Motherhood: I’m Gonna Savor It.


 (Baby Bubbles)

Yesterday, a dear friend met our newest baby for the first time. It was a sweet moment because Carole has been a mentor to me over the years. She has loved and raised four children and is enjoying her grandchildren. She has recently gone back to school for a second degree so that she can help to improve the childcare culture. Over the years, she has given me wise advice about womanhood, marriage, Bible study, prayer, food, children, and everything else that comes up in our 20’s and 30’s.

Yesterday, she looked me in the eye and said, “You know there’s only one word: savor.” 

I laughed.

I told her that I had just spotted that advice on a list of “The Top Ten Things NOT To Say To A Mother of Young Children”.

For the past few years, the blogosphere and facebook have been buzzing with mothers-of-young-children complaining about that very advice. Clever Huffington Post articles have derided the common message to “Carpe diem” motherhood. Countless facebookers have vented about the little old ladies in Target who stop shopping carts full of energetic children and say, “Enjoy every minute of it!”

I’ve nodded my head in agreement with those posts: motherhood is tough and “savor” is the last word that comes to mind when I’m cleaning up poop.


“There’s only one word: savor.”

We young moms don’t seem to want to hear it. Yet, it’s the #1 Word of Advice (often, the only word of advice) that we hear from every. single. older woman who crosses our paths.

Isn’t it?

Maybe we need to stop complaining and start listening to what they’re saying.

Maybe we need to honor the collective voice of the women who’ve lived through motherhood and all agree on this one thing.

Maybe they know something that we don’t know yet.

Maybe they know we need to hear it everywhere we go – family reunions, the YMCA, church, Target – because hearing it over and over again is the only way to overcome the smell of poopy diapers, the noise of whininess, and the drone of mundane chores. Of course they remember the trials. And yet, they won’t quit the chant: “Savor it. Savor it. Savor it.”

Maybe this persistent, seemingly-impossible message is God’s gift to us.

Maybe it’s wisdom.

Do we really want to tell these generous, passionate older women to stop?

I don’t. 

That’s why the next time the little old lady stops me in Target – when I’m rushing my toddler to the bathroom from the opposite side of the store, and we’re all starving, and the baby is wailing, and the six year old has a blister on her heel and can’t keep up with her speedy mother, and the nine year old is wiggling her tooth with such fervor that she is lost in another world – I will try to pause and listen as she says, “Enjoy every minute of it.” I’ll try to be humble and say, “Thank you for that wise advice. I’ll do my very best.”

And that’s why I’ll ask God every day to change my heart so that I may savor this miraculous gift of motherhood. Thank you, God, for my young children. And thank you for older women who all sing the same song.

I’m going for it: Savor.

You, too?


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6 Comments to "Motherhood: I’m Gonna Savor It."

  1. Melissa
    May 5, 2014 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Up until a couple of years ago, I found myself frustrated often as well; and often, when people would tell me to “savor” these years I felt like punching them in the face. Then, I had a “surprise” pregnancy that I not only came to terms with but developed a major attachment to that child – only to have a miscarriage just a couple of days before my husband lost his job. Fast forward a few months, another pregnancy, and another loss. I was heartbroken and then 18 months later, God granted us a beautiful healthy baby girl. I was beyond grateful for her life and the life of my other three kiddos. This year, my second youngest son(4 years old) was diagnosed with Cancer. And again, I suffered the loss of two babies who were just not meant for this world. I’m 33, not a Grandma, but I can tell you without reservation that EVERY MOMENT – even when you are changing a super poopy diaper – is a treasure. Don’t hurry through them, life moves fast enough on it’s own. My kids are not angels, there are days I can’t wait til they learn to do this or that, but I wouldn’t wish these days away for anything!

    • May 18, 2014 at 11:05 am | Permalink


      Oh…I am so sorry for your losses. Your encouragement and insight is gold refined in the fire. Thank you for sharing it here. I savor it.


  2. Julie
    May 9, 2014 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    I am so happy to read that you are choosing to consider the advice of mothers older than you. I want to encourage you to take that advice a little further and stop for a moment to think about just what it means to “savor.” I am surprised to read that so many young moms don’t want to hear advice from older moms. When I was a little younger, I longed to receive wisdom from older women and so often wondered where all the older women had gone and why they weren’t sharing their wisdom with me. So, there are two things that jump out at me in this post. First, I wonder how it has become that young women are so confident in their own wisdom that they don’t want to hear the advice of older women…how is it that they have come to believe that the stress they feel is something that these other older women don’t understand? How is it that they are so overcome by the little details of caring for a small child that they would choose not to hear wisdom from older women? Is it lack of training on how to parent? Is it lack of respect for older generations…maybe stemming from a belief in evolution and the de-valuing of those that are older? Why in the world would young women not want to listen to the advice of women who have been there? And this leads to the second thing that jumps out at me… “Rushing my toddler” and “speedy mother” jump off the page, screaming at me to SLOW DOWN! You say you will “try to pause” and I wonder just what you are so hurriedly doing that makes it so difficult to pause. I know what it is like to have a cranky kid at Target, don’t get me wrong, I too have been there, but take a minute to think about what it is that is so important to make you rush through life and miss these days and miss these moments and be constantly hurrying your children along…are those things really more important than loving your child? Why is it that everything else seems so much more important than caring for our children? Is it because everything else is so much easier and, when we do it, we receive more praise? Certainly, you receive more praise from writing a blog than changing a diaper, but sometimes changing the diaper is actually the thing that can have the greater impact on the world. To love your child, to be all there with them…you can change their world and change the world around them for the better…in my belief, that will have a greater impact than anything else we might be rushing around to get done.

    • May 18, 2014 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Thank you, Julie. There are many young moms who do desire wisdom and mentorship from older women (I’m thinking about the overwhelming support for my friends’ Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson’s awesome book “Desperate”). For some reason though, this particular bit of advice has received a lot of criticism. I think it has more to do with exhaustion and discouragement than anything else. “Savor your motherhood” is easy to say, but harder to live moment by moment. That doesn’t make it less wise, just harder to receive, I think. (That’s my humble opinion for “why the resistance?”)

      As for my phrasing about hurrying through Target, remember, I’m rushing my toddler to the bathroom! Something that can’t be slowed down. :) But, I understand your point and will continually aim to love my kiddos more and more in Christ.

  3. May 9, 2014 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    This gave me chills. Your writing almost always does. We shared this on the Secret Keeper Girl and Dannah Gresh facebook pages today. LOVE!

  4. May 9, 2014 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Yes, it is so hard to understand the “savor it” advice in the midst of tantrums and blowouts, but you are right. They are wise beyond our years and must know something we don’t. Good reminder. I also think by “savor it” they don’t necessarily mean to relish in the hard moments, but more along the lines of be willing to look past those and not let that be where we dwell.

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