It does all end, you know; the night feeds, the nasty nappies and poo and piles in places you’d rather they weren’t. Plus the fading opportunity to sit still for five seconds without worrying that the kids have gone suspiciously quiet.
It feels like it will be forever, those sticky chins, soggy faces pressed in your neck and an adoration that is always yours simply because you’re mum.
But of course it isn’t. And you don’t really get that till twenty years or so have passed, when you have to work harder for your adoration and you suddenly appreciate those gems of parenthood collectively because they’ve moved on by.
As I pass into this new phase of parent-to-adults – well; more best friends really – I wonder what I would say to those of you at the beginning of your parenting life?
Like others before me, I could say it’s an opportunity too precious to waste. But when you’re going through it with tinies I know that means nothing really, because it’s impossible to imagine a time you’ve yet to experience.
I think I might say something else instead.
I would say; make moments with your child matter.
Make moments that matter, both to you and to them. Make the moments you spend with them count. Because all of what you do counts towards the creation of a caring, conscious, conscientious human being who, collected with others make a caring conscientious race.
And I would say that twenty years from now it will not matter how much money you spent on them, which phone you used, how big your income, how tidy your house or how many friends you have on social media.
What will matter will be the contribution you will have made by the way you parented your child. By the moments you made. The memories you made.
That’s the only thing that really truly matters.
That’s what I would say.