One of my favorite blog writers just wrote this about people telling her to enjoy every moment with her small children.
Go on, look, I'll wait.
And I wrote a huge response to put in her comments, and then thought, "Geez! I shouldn't put a whole blog post into a comment!"
So I'll write it here, and if she is the only one who reads it, so be it.
I've had lots of women (generally elderly, or at least my mother's age) tell me that I should, "Enjoy it [early childhood]. It goes by so fast!" And, my other favorite, "Someday you will miss all the noise in your house."
It DOES go by so fast. Thank heavens!! Whenever you have a kid under the age of five it's IMPOSSIBLE to enjoy every moment. Many times when my kids were running amok somewhere they shouldn't be I got that well-meaning statement. Well, it was either well-meaning, or said by someone who was in the middle stages of dementia that only noticed the one child I had calm in the cart by means of the 5th lollipop that outing.
Now that my youngest is 3 1/2 I have often wondered, "Did I enjoy it enough? Was I gypped due to my depression? Did I miss all the wonderful things that babies bring? Should I bring one more human into the world so I can have one more chance?"
Aaaaaaaaand the resounding answer is "NO". And the last thing any new human needs is to be dragged into the mess I've created here.
I didn't miss anything. I was there. There were beautiful moments, but there was a lot of screaming. And poop. And not enough sleep. And vomit. And days stuck at home with sick kids (still happens) when I wanted to be somewhere, ANYWHERE else. And did I mention the lack of sleep?!?
So, enjoy the moments that are good. Look for them. They're the shiny pennies in the bag of tarnished coins. It does get better. The training pays off, and little by little they become more civilized human beings. (i.e. can use the potty instead of the floor). But don't beat yourself up when you find yourself hating the day (not the kids - but I have found it IS possible to love someone fiercely and not like them at all at the same time).
It's still hard sometimes, but not as constantly. And I'm sure, someday, when all the noise is gone from my home I will sometimes miss it. And then I will invite small children to visit. And they will be noisy. And then, I'm sure, after a few hours, I will be extremely grateful I can send them back home to their parents.
Enjoy what you can, and to the next well wisher tell them they are welcome to come home with you to jog their memory about how much "fun" tiny screaming, pooping children can be.