Why We Long For the Most Difficult Days of Parenthood


Great perspective in The Atlantic about parenting young children by Stephanie H. Murray.

The sociologist Daniel Gilbert once likened a day spent caring for a 3-year-old to a baseball game that remains scoreless until the bottom of the ninth. Fans remember the thrilling moments of the game-winning home run and not much else. [...] Hindsight allows us to put suffering into context and recognize the purpose it served in our lives. Hohlbaum likened it to laying bricks in a road: Only after we find out where the path leads are we able to see the purpose each brick served in getting us there. People with grown children have a deeper appreciation for the initial years of parenthood, because they are observing it from a perspective that only time can grant.

There’s no sense in trying to cherish every moment of early parenting as it happens, Graham told me. Too much is going on, and much of it isn’t enjoyable. But keep an eye out for the precious moments amid the tumult and chaos, she said. Do what you can to imprint them in your memory—write them down, or share them with friends. Collect them like gems, so that when your arms are finally free and your eyes are a little clearer, you can turn them over in your hand.


I have a little side blog that is not indexed by Google and that only a handful of people know the URL of. I use it to write letters to my children and select out of the myriad of photos that I've taken of them, select the ones that are special. While I haven't written much in it recently, the above is a great wake up call to spend more time capturing those moments for later.