The days are long but the years are short

We all have days that make us want to tear our hair out.  Days where we haven’t had enough sleep, the kids are arguing and we just want the day to be over. 

But here I am, almost 35 years old and with three children, three children who are growing and changing before my eyes.  Learning to read, learning to write, to walk, to run, to swim . . . Each of them achieving firsts but also lasts.  

The very start . . . 

I am so conscious of not wanting to wish the days away, of wanting to savour the ordinary moments which make our lives special.  Not wanting to forget the way they are in these moments is one of the primary reasons I started writing this blog – I didn’t want to forget the things they said and did.  Of course during those nights where Chloe is up crying but can’t tell me why, the nights where Amy is unsettled and wakes more times than I care to remember and the times Ben is driving me crackers with incessant chatter when I just want a few minutes peace it’s hard not to wish the days away.  As the saying goes “The days are long, but the years are short” – this is never more true than when you are a parent.  No matter how long and difficult your day is, blink and you’ll miss it.  You’l look back and wonder where the weeks, months and years have gone.  When you have a newborn baby people will always say to you “Make the most of these days, they’ll be gone before you know it” but you never appreciate just how true that is until you’ve watched your own newborn change into a walking talking person.  (I remember crying to Dave when Ben was two weeks old because his face had changed and time was going to fast. Yes, I really did.)

I came across this poem on Netmums which sums it up perfectly. 

The Last Time

From the moment you hold your baby in your arms,
you will never be the same.
You might long for the person you were before,
When you had freedom and time,
And nothing in particular to worry about.
You will know tiredness like you never knew it before,
And days will run into days that are exactly the same,
Full of feeding and burping,
Whining and fighting,
Naps, or lack of naps. It might seem like a never-ending cycle.
But don’t forget…
There is a last time for everything.
There will come a time when you will feed your baby
for the very last time.
They will fall asleep on you after a long day
And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child.
One day you will carry them on your hip,
then set them down,
And never pick them up that way again.
You will scrub their hair in the bath one night
And from that day on they will want to bathe alone.
They will hold your hand to cross the road,
The never reach for it again.
They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles,
And it will be the last night you ever wake for this.
One afternoon you will sing ‘the wheels on the bus’
and do all the actions,
Then you’ll never sing that song again.
They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate,
the next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone.
You will read a final bedtime story and wipe your
last dirty face.
They will one day run to you with arms raised,
for the very last time.
The thing is, you won’t even know it’s the last time
until there are no more times, and even then,
it will take you a while to realise.
So while you are living in these times,
remember there are only so many of them and
when they are gone,
you will yearn for just one more day of them
For one last time.
Author unknown

There will be no more babies in our house.  Each of the lasts will the very last.  Amy is walking now, no longer a baby but not quite a toddler.  Not in my eyes at least.  My Dad has always said I mustn’t baby her, and I don’t think I do, but I’m so aware of how quickly the milestones are reached, surpassed and forgotten.  There will be no more heavily pregnant bumps, no more fresh newborn cuddles and no more breastfeeding instead there will be a whole world of new firsts – of Ben finally learning to ride his bike without stabilisers, Chloe learning to swim without arm bands or Amy learning to run.  A whole world of new firsts, and lasts, to treasure and told hold in our hearts forever. 

My babies x

16 thoughts on “The days are long but the years are short

  1. Beautiful post. Those milestones are so bittersweet. Treasuring the moments can be hard sometimes but it's only when you stop and take a look back that you realise how quickly they did indeed fly by.

  2. No more babies here either and as T grows I find myself sad at things being the last but there are definitely many more firsts to experience and enjoy. Your little man is so cute, love ginger babies! x

  3. Oh, this made me cry. S is an only child and nearly 3, so I've already had a lot of lasts. Last night she kept me up most of the night, kicking and messing around. I woke up in a right grump but you know what, there will come a time when she doesn't want to sleep in my bed and give me a cuddle in the middle of the night. Thank you for reminding me of that x

  4. Oh you're so right. We're having a tough time with Elsie right now but at the same time I want to pause it all and soak it up. This is my last baby! Oh my goodness. It goes so fast and before you know it they're not babies any more. I think I need to lie down!! x xx x

  5. 'The days are long but the years are short' is one of the best lines I picked up from my net roaming in the early months of becoming a mum. I have returned to this sentence over and over again, and shared it many times too. It's so vital to remember that all the pluses and annoyances will pass and we ought to soak up every second before they zoom off. I'm still trying to make sense of the fact that my little one is now almost one and my maternity leave is over! I cherish the days more and I so wish I noted more 'firsts'; so many 'lasts' have already come and many wishes of, 'I wish i soaked that in more'.

    Thanks for another reminder of the very short years, soon gone by, no matter how long the days are. :-). #TwitterRT from @totsbots

  6. I love that poem. I see my boys growing so fast and I'm helpless. I wish I could freeze time, do more with them, see more of them. But life moves so quickly doesn't it. I suppose the only thing we can do is make the most of what we have. I'm far more fortunate than some mothers in that I work from home and the children spend a lot of time with me, but I'm also guilty of not making the best of that time. #ShareFriday

  7. Lovely post! I'm yet to have children, but I can imagine if you blink you'll miss it. Enjoy all the moments and look forward to the future, more exciting things will happen 🙂 x

  8. Oh I absolutely love that poem it always gets me choked up. lol We are in the lasts here of everything too. No more babies for us and every time MM passes another milestone I think that was the last of that in this house. So sad and so exciting all together. I can relate. Lovely post Colette. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

  9. Beautiful post Colette and while it is sad to say goodbye to all of those firsts, the firsts will never really end, they just change. In (many) years to come it will be the first time they get a qualification, drive a car, go on a date, get married, have babies of their own….. we have decided two is it for us and there are times I feel sad that there will be no more (though there definitely will be for many reasons) but I have to remind myself there is still so much to enjoy with watching our children grow and plenty of moments still to enjoy 🙂 xx Lovely post thanks for sharing xx

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