Before You Know It

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Before even giving birth to my first child, I can remember people providing me unsolicited advice on parenting and all things baby. Over the years I’ve learned to take everything with a grain of salt, and to not always take things to heart. One of the things, or phrases rather, that has stuck out the most to me is people saying “Before you know it…they’ll be all grown up.”

If I’m being honest, as a new mother I often found this phrase to be annoying, and at times downright rude. How dare someone tell me that this new bundle of joy that I’m holding in my arms or pushing around in a shopping cart with piles of diapers, will soon be moved out, in college, and not in need of me anymore. Now keep in mind that at the time I was extremely overworked, desperately lacking sleep, and could’ve really stood a piece of chocolate cake or something.

Maybe this was why I took the phrase so personal and at first misunderstood it for its context;  because as the years went by I realized that maybe people didn’t mean it an offensive way by any means, but rather as a subtle reminder to enjoy every tiny moment. And I slowly realized that the ones who were saying it to me, probably were re-longing for that sense of need that comes with motherhood (or fatherhood), because they, themselves had experienced the heartache that comes with children growing up way too fast, moving out, and onto creating their own lives with their own families.

Flash forward to now having a kindergartner and a 3 ½ year old, I realize that these words couldn’t be truer. It literally seems like yesterday I was in the hospital with my first born, and in complete awe of the miracle that having a baby truly is. During both the blissful and challenging stages of the baby years I can remember at times unknowingly taking those precious moments for granted and looking back now I wish I would have understood how very quickly time passes.

live every moment

This past week I was able to have the most wonderful week off to spend with my boys and we had so much fun together. Between playing with toys, watching Christmas movies, baking treats in the kitchen, and simply just being silly, we had a blast. This past year has been such a busy time for our family. I spent the majority of the year completely consumed with work and going to school to complete my Master’s Degree.

Once I finished in August, my husband immediately started his Police Academy and with his already hectic work schedule wasn’t able to be home very much.  There were definitely times where I felt overwhelmed with mom guilt and I didn’t know if I was doing the right thing in going to school and taking time away from my family. But at the end of the day I knew that my intentions were to create a better life for my family and I wanted to be a good role model for my kids.

I also knew that even though there were times where I had to do homework and wasn’t able to spend every second playing with my kids, that the time I did get to spend with them was special and that’s all that really matters. My children and husband will always be a top priority in my life and especially now that my oldest has started school I want to make the most of every day I’m blessed to spend with them on this earth.

So today I give to you the same advice I have received countless times over the years and I hope that you will find it as a helpful reminder- Enjoy every moment and live every day like it is your last. Understand that while this post is regarding children, whether or not you are a parent, it is crucial to learn to enjoy every moment in your life and cherish it for what it’s worth. Be mindful of your priorities and realize that no one is promised tomorrow. When your kids are pulling on your pants leg saying “Momma, can we go outside and play?” remember that the ten foot high pile of laundry, mound of dirty dishes, and unswept floor can wait. Because before you know it, they’ll be all grown up.

“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”- James 4:14 KJV

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Thanks for stopping by!- Cara

Linking up with Mommy Moments, Motivational Mondays, and Hello Monday

Leave a Comment

 

59 Comments

  1. Timothy Ferguson wrote:

    Cara I read this and cried because so many times I wish I could turn back time and have you and your 2 brothers back home and being little again and be able to play with you again. I hated that I had to work the way I did when you and your brothers were growing up. I did try and do my best to be there for you and your brothers every time I could and come to your school events and take you guys places and play with you. I will always love and treasure the moments that we had and will continue to have. You and Rob brought 2 wonderful little boys into the world and am so thankful for being part of it. Me and your Mommy are so proud of you and what you have become and Love you and your family so much.
    Dad

    Posted 10.20.18 Reply
  2. Vixalexa wrote:

    Very inspiring, Thank you.

    Posted 3.3.16 Reply
    • Kindly Unspoken wrote:

      Thanks for reading!

      Posted 3.3.16 Reply
  3. The Gifted Gabber wrote:

    What a beautiful family! I couldn’t agree more with your advice. The days really are flying by with my littles and all I can do is enjoy each day as it comes. We have no other option! — Amy @ http://thegiftedgabber.com

    Posted 1.8.16 Reply
    • Kindly Unspoken wrote:

      Thank-you so much! I agree, we just have to enjoy every precious moment we get. Thanks for stopping by!

      Posted 1.8.16 Reply
  4. Erin wrote:

    These are just beautiful family photos! It’s so true that they do grow up fast and in the hectic moments it’s hard to really appreciate the advice to “enjoy it, they grow so fast.” But honestly, it’s such a bittersweet comment when someone says that to me I just think how I don’t want them to grow so fast and I want to enjoy every moment but in reality, there are tough days but motherhood is such a remarkable journey! Love this post!

    Posted 1.2.16 Reply
    • Kindly Unspoken wrote:

      I feel the same way, Erin. Thank-you so much!

      Posted 1.3.16 Reply
  5. Kate @ Green Fashionista wrote:

    Time has definitely been flying, and I don’t eve have kids yet! Loving all these pics of your beautiful family, enjoy every second with those sweet boys <3

    Green Fashionista

    Posted 12.29.15 Reply
    • Kindly Unspoken wrote:

      If you ever have kids, it’s like time goes into hyper speed mode-haha. Thank-you so much, I will! Hope you’re having a great week 🙂

      Posted 12.30.15 Reply
  6. Tracy wrote:

    You have such a beautiful family! Time does go by so quickly and I can’t even imagine how much more true that is when you have kids and see them growing up right before your eyes. It sounds like you have the perfect balance of treasuring this time when they’re young while still taking care of what you need to to set a good example for their futures!

    Posted 12.29.15 Reply
    • Kindly Unspoken wrote:

      Thank-you so much for the kind words! I try (key word try) to do a really good job of balancing it all, but as with anything it’s trial and error.

      Posted 12.30.15 Reply
  7. Leslie wrote:

    First off, your family photos are gorgeous! Second, I love this post and I am so with you. I wish I would’ve taken the advice of people who told me the same thing when Mila was a tiny baby. I often got frustrated when I couldn’t get her to sleep if I wasn’t holding her. I wanted so badly to be able to lay her down, walk away, and get some me time and I’d get frustrated when I couldn’t. Looking back, I wish I hadn’t gotten so frustrated. She wanted to sleep on me. And now she doesn’t. I miss having a little baby napping on my chest and, if I had to do it again, I’d do it and love every second – without any frustrations.

    Posted 12.29.15 Reply
    • Kindly Unspoken wrote:

      Thank-you! I was the same way- both my boys were snugglers, which I loved most of the time, but like you there were days where I would have given my left arm to be able to just put them down for a nap without having to spend an hour rocking them. Now those moments of one-on-one snuggles are a rarity and I miss it so much.

      Posted 12.29.15 Reply
  8. Caitlin Elizabeth @ This Brunette Life wrote:

    Beautiful family! I think it’s great that you want to be a role model and provide the best life possible for your children. And quality time together can be better than quantity as long as you make it count 🙂

    Posted 12.29.15 Reply
    • Kindly Unspoken wrote:

      Thank-you! That is great advice, and I completely agree. Even if it’s only 5 minutes, as long as you’re fully in the moment it can still be just as special.

      Posted 12.29.15 Reply
  9. Jennifer wrote:

    This is such a beautiful tribute to parenthood! I already know what you mean and my guy is a year. Crazy how the time flies and there is so much to balance, but you seem to be doing an awesome job with all of it!!!!

    Posted 12.29.15 Reply
    • Kindly Unspoken wrote:

      Thank-you so much! You’re doing an awesome job with yours as well 🙂

      Posted 12.29.15 Reply
  10. ellesees.net wrote:

    you are so right. this is one of those things that just doesn’t resonate until it happens to you, or in my case, i’m a nanny. i’ve been there 5 years and it has flown by

    Posted 12.29.15 Reply
    • Kindly Unspoken wrote:

      Time flies by and that is why it’s so important to make the most of it and have fun.

      Posted 12.29.15 Reply
  11. Lauree wrote:

    Good advice! From personal experience I can say I have regrets about time I did not spend with my daughter when she was younger.

    It reminds me that we should not waste time in un-forgiveness either. If we don’t keep our relationships healthy we miss out on quality time with the people we love the most.

    Thanks again for inspiring!

    Posted 12.28.15 Reply
    • Kindly Unspoken wrote:

      Thank-you, and that is great advice! Life is too short for holding grudges against one another. We must learn to forgive and love one another. Thanks for stopping by!

      Posted 12.29.15 Reply
  12. SMD @ Life According to Steph wrote:

    Time flies faster and faster as I age. Great reminder to enjoy all the little things. I’m glad you had a wonderful week off with your family!

    Posted 12.28.15 Reply
    • Kindly Unspoken wrote:

      Thank-you! It was great!

      Posted 12.29.15 Reply
  13. jessica wrote:

    As a full time nanny I’m totally with you! My little I had her since 3 months old and now she’s 2! Time flies so we just make sure to have all the fun we can!
    xo, Jessica || The Petite Diaries

    Posted 12.28.15 Reply
    • Kindly Unspoken wrote:

      Aw that’s awesome that you are a nanny! I agree you have to have as much fun as you can! 🙂

      Posted 12.28.15 Reply
  14. Rachel wrote:

    So love this! I don’t have kids but I have younger sisters and with them and even my own life, time is flying!

    Posted 12.28.15 Reply
    • Kindly Unspoken wrote:

      Thank-you! Time swiftly passes whether we want it to or not. All the more reason to enjoy what time we have. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

      Posted 12.28.15 Reply
  15. Timothy Ferguson wrote:

    You know when I read this I cried because you and your 2 brothers grew up too fast. I wish everyday that I could have you little again and just go outside and play a game or chase you around and have you kick me in the shin bone. I absolutely love you and your all’s 2 boys. Me and your mommy are so proud to be their Grandparents. I love to spend every second of the day with them. I hope that I am a good role model for them and as I tried to be to you and your 2 brothers. It seems like yesterday I was growing up in my house with my 3 brothers and my Dad and Mom. The time flew by and now I am 52 and me and there has been so many things that have changed in our lives. That scripture in James is so true and yes the clothes will wait and the grass will wait to be mowed. Spend as much time with the 2 little buddies because that is what me and your Mommy are going to do with not only the boys but you and your 2 brothers too. Time is precious and I don’t want to waste one minute on not being with any of you guys. I know sometimes I bug you and call you but I understand now what is like to be older like my Mom and Dad and on and on. So great post and I love you .. Dad.

    Posted 12.28.15 Reply
    • Kindly Unspoken wrote:

      Thanks, Dad. We Love you too!

      Posted 12.28.15 Reply
  16. Sarah @ Bows and Clothes wrote:

    I love your family pictures! I love this post as well. It is so true! Thanks so much for sharing your heart and advice!

    Sarah
    http://mybowsandclothes.blogspot.com/

    Posted 12.28.15 Reply
    • Kindly Unspoken wrote:

      Thanks Sarah! 🙂

      Posted 12.28.15 Reply
  17. Rebekah wrote:

    This is such a great reminder! I work from home and while I get to be with my son every day for the majority of it I have to put work first and it’s really easy to be impatient with him. I need to be better and putting him first and making sure all his needs-bothe physical and emotion-are met.

    Posted 12.28.15 Reply
    • Kindly Unspoken wrote:

      Thank-you! It can be hard sometimes, we all have those days where everything seems so challenging and sitting down to play with your kids for 5 minutes is the last thing you have on your mind, but in the end spending time together is what really matters.

      Posted 12.28.15 Reply
  18. Kim wrote:

    Cara, I am so happy you had some time off to spend with your family! Truly, this is why this is my favorite time of year! Between full time work, owning a business and having rental properties I feel like my husband and I have precious few moments together. It was so nice to have some time off to really be able to spend quality time together, although it’s a good reminder that no matter what, every little second you get together should be spent as quality time. LOVED this post! XO -Kim

    Posted 12.28.15 Reply
    • Kindly Unspoken wrote:

      Thank-you! It was so nice and I’m glad to hear that you and your husband were able to enjoy some time together as well. Spending time with your loved ones is what it’s all about 🙂

      Posted 12.28.15 Reply
  19. Kristin Cook wrote:

    I love your family pictures. You all look wonderful!
    Life really does fly by! Whether it be college, an engagement, kids, the summer- whatever- life is gone so quickly! We definitely need to cherish it!

    Posted 12.28.15 Reply
    • Kindly Unspoken wrote:

      Thank-you! I agree, it seems like the older we get the faster it goes by. Thanks for stopping by!

      Posted 12.28.15 Reply
  20. Andrea wrote:

    Absolutely gorgeous photos of your beautiful family!! More importantly, beautiful words and important reminder!! Mine are teens, almost done with high school, and I savor each moment more and more, it flies by in the blink of an eye! Love this post, Happy Monday gorgeous!!

    Posted 12.28.15 Reply
    • Kindly Unspoken wrote:

      Thank-you! It seems like high school is so far off for mine, but I’m sure it won’t be too long. Savoring each moment is so, so important! Have a wonderful week, Andrea!

      Posted 12.28.15 Reply
  21. Callie wrote:

    This is all so true! I get that comment so often from sweet older ladies, with a wistful look in their eyes. It does go too fast.

    Posted 12.28.15 Reply
    • Kindly Unspoken wrote:

      Me too! I can remember older relatives saying this to me as well and I was always thinking in the back of my mind, yeah right these sleepless nights will NEVER end, but they did way too quickly and now I can honestly say I miss it. Thanks for stopping by!

      Posted 12.28.15 Reply
  22. Annie wrote:

    I love this post. I’ve always hated when people say that phrase as well, but it is definitely a good reminder to be in the moment!

    Posted 12.28.15 Reply
    • Kindly Unspoken wrote:

      As I’m getting older I’m trying to see things with different perspectives, and although this phrase used to irritate me to death, I’ve realized that it was always said with good intentions (or at least I hope so-haha) Thanks for stopping by!

      Posted 12.28.15 Reply
  23. Crystal // Dreams, etc. wrote:

    You have a beautiful family!

    I don’t think some of those tidbits of unsolicited are always needed (I think that in general, not just with this one statement), but I love your perspective on it. I’m sure it does come from a place of remembering when they had children that young too.

    And it is true! I don’t have children, but I have a niece and nephew and the same thing applies at an aunt (but not to the same extent as a parent obviously). My niece and I have always been really close. We still are, but I still remember when she started to have other friends that meant a lot to her and her aunt was the coolest person ever, anymore. Like I said, we’re still close and I think I’m still pretty cool in her eyes, but I’m sure she’d choose friends over me. And that’s healthy and normal and I’m happy about that, but sometimes I think back to when she was younger and I was one of her top picks for people to hang out with. There have been times when they’ve been over and while we’ve been watching a movie I’ve pulled out my computer to do some work. About a year ago I was like, “No, you need to focus on them. They won’t be spending the night and watching movies forever.”

    Great post!

    Posted 12.28.15 Reply
    • Kindly Unspoken wrote:

      Thank-you! I agree, not all of the advice I heard from others was needed nor wanted, but hey it comes with the territory sometimes-haha. Aw that is so sweet that you have such a great relationship with your niece. And that is great advice to simply be in the moment. I sometimes want to tell the people I see in restaurants with their families to seriously put the phones down and pay attention. Thanks for stopping by!

      Posted 12.28.15 Reply
  24. Lauren Jane wrote:

    Oh man do I understand this. my kiddos have grown far too quickly. I’m pausing now, from running after my two year old and I’m sitting here thinking about how quickly it’s changed from growing him. My older kids make it even harder on my heart. you are so right-it’s not said to be offensive; it’s said so we remember to savor every moment.,

    Posted 12.28.15 Reply
    • Kindly Unspoken wrote:

      It’s like you blink and they’ve grown 2 whole years! I can remember wanting to rush through all the hard moments like the never-ending sleepless nights or teething stages, but now I miss it so much! And you are right, it’s said so that we take a step back and learn to enjoy the moments while they last.

      Posted 12.28.15 Reply
  25. Kristin wrote:

    This is such good advice.
    LOVE the color scheme. Super cute kiddos 🙂

    Posted 12.28.15 Reply
    • Kindly Unspoken wrote:

      Thank-you, Kristin! I found the scarf (believe it or not) at Wal-mart and it sort of inspired the whole theme-haha

      Posted 12.28.15 Reply
  26. Marsha wrote:

    Such true words. A very good reminder. And you have a beautiful family to enjoy 🙂

    Posted 12.28.15 Reply
    • Kindly Unspoken wrote:

      Thank-you so much!

      Posted 12.28.15 Reply
  27. Kathy @ more coffee,less talky wrote:

    “the days are long but the years are short” <– this could not be more true. My little girl is 7 now and I swear, it feels like she was 3 just last year. The years are just flying by and it's so important to focus on what makes life worth living – family, friends and love. Everything else is secondary.

    Happy holidays!

    Posted 12.28.15 Reply
    • Kindly Unspoken wrote:

      Thank-you! I know, I sometimes look at my 5 year old who is reading and writing and I’m like “But seriously, you were JUST in diapers!” I completely agree with you 100%

      Posted 12.28.15 Reply
  28. Darcy wrote:

    These pictures are adorable! Such a cute family! Glad you were able to spend some quality time together around the holidays.
    http://www.amemoryofus.com

    Posted 12.28.15 Reply
    • Kindly Unspoken wrote:

      Thank-you! It was so nice to have family time!

      Posted 12.28.15 Reply
  29. Sara wrote:

    I’m definitely having all those feelings right now, minus the babies. 😉 I’m so glad last week was good to you… and you’re setting a great example to your boys on the importance of education. I remember my mom doing the same thing, and I always knew that I had her support in my education because she showed me how important it was to her!

    Posted 12.28.15 Reply
    • Kindly Unspoken wrote:

      Thank-you! Aw, so glad to hear that about you and your Mom. I hope one day they look back and realize I did it to create a better life for them and an education is very important.

      Posted 12.28.15 Reply
  30. Stephanie wrote:

    Beautiful post. I used to hate hearing that. Now I hear a bunch of other stuff. I can relate to this.

    Posted 12.28.15 Reply
    • Kindly Unspoken wrote:

      Thank-you! I think people mean well with their advice but sometimes as moms it can be hard to take it all in.

      Posted 12.28.15 Reply