One day, you’re going to miss it.
One day, there will be a peaceful silence while you go to the bathroom instead of small hands busting through the door or someone wailing bloody murder outside with an owie until you jump off the toilet holding your pants in a panic.
One day, you’ll miss the frantic desperation of never catching up because one day, everything will catch up.
Your children will grow up and you will get a decent break. So savor the good times now, right? Not so easy.
I tell myself all the time that one day I'll miss it.
I repeat the mantra when I’m on the verge of losing my sh*t. The phrase keeps me going because no matter how cliché it sounds, it’s true. I need this running thought in my head — especially now on summer break — as the circus is up and running.
One day, there won’t be baskets of laundry overflowing with play clothes, gym clothes, or uniforms. One day, there won’t be endless piles of dishes in the sink.
You’re going to miss it.
You’re going to miss someone needing you all the time. You’re going to miss being called out for all things great and small.
One day, there won’t be anyone around to worry about entertaining on school breaks because they’ll have their own lives, friends, and passions.
That life you think you can’t wait for now — perhaps for time alone with your spouse, time alone with yourself, or just some time, period — will come, and then it will all be done.
All the irritation over mud on the floor, stains on the carpet, or messy rooms never cleaned will be washed away with the tides of life.
Maybe you can’t muster the feelings of cherishing the moment with your loud, messy, chatty children today, but it does help to keep in mind that it will pass, and one day you are going to miss it.
You’re going to miss dropping them off or picking them up from school. You’re going to miss their scrunched-up, disgusted faces when they see what you’ve made for dinner. You’re going to miss being called into their room for the 10th time asking for a glass of water, another hug, a third story, or to excitedly tell you the sudden revelation they just had.
You’re going to miss all those endless questions because, for a time, they do actually think you know everything. This won’t last forever, of course.
One day, they will hopefully have the confidence to do most things without you.
So the next time you feel like screaming, yelling, or running out the door because no one is listening to you about cleaning up, just tell yourself that there will come a time when you will miss the maddening, beautiful chaos.
It might help a little to ease your sense of hopelessness on those particularly hectic days that are not kind to your sanity.
While it may not be possible to fully enjoy all the moments that come to you as a parent, it’s definitely possible to know that one day, you will miss this.
This story first appeared on the Huffington Post and is reprinted here with permission.