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Toddling Through the Silicon Valley

By Cheryl Bac

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About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl...  (More)

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Savor Every Moment

Uploaded: Oct 8, 2013
If you are a new mother, I bet you are rolling your eyes at me right now. You've heard the importance of "savoring every moment" more times in the past couple of months than you heard it in the 20+ years pre-baby. In fact, I bet you could write a dissertation on the importance of savoring every moment because this advice is repeatedly thrown your way. I say "thrown" because most of the time new mothers do not enjoy being hit in the face by wisdom, advice, and tips.

If you've uttered this phrase yourself, I'm sure that your intentions were good, but let me explain why this expression is, more often than not, unwelcome. Savor every moment you say? How exactly does one savor the sleepless nights, inconsolable crying, postpartum recovery, breastfeeding pains, and emotional roller coasters of new motherhood? For the first 6 weeks, the baby doesn't even smile back at you! Talk about being emotionally and physically drained.

By telling a new mother to "savor every moment," you are more likely than not telling an already overwhelmed new mother one more thing she is doing wrong! Because, I can assure you that she is more concerned about diapers, feeding, naps, and bathing than savoring every moment...let alone savoring a couple of minutes to herself.

Now, I understand that your intentions are good. You want this new mother to savor the everyday moments. The moments that we so easily take for granted. One of my favorite takeaways from parenting magazines and blogs is that you never know when a milestone will end...the last bath in the sink, the last midnight feeding, the last swaddle. One moment you think you will be stuck on the couch for eternity with a baby stuck to your breast and the next he begs for the bottle instead of begging for you.

So, new moms, if someone tells you to "savor every moment," rest assured that her intentions are good. She doesn't want you to miss out on the every day moments. She wants you to relish when your baby falls asleep in your arms, squeals with joy when you come home from work, or drags his favorite stuffed animal over to you for a cuddle. Those moments might seem few and far between, but when they occur, savor them. Take mental photos. Pause. Because one day, without warning, they will stop. And those moments are gone forever.

If you know a new mother, I challenge you to point these moments out...for she may be so sleep deprived and overwhelmed to fully comprehend them: "Look at him. He just loves knocking down block towers!" "Her coo is adorable. I've never heard a baby 'chat' with her mother so energetically at such a young age. What a sweetheart!"

It is by savoring these moments that we new mothers can get through the fevers, teething, ER visits, and other not so joyful moments of parenting.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sally Torbey, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Oct 8, 2013 at 6:48 pm

Yes, I got it! You have me convinced to never say that to a new mother again. I remember somebody once telling me after my first baby was born that the nights are long, but the years are short, which I think captures the experience of parenting well.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Oct 8, 2013 at 7:55 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Thanks so much for checking out my blog and commenting! I agree, "the nights are long but the years are short" is a great phrase. Nights can be so rough, even into these toddler years. I still remember the first time my son slept through the night. What a shock!

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Jessica T, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Oct 9, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Oh how I wish I could remember even half of these magical moments. I can hardly remember who got up when for a feeding in the middle of the night! (Is it simply the sleep deprivation that makes new mom's forgetful?) The good news is that there are many moments beyond babyhood to look forward to too.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by CherylBac, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Oct 9, 2013 at 5:35 pm

CherylBac is a registered user.

Jessica T, thanks so much for checking out my blog and commenting! Completely agree about "mommy brain." I've put my fair share of ice cream in the refrigerator. It's exciting to think about the milestones to come. My son just started walking, which is definitely a game changer :)

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Cheryl Sandberg, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Oct 13, 2013 at 9:49 am

I know just what you mean about "mommy brain." Once I put Facebook on the NYSE instead of NASDAQ. Boy that was silly! Mothers can't do anything with their silly mommy brains. Well back to the couch for some snuggles.

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