Father-of-three, Clint Edwards, also known as the man behind No Idea What I'm doing: A Daddy Blog, prides himself on being honest about his parenting experience.
Growing up without a father he's "making this up as I go." This post, however, is giving us all the feels.
As children grow up, he says, it is easy to long for the next stage, but enjoying the moment is even more important.
"I was at the doctor when a nurse with five children and a dozen or so grandchildren told me that it goes by too fast. “I’m sure you hear that all the time, but it’s true,” she said. I do hear that all the time. And it is true."
Edwards recalls bringing his son home for the first time:
"From day one it’s all about change. With Tristan, it started with sleepless nights. Now he’s nine, and the challenge is homework and hygiene. In between those stages were a million other challenges."
His two-year-old, Aspen, has trouble sleeping through the night. It's exhausting for both Edwards and his wife: "Both of us talk about how wonderful it will be when Aspen will begin to sleep through the night, like our older children do."
But, Edwards continues, there are aspects of this stage in his daughters growth that he wouldn't change at all: "Aspen is really snuggly. She says the funniest, cutest things. She is so excited to see me when I get home from work."
He compares this to his eldest that is "more independent" who "every time I try to give him a hug in the school parking lot, he looks at me like I’m a wild bear."
Instead of wishing for the challenges of each stage to be replaced, Edwards says that we should treasure each stage equally:
"The fact is, with each stage comes new challenges, and regret for what was left behind. And I don’t understand why I don’t just sit back and savour the good things. The snuggles and the cuteness."
He continues to say that we should savour the moment with each child instead of only embracing the good bits in hindsight:
"There is a sense of warmth and understanding to parental hindsight, and there is a swiftness and longing for something new in a child’s development when you are stuck in the moment. Parenting is stressful and chaotic, and then, once it’s calm, you feel like you lost something. You miss how snuggly your baby was or how hilarious your toddler could be. In those moments, I should’ve slowed down and let it sink in, enjoyed the moment rather than longing for the next stage because I assumed it would be easier."
Instead of being disgruntled at his toddlers irregular sleeping patterns, he is choosing to embrace this time with her instead:
"I’m going to look at her blond hair that is starting to turn brown, and think about how sweet and innocent she is. I’m going to look at her tender little feet, and savour how soft she feels snuggling into my chest, and enjoy where she is now in her development rather than longing for her to move on, and up, and out."
Because, at the end of the day, they don't stay little forever, "and it does, in fact, move really fast."