CHILDHOOD is fleeting. I know this, because people with children who are much older than mine tell me this often.
“Enjoy them at this age!” they say. “They grow so fast; I remember when my kids were that little. Now my youngest is an accountant and my older son works in the UK…”
Enjoy this age. I understand the sentiment but I have to say, it can be easier said than done.
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I adore my children, aged four and almost two, but some days they are more (or less) adorable than others.
The challenge is that they have constant needs, which if not immediately met, can quickly transform into whines and tantrums. The relentless of parenting can sometimes take its toll.
When you’re a working parent, it adds a whole new dynamic to the mix (generally driven by a combination of guilt, poor multi-tasking and chronic sleep deprivation!).
Which is why I found this advice from writer and editor Shane Rodgers so interesting.
In an article he penned about career advice he’d share with his 25-year-old self, Shane offers a little nugget of wisdom that I think most modern parents could benefit from – particularly when your kids are still in the toilet training phase.
“Over the long haul, it really doesn’t matter if you have a few years when your career is in canter mode while you prioritise young children. This should apply to men and women,” Shane says.
“I was watching some video of my kids when they were little last week and I realised, again, that the little people in that video don’t exist in that form anymore. They have grown into pride-worthy adults but the tiny people with wonder in their eyes were just passing through. If you miss that time meeting deadlines and finishing reports, you never get it back.”
I feel like I’m heeding this warning at just the right time.
At the moment, my four-year-old still lights up like a Christmas tree when I pick her up from pre-school. She still runs across the room and flings herself into my arms with gusto, and collapses into my arms for cuddles at least a dozen times a day.
When she’s a broody, distant teenager finding her way in the world, I’m going to pine for these moments.
And I’ll probably look at other parents, still in the thick of the tantrum and toilet-training stage with their little ones, and I’ll say, “Enjoy this age! It goes so fast…”
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