Long Days, Short Years, you say. Motherhood is Still Hard.

“The Days are Long But the Years are Short.” Yes, but motherhood is still hard.I started a series of motherhood essays last year called My [raw] Motherhood Essays. However, in an attempt to keep them easy to identify, I am giving this one a name. Today I share with you the third installment: Long Days and Short Years.

long days and short years. the hard years of motherhood from waves and lilacs
photo credit: http://www.jsiniscalphoto.com/

It happened pretty quickly stepping into my entry level of motherhood. I read or was told, “These are the days” or “Enjoy it right now while they’re young” or “Oh, it feels like yesterday.” Parents reminiscent of the years that felts like only days earlier to them. Their best intentions of sharing their hearts became the best intentions of my mama heart.

Enjoying these moments and years no matter how long the days….because the years are short.

So when you enter my home and the living room is rearranged,  half the contents of the playroom are displayed on my kitchen floor, my toddler is covered in jelly from breakfast number three and my eight month old baby is eating half of a dead stink bug (this really just happened last week), know that while I accept with a grateful spirit your words and genuinely love hearing them, this time is really, really hard sometimes too.

I know your words are true. Trust me I do. But this time of my life is still hard. I catch myself counting down the hours to nap time and then until my husband is home. I find myself scrolling through a list of friends and whether they are available this week to spend time with to make the mornings go by a little faster. I’ve found myself yelling at my son because my patience is waning (or well, it’s probably gone at that point–let’s face it) and trying to wear my kids out so they’ll sleep longer during nap time.

solly wrap. long days and short years. the hard years of motherhood from waves and lilacs


But I also catch myself trying really hard to sit down and play with my kids. To laugh and smile and watch when my son calls out “Watch this!” and does some strange movement he deems amazing and wonderful. I try to wake up ahead of my kids (occasionally because people keep changing my clocks every spring and fall) and read my Bible and pray for patience to enjoy my day with them. I try to come up with fun activities and be okay with a mess on my floor. You know I try to make the snuggles last as long as possible because I know….I know one day my son will be bigger than me and I just might not be cool enough for my daughter for a couple of those teenage years.

So while I’m in this stage of messy motherhood, you can remind me that these are the magical years. I may also remind you in turn though that these are challenging days too.

However, I think we can both agree that we wouldn’t trade the years we are in for anything else. Because each year and stage has something new and glorious and frustrating in it. The emotions of motherhood are always there but displayed differently. As I cry at the thought of my son entering Kindergarten, you cry as your daughter walks down the aisle.  As I wish for sleep, you hope for a phone call and while I nurse my baby for the fourth time today, you share laughs over dinner with adult children.

I want to look forward to the future too. So tell me the good things that are coming my way and I’ll share with you the funny tales my toddler told me. And we can each remind one other of the hope of the future and the beautiful mess from memories of the past.

"The Days are Long But the Years are Short" but motherhood is still hard.

long days and short years. the hard years of motherhood from waves and lilacs


  1. Eva

    March 14, 2018 at 1:49 am

    This post. Feel it, relate to it, love it.

    1. waves + lilacs

      March 14, 2018 at 5:26 pm

      You are awesome, mama!!

      <3, Bethany

  2. livewellplaytogether

    March 14, 2018 at 11:13 pm

    This is so beautiful, Bethany. Every single word of it is so relate-able! It is so beautiful and also so messy and hard sometimes, too! We’ll always look back and remember the best times, but it’s important to acknowledge the tough ones, too!

    1. waves + lilacs

      March 18, 2018 at 9:08 pm

      Yes! The hard time teach us important things, but I much prefer those beautiful times 😉

  3. Danielle @ A Sprinkle of Joy

    March 15, 2018 at 6:51 am

    So true!! I used to hate when people would tell me things like that in the early years. I was struggling with some mild PPD, and that just made me feel worse.

    1. waves + lilacs

      March 18, 2018 at 9:08 pm

      Oh man, I can imagine! That had to be so frustrating. You are an amazing mom!

  4. Karen

    March 15, 2018 at 10:04 am

    The days and years go by way too fast! Enjoy them.

  5. theplentifulcup

    March 15, 2018 at 10:41 am

    What a beautiful post!!! You describe something I have felt since having kids to a at T!!!! Thank u for putting into words what I haven’t been able to !!! Thank u for sharing 🙂

    1. waves + lilacs

      March 18, 2018 at 9:09 pm

      You are so sweet!!!! Thank you for your encouragement 🙂

      <3, Bethany

  6. ememist1

    March 15, 2018 at 11:06 am

    Bethany! Thanks for sharing your thoughts about motherhood. I need these words… my life is crazy with 3 boys at home… messy house etc. This realizes me to slow down and embrace every minute of them ❤

    1. waves + lilacs

      March 18, 2018 at 9:10 pm

      Aw, thank you Em! You have such darling boys and are such a wonderful mother!

  7. sgmart187

    March 15, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    I’ve been trying to be a bit more mentally present during the day, since my boys are only going to be this age once. sometimes its hard how fast it goes.

    1. waves + lilacs

      March 18, 2018 at 9:10 pm

      Yes, being present is such a key!

  8. Justine @ Little Dove

    March 15, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    Bethany, this is SO true!! I am so aware of how quickly the years go by, but that doesn’t make some days any less hard or frustrating!

    1. waves + lilacs

      March 18, 2018 at 9:11 pm

      It feels like such a struggle some days. I think being aware of it is half the battle though!

  9. jessie

    March 17, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    Yep, I agree. I find myself thinking that it will never be harder than it is now….all the while knowing I will long for these days one day. It can go both ways, at the same time. Thanks for sharing.

  10. arinsolangeathome

    March 18, 2018 at 9:28 pm

    this post was something I think all of us mamas feel to our bones!! I LOVED IT.

  11. shanaglennpoe

    March 18, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    i love this!! so so true!!

  12. Chelsee Hood

    March 19, 2018 at 12:11 am

    It’s going by way way way too quickly for me!

  13. alia

    March 21, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    I’m in need a pause button. I’d love to freeze my kids at this age. Thanks for writing this beautiful post!

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