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Contrary to popular belief, time does not fly by

Whether you are a new parent or an old parent, there is always a lot of advice floating around. So I thought I’d chime in on some unwarranted and unasked instruction. Now that my children are older, I can become nostalgic for that child I used to cuddle. I want to recapture those times when we read stories together or they held my hand with trust, not because I actually require their assistance. I’ll see these parents with little children, and I wonder, where did all the time go?

Let me tell you. Time didn’t go anywhere. It can pass excruciatingly slowly while covered in vomit or nursing a child’s fever. It probably feels like the clock has even stopped if you are a single parent. I was constantly being told that “time flies by” and to “treasure every moment.” That opinion would inevitably be shared when my son decided to mustache himself with a permanent marker or my daughter monkeyed her way to the top of the door. I do understand, it was always well-meaning advice. I always felt like I was being told to keep checking for that childhood expiration date.

I’m also a bit of a realist. I’ve been told for years to not waste my opportunities. That my children will only be in my house for 18 years before they leave the nest. I believe that is a myth to make us believe that we truly have to treasure every moment. Some children come back, while we get to visit the others. It all works out.

I felt that parenting my children was my war zone. Sometimes we had a cease-fire, and other times it was a full assault. Bedtime could be a battlefront, while mealtime was sometimes about the negotiation. A temper tantrum turned into the firing line where I would feel under siege.

Please don’t take any of this the wrong way. I loved most of the time with my children, even the most frustrating moments. From my experience, raising children is similar to childbirth. There are moments that you don’t think you will survive, and then there is someone nearby reminding you to breathe. Sometimes you have to push (metaphorically, people). We forget the pain and focus on the joy.

As time flies, it allows us to remember the good things, and that is what we truly treasure.

Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Time guidebook series, For family-friendly activities go to AdirondackFamilyTime.com.