These people who have such pearls of wisdom for your life don't have enough on their plate.
Are you currently in charge of keeping four small children off the street? No? Then shut your face!
If someone can see you are in a personal storm and tells you "These are the best days of your life," that person is a jerk.
Here's the truth: I am grateful. I have four, beautiful, healthy, fairly happy but headstrong children.
Raising them up, teaching them right from wrong and spending all my time with them can be rewarding. I love them more than anything and I chose this life, but here's the thing: it's hard.
I think there is something to be said for living in the moment, but treasuring every moment is for fairy tales.
This is work.
I know, looking back, the years seem to go by fast. But in this moment, I'm counting the hours until bedtime. Not because I'm not grateful, but because holding on to my sanity is my labor of love and it's more important than impressing anyone.
Being a full time mom means sacrificing yourself to such an extent you're not even sure who YOU are anymore and most days you're too tired to care because it's all about survival.
My aunt who had five under five at one time recently gave some advice at a baby shower. That advice was, "Pray." I laughed out loud. It was solid. The reason this is such great advice is because there is nothing else you can do.
When you are outnumbered and can barely find time to sleep, the only thing you can do is pray. Pray they don't all kill each other while you use the bathroom, throw in another load of laundry, take out the trash, put clothes away, cook dinner ... and pour yourself a glass.
Everyone has nostalgia. Most of us say we'd love to go back to college, but what we are really saying is we'd love to party and have no responsibility for anyone but ourselves. Nostalgia dies with lectures and homework.
Without wishing to go back, I believe I will look back on this stage of life and see the good times and humor in it all and I believe I will be grateful. I believe I WILL do that. I do not believe I will wish to be back scrubbing pee out of the couch, changing people in the middle of the night and listening to relentless crying and nagging. The other morning, they all grabbed hold of me shouting, "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" and tried to take me down like a pack of wolves. Yeah, I don't want to go back.
I'm looking forward. I'm excited to see what the future holds and what kind of people they will be. I'm looking forward to doing things. It sounds so simple but I just want to do things with my kids without worrying about their personal safety and having to cut their food.
I believe we SHOULD be grateful ... but I think we should all be a bit more honest.
Life is hard, hold on to your sanity, pour yourself a drink and look forward to looking back.
Jen Reekie was born and raised in Quincy and received a communications degree at the University of Kansas, which has come in quite handy as she communicates every day with four children who don't hear a word she says. This stay-at-home mom enjoys the challenge, though, and shares her experiences in this blog, "Mum's the Word." She welcomes your feedback, questions and stories about staying sane while raising kids.