Especially when we're feeling exhausted, stressed, and ready to quit.
By having kids we generally sign up for a few years of chaos — okay, make that a few decades. It’s a myriad of emotional ups and downs, but best of all, immeasurable love. Yet, as our lives become more and more hectic it’s so easy to lose sight of the love, and focus on all those daily stresses. Luckily one exhausted mom, Anna Strode, got a timely reminder from an elderly couple of the privilege it truly is to be a parent. And all it took was eight simple words.
While on a trip to her local café with 2-year-old twin boys, Lachie and Sammy, and three-month old Madi, a courageous Strode was in the midst of dealing with a spilled baby’ccino, a toddler in tears, another on the run, and a grizzly tired baby strapped to her chest when she heard an elderly gentleman whisper to his wife: “They were the best days of our lives.” A shocked Strode turned to the couple and asked “REALLY?” — obviously three under-2s in a café would have this effect — to which the elderly lady simply replied: “The best by far.”
The couple’s words had an immediate impact on Strode. On a post she shared on Instagram, the worn-out mom said: “The chaos around me suddenly didn’t feel painful or frustrating anymore. I wanted to bottle it up and STOP time.” She went on to say that, “I realized in that moment that one day my babies will be all grown up with their own babies and they won’t need me anymore.”
These words have stayed with Strode, as she explained to Scary Mommy, “The comment from the old man has truly helped me see even the hardest days as a gift.”
And the majority of parents will understand just how hard those days can be; between the tantrums, the endless tidying up, and feelings of isolation, it’s enough to drive any parent to despair. While the more trite comments such as “make the most of it, time flies” can offer some consolation, how often do we get to hear that our parenting days will be our best?
The senior couple’s message to Strode and to the rest of us parents is very clear: cherish every moment, no matter how challenging it may feel, and appreciate our kids for the blessings they really are.