 years ago. She realizes that the upsets in her years of parenting were not as monumental as they seemed, and you will realize that some day, too.
In the meantime, remember that true love is shown by showing up, consistently day in and day out and is exactly what you are doing. You are doing a great job, mama. Keep up the good work, even if you cannot cherish each and every moment.
This is a guest post by Rosa Hopkins. Rosa is a radio show host in 4 markets and on 8 stations, a writer, speaker, singer-songwriter, producer, and a radio recording artist. She lives in the hills of WV with her wonderful husband, miracle baby, a Jack Russell, and a shapeless hound named Lou. Her writing has been featured on the Today Show Mom’s Facebook page, the Huffington Post, and the Baltimore Sun. She writes on gutsy topics through a biblical lens on her facebook page: www.facebook.com/rosahopkinswriting