Parents, Enjoy the Moment.

I’m going to go out and say it: I can’t wait for my now 6 week old to “start sleeping through the night”.

Most parents would agree with me here–when your newborn starts sleeping from 8:00 pm until 7:00 am there is a collaborative and collective “Hallelujah” between Mom and Dad. No doubt, we’ll be pretty excited when that happens.

Thinking about that, something hit me the other night. Instead of looking at “what’s next”, I want to start reminding myself of “what’s now”.

Tough to be upset at this little thing, even at 3:00 AM.

It is easy to look forward to our kids’ next milestone — sleeping through the night, eat by themselves, potty trained, go to school, play organized sports, drive a car, go off to college, etc, etc.

When we do that, though, what are we missing out right now?

Instead of looking at these moments as part of a no-sleep-caffeine-laden season in my life, I want to remember that I am to just as much able to treasure these small, simple moments with my children. I will never get these moments (as difficult as they may seem at the time) back.

So the challenge for today is this: Moms and Dads, enjoy the moment. Be present and embrace even the seemingly difficult circumstances.

Enjoy changing 19 diapers a day (even the ones that are so rank they seer your eyebrows).
Enjoy rocking your baby to sleep at 3:30 in the morning (even if you fall asleep yourselves).
Enjoy teaching your child to count to ten (even if you repeat it with them 30 times that day).
Enjoy demonstrating the importance of ask for forgiveness (even when you have to ask them for it after raising your voice).

How about you–what seemingly wearing moment can you look to cherish?

49 Comments

  • Arny

    May 18, 2011

    You know Dustin…I totaly agree…and honestly…even when you do enjoy the moments….there is still a time when we stop and think….wow we are here already?…where does the time go! Can you please stop growing now?…at least that’s what i was thinking last night about My 5 year old ending her first year of school…and my 3 Year Old son potty trained…

    I don’t think those feelings will ever escape us…we will always see our kids, even when they are married with children one day, in a child like way.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      May 18, 2011

      Time flies for sure, Arny. We forget to enjoy even the difficult moments (I believe) sometimes…

      Reply
  • Jim F

    May 18, 2011

    I have seen my little ones grow up too fast – now soon to be 16 and 9. I can remember vividly having my daughter fall asleep beside me and me carry her to bed and take a mental picture of it. I have done the very same thing with my son. I try to enjoy every moment with my kids and it struck my wife and I when we both thought the other day that in two years our daughter will be getting ready to head off to college. Enjoy all the moments at every age.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      May 18, 2011

      Take mental pictures- love it Jim. And wow, you’re doing to have a college bound kid soon! :)

      Reply
  • bill (cycleguy)

    May 18, 2011

    Playing with my grandson!! Dare I say it that my oldest slept all night from the time we brought her home and the youngest woke up about 2:00 for the first month and then started sleeping all night. (Little do people know what I put in their bottle to make that happen. jk) :) Good thoughts Dustin.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      May 18, 2011

      I think we can all learn something from you, Bill. :)

      Reply
  • Jessica

    May 18, 2011

    I definitely strive for this, but usually fail. But once in awhile I manage to find the humor and trivialness of a box of spilled cereal – instead of the mess.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      May 18, 2011

      Finding humor in those small, silly moments is awesome. Based on your tweets, I think you do a great job of that!

      Reply
      • Jessica

        May 19, 2011

        Oh that my worth were based on my tweets!

        Reply
  • Moe

    May 18, 2011

    Now that my kids are 7 and 4, I wish I can still hold them and appreciate them when they were babies. I certainly did enjoy and never took for granted those special moments.

    Now, it’s when I want to be there with them, for them and live life with them. Kiss them, hug them, kick them in their ass and run away. You know what I mean. :)

    Reply
    • Dustin

      May 18, 2011

      I think I do know what you mean. :)

      Reply
  • Adam

    May 18, 2011

    I feel ya bro. Our two year old is going through a spell of waking up in the middle of the night these days…and a two year old takes up a lot more of the bed…

    Just have to enjoy the good with the trying times.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      May 18, 2011

      Try looking those trying times as extra moments that you get to spend with him :)

      Reply
  • Ryan Tate

    May 18, 2011

    Wow, what a great picture!

    I think alot of the trying and wearing moments of parenthood are applicable for this question. So when I think about it, parenthood isn’t about being “happy” but about being “holy”. Cherish those tough moments and let them prodcue character. Great post Dustin.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      May 19, 2011

      Excellent thoughts Ryan. Really appreciate what you had to say!

      Reply
  • Jason Vana

    May 18, 2011

    I’m looking forward to the moment when I actually get to have kids.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      May 19, 2011

      When it happens, you’ll love it!

      Reply
  • Joseph

    May 18, 2011

    Baby Waldrop will be here in November!! Every post I read about children I’m reminded about diapers. NOT that excited about those, honestly. But I can’t wait to be able to cherish the moments with my little one. Thanks for sharing this with me. I’m sure I’ll be reminded of this when I’m awake at 2am. But it will be worth it all! Great thoughts Dustin!

    Reply
    • Dustin

      May 19, 2011

      Unless you’re a little squeamish in the stomach, you’ll be fine. In fact, the first week’s worth of diapers aren’t really smelly at all…. just gooey. ;-)

      Reply
  • Justin

    May 18, 2011

    That photo is stunning….nice job bro!

    Our boys are 8 and 5 now, but I can remember rocking both of them – laying in bed reading to them both. I loved those moments. I also cherish where they are now in their development – maturing, learning, making mistakes – I’m thankful to have the job of raising them into respectable men.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      May 19, 2011

      Thanks, J! My bro took it (he’s the photog, def not me)

      I like what you said, “cherish where they are right now in their development”.

      Reply
      • Justin

        May 19, 2011

        well – you’re still the man for giving him the credit!

        Reply
  • Melissa Brotherton

    May 18, 2011

    They sleep through the night?! Cause I have four kids…and only one of them sleeps through the night regularly. The almost five year old crawls in our bed almost every night. The 2-1/2 year old wakes up with nightmares or cries for more milk in his sippy at least once. And the 11-month-old is still getting up at 1 AM and 5 AM every night. I’m tired. I’m not really savoring much right now. :) I’m surviving. I do love this reminder that it won’t last forever and someday I’ll miss these moments. Honestly though, I’m really ready for more than three hours sleep at a time. Haha!

    Reply
    • Dustin

      May 19, 2011

      I know the feeling! Our older two sleep really well right now…. when they sleep in separate rooms. :) A couple months back we tried putting them in the same room, and it worked most of the time… but on occasion we’d hear some music playing at 3:00 in the morning…. they would be just chillin’, playing with toys, and when I come into they room they are like “What?” (Hard to get upset at those faces. :))

      Reply
  • Adam

    May 18, 2011

    having a 6 yr old who at times acts like a 16 yr old there are definitely challenging times. However I enjoy the mornings when she first wakes up and is still sleepy and wants to snuggle with me on the couch. I cherish those times because i know they will stop at sometime.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      May 19, 2011

      i hope they don’t stop on my end as well – i love that my girls love to snuggle right now. don’t want it to end!

      Reply
  • Sandy Sandmeyer

    May 18, 2011

    I’m looking forward to our son’s final year of high school where I don’t have to worry about his grades and him passing. It really is very stressful for me to get the emails saying his grades are bad. 6/1/2012 is coming way too fast!

    Reply
    • Dustin

      May 19, 2011

      Yikes, time sure does fly. Congrats to your son – graduation is a big deal!

      Reply
  • mo

    May 18, 2011

    Lol no worries for us missing that. #Babychild still doesn’t make it quite through the night, at 5 months :)

    We used to do 1 bottle, in the middle of the night, when he was still waking up often. I got to give it, so he wouldn’t get confused. That was pretty cool time spent with him, late at night.

    Haha now if you try and give him a bottle, he takes it from you and pokes himself in the eye with the nipple.

    Reply
    • Moe

      May 18, 2011

      Your nipple? or the Bottle’s nipple? #justsayin

      Reply
      • Dustin

        May 19, 2011

        Leave it to moe to ask the question everyone was thinking…. ;)

        Reply
  • Rob Shepherd

    May 18, 2011

    My wife and I just had twins. They are 7 weeks old today. I CAN’T wait for the sleeping through the night phase. Your post was a great reminder to not miss out on this time. People say it goes by so fast…those people aren’t present at 3:00 AM when it’s my shift to feed both the twins. Great post!

    Reply
    • Dustin

      May 19, 2011

      thanks, Rob – appreciate the comment. 7-week old twins….??? Wow….. you have your hands full! :)

      Reply
  • Jon

    May 18, 2011

    Well since I’ll be an uncle in October, I guess I’ll have some practice :)

    Reply
    • Dustin

      May 19, 2011

      Practice up, Jon. Even Uncles have an important job! :)

      Reply
  • ThatGuyKC

    May 18, 2011

    This reminds me of that Darius Rucker song “It Won’t Be Like This For Long”.

    Hang in there, Dustin.

    I remember those nights walking up and down the hall, but sometimes I miss them now because my 3 yo is so active and will barely sit in my lap or cuddle for very long.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      May 19, 2011

      That is the crux of what I want to take away – yeah, no doubt, its tiresome and hard at times… but in the end, those are some of the moments that I want to treasure and cherish. Thanks, kc!

      Reply
  • kristinherdy

    May 18, 2011

    I love cuddles. I don’t care if they come during the day or in the middle of the night. Yes, I’m exhausted, yes, my 3 year old sleeps like some countries invade others, yes, I’m exhausted (have I mentioned that?). But I can’t say no to her sweet, mispronounced request for “snuggles and huggles” You have to say yes to that, right?

    Reply
    • Dustin

      May 19, 2011

      There is no way you can turn that down! :)

      Reply
  • Keri

    May 18, 2011

    The best quote I’ve heard that sums up this whole sentiment: “The days are long, but the years are short.” I need to remind myself of that more often. Somedays I just feel like I’m up to my ears in their needs. It’s so hard to look past that and cherish the moments, but I try. I just have to pray really hard for patience and perseverance. So many days are a blur to me. :) But, I looooooove the newborn stage, even with the sleep deprivation, there is nothing like that newborn baby love-just getting to know eachother. I love it!

    Reply
    • Dustin

      May 19, 2011

      Love this stage as well, Keri. You’re pouring in all this energy into this little one… and then, one day, she smiles back. All worth it. :)

      Reply
  • Ben

    May 19, 2011

    Jack sleeps through the nights most nights, but I will say the rare times he wakes up in the middle, I love being the one to comfort him. I miss that with the girls, but being since the oldest is going to be in middle school I’m sure I’ll get to be there to comfort her from heartache… just like the boy’s father will get to be there to comfort him from faceache.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      May 19, 2011

      You are entering enemy territory, my friend. Put on your armor, load your weapons, and protect your girl! :)

      Reply
  • jenn

    May 19, 2011

    I admit, when Shiloh was a baby I couldn’t wait for her to sleep through the night. Of course I went back to work when she was 6 weeks old and she was up for hours at a time crying until she was a year old. (I think she was collicky.) I don’t even remember her first year because I was so sleep deprived.

    Now she’s about to start kindergarten and I’m trying to hang on to every moment. I’m starting to see how quickly they grow up. She’s so independent already and I miss the baby (what I can remember of them from pictures – lol) and toddler years. If I was married I would be ready for another baby for sure.

    This is why I don’t get upset when she wakes up at midnight (like she just did) and wants to curl up on the couch with me. That won’t last much longer either.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      May 19, 2011

      Exactly! Appreciate your thoughts- summed it up quite nicely!

      Reply
  • Tom

    May 19, 2011

    Great message! My children are 19 and 16 and I have cherished each stage of their lives….and today! Thanks for the reminder!

    Reply
  • seekingpastor

    May 20, 2011

    All of the NOISE! I’m trying to enjoy it and soak it in. Because I know that I will miss it when it is gone (at least a little).

    Reply
    • Dustin

      May 20, 2011

      Enjoy the noise. I like that, Matt!

      Reply

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