ADVICE FROM AN OLD PARENT
The days are slow but the years are fast. It’s what old parents tell young parents when they’re in the midst of barely coping with young children and the unfolding utilitarian version of their lives.
Most young parents particularly dislike that one because they fear fast years can only be made up of hundreds and hundreds of slow days and that old parents have forgotten how slow those days can be. Of course they have.
Then just when you get the kids to school and claw yourself back into paid work, even if it’s part-time or on the mummy track, life throws the next thing at you: school holidays, weeks, sometimes months, of unfilled days for parents to juggle – if they’re lucky, between them.
Sometimes you might tag team with other working parents or enlist relatives to help out but it’s likely it will be you who’ll fill many of those unfilled days. Perhaps those days grind a little faster because of work and guilt and maybe the pressure to do brilliant parent things in the time you have.
But when the unfilled days somehow end, you realise it was the time that was brilliant and that whatever you did with your children became brilliant too just because you were together. School holidays, particularly those where kids want to spend time with their parents, are finite. Scramble as best you can but savour them, for they do not last forever. The years are fast.