Recently I needed some working mom TLC: I sat in my office strongly considering the option of sobbing. Our household has had several seasons of sickness leaving sleep in short supply.

One of my sisters is a family physician.
This means she works as a doctor, and is eternally “on call” to our family.

I needed to hear what keeps her going, what helps her not permanently melt down, while she and her husband raise 4 kids and she works, often on little sleep.

I secretly prayed she wouldn’t write me a prescription for “you just cherish every minute!”

It’s not that I don’t think time should be cherished, because I do. But practically, I have tried that mantra, and honestly, I can’t get it to always work.

Her reply was one of those alternatively flavored throat lozenges: you’re not sure it makes sense at first, and then the more you mull on it, the better it gets:

“Long Days, Short Years.”

Now, this seems palatable to me.
Thank you for acknowledging that the days are very long and the result is bone deep fatigue.
Thank you for the helpful reminder to focus on parenting and working on a larger scale.
The big picture is a powerful antidote when the daily pressures close in on me.

It is possible that I am too literal. But, when people tell me to cherish every minute and I don’t, I feel both exhausted and conflicted as if I am doing this parenting thing wrong. Is it possible to cherish the hard, painful, challenging, moments? I am seeking.

In the meantime, my sister’s phrase helps me to keep my chin up. As parents and professionals, we simply can do the best we can, minute by minute. When we mess up, we are thankful that we get to try again. We aim to love, each long day, because every second brings us closer to a quickly passing year.