“Enjoy Every Moment” – What Terrible Advice!

“ENJOY EVERY MOMENT.” That phrase is back. It’s being posted by mommy bloggers, it’s in the comments of exasperated parents’ social posts, I overheard it from an elderly woman in the grocery store to the mom with a cart full of kids, I’ve been on the receiving end of it. And I believe in most cases it is being said with the sincerest of intentions. I also still believe it needs to stop.

“ENJOY EVERY MOMENT.” That’s the phrase that gets me the most. But its sister phrases seem to be “SOAK IT ALL IN,” and “YOU’LL MISS THIS SOMEDAY.”

Where do I even start? I guess with “enjoy every moment” – what terrible advice. Parenting is hard. At every stage. But no one should be expected to enjoy “every moment” of anything. I don’t enjoy every moment of my job, my marriage, or any other relationship or major event in my life. It doesn’t make me a bad mom, wife, employee, or friend, it makes me human. A very tiRed human.

TwinsDo you know what I feel when I hear “enjoy every moment”? Aside from rage? GUILT. And believe me, I’m already feeling guilty.

  • Guilty that I didn’t spend enough time with my girls before bed because I was making dinner, finishing up some work, or on a call for the board I’m on.
  • Guilty that I yelled at my kid when she refused her dinner and demanded a snack.
  • Guilty that I rushed bedtime because I was so exhausted and still had so much to do before I went to bed.

And when I finally do go to bed MAKE SURE TO ENJOY EVERY MOMENT is all I can think. Now, not only am I sad, tired, and frustrated about the not enjoyable phase we’re in or the bad night we had– but I feel like a crap mom because I’m not shouting the joys of motherhood from the rooftop and pooping gumdrops and rainbows 24/7.

Every moment is not enjoyable. And we shouldn’t feel it has to be. Because Gertrude, the elderly woman at the store, is decades removed from the toddler stage and seems to have forgotten the hard parenting times. This makes me wonder if people use this phrase because of their own guilt. They miss whatever age or stage they are telling people to enjoy. But I would confidently say that’s because when you get far enough away from it – from the tantrums and the sleepless nights and the screaming like a possessed demon for no reason – you don’t remember that part. You remember when they could cuddle up on your lap and snuggle for hours, you remember the adorable giggle reaction when you did something funny, you remember the silly ways they pronounced things. You remember the good things. And parents who are dealing with hard seasons do, too. We love our kids; we have a lot of great times and good days. There are things we love about every age and stage – just not everything. And that’s okay.

And here’s the thing – when my kids are at an age where they don’t need me to tuck them into bed, aren’t home to refuse to eat their dinner anymore, or have even moved out of the house – will I long for those days when they were little? I mean, of course – most of it, but not all of it. Not every moment.

I’m sure I won’t be crying in my extremely quiet, clean house into my glass of wine about how much I missed when my kid woke up three times a night, refused to eat, and pooped everywhere {except the toilet}. But I will miss them, that’s different.

And will there be a day when I’m dealing with the bigger problems of bigger kids and long to go back to the “easy” days of having a toddler with toddler-sized problems? Probably. It still doesn’t make any of what I am going through now less frustrating and exhausting. It’s still valid.

So, let’s stop mom-shaming those going through a hard time. Let’s stop responding to struggling parents with toxic positivity like the “enjoy every moment” advice. Instead, think before you respond with a well-intended but potentially hurtful response. Might I suggest instead of “enjoy every moment,” and “you’ll miss this someday,” you try something like “wow, that really sucks – you’re a great mom and I hope it passes quickly. And here is some wine.”



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Hi, I’m Jodie! I live in Williamston with my husband Chris and three girls: Francesca, and twins, Amelia and Annabelle. Since graduating from Central Michigan University (Fire Up, Chips!), I have worked full-time in the world of corporate communications, for 15 years. I also serve on the Galactosemia Foundation board, where I advocate for my two daughters living with the rare metabolic disease. I love Jesus, but I cuss a little and I drink coffee until wine is acceptable. When I can find a minute, I blog about my crazy, blessed life – often the hard stuff, but always with humor (and often a little sarcasm) at JustJoders.blogspot.com. I can’t wait to start sharing my life and learnings with the Mid-Michigan Moms community!