Every now and then you stumble upon a Facebook post that hits you right in the gut. You jump right on that rollercoaster of emotion, and feel every twist and turn the writer would have felt while forming those words.
Why? Because you've thought each of those sentences yourself. That person's pains, their joys, their fears are all a reflection of your own. It almost feels like this stranger was in your brain when they wrote it.
I reckon that's how 99.99 percent of parents felt after reading a recent post by Liza Hartley. Thousands of post reactions proves it.
"Life's so busy"
She starts off talking about the universal struggle of parenting. "Helping them with homework, a messy house, the never ending laundry, the cost to buy school clothes, packing their lunches..."
But between these little gripes are so many moments of joy. The Christmas mornings, the sports games, watching them pursue the things they love. In these moments, parents play the role of the facilitator. You nurture them as they grow.
Life develops a busy little family routine. It might feel manic, but you also feel like you're thriving.
But what comes next?
In these moments, it's hard to picture the day when your house becomes empty again.
"Suddenly hours turn into days ... days into months ... and months into years," writes Liza. "You’ve learned how to parent a child who needs you to care for and protect them ... but have no clue how the whole 'letting go' thing is supposed to work."
When you reach this stage, 20 years doesn't feel like enough. You think of all the things you could have done or could have said or ways you could have helped them. You wonder if you could have shown them better how much you love them.
While it will never feel like enough time, we need to learn to trust that we have done enough.
"Soak. It. All. In."
She ends with a reminder that we can never hear too often: don't take those young years for granted.
"One day, all those crazy days full of cartoons, snuggles, sleep overs, Christmas morning magic, ballgames, practices and late night dinners ... all come to an end.
"You’re left hoping that you did enough right, so that when they spread their wings ... They’ll fly."
Is anyone else ugly crying yet?
If yes, go give your babies an extra big hug. (And while you're at it, give yourself a big pat on the back. You're doing great.)
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