If you've uttered this phrase yourself, I'm sure that your intentions were good, but let me explain why this expression is, more often than not, unwelcome. Savor every moment you say? How exactly does one savor the sleepless nights, inconsolable crying, postpartum recovery, breastfeeding pains, and emotional roller coasters of new motherhood? For the first 6 weeks, the baby doesn't even smile back at you! Talk about being emotionally and physically drained.
By telling a new mother to "savor every moment," you are more likely than not telling an already overwhelmed new mother one more thing she is doing wrong! Because, I can assure you that she is more concerned about diapers, feeding, naps, and bathing than savoring every moment...let alone savoring a couple of minutes to herself.
Now, I understand that your intentions are good. You want this new mother to savor the everyday moments. The moments that we so easily take for granted. One of my favorite takeaways from parenting magazines and blogs is that you never know when a milestone will end...the last bath in the sink, the last midnight feeding, the last swaddle. One moment you think you will be stuck on the couch for eternity with a baby stuck to your breast and the next he begs for the bottle instead of begging for you.
So, new moms, if someone tells you to "savor every moment," rest assured that her intentions are good. She doesn't want you to miss out on the every day moments. She wants you to relish when your baby falls asleep in your arms, squeals with joy when you come home from work, or drags his favorite stuffed animal over to you for a cuddle. Those moments might seem few and far between, but when they occur, savor them. Take mental photos. Pause. Because one day, without warning, they will stop. And those moments are gone forever.
If you know a new mother, I challenge you to point these moments out...for she may be so sleep deprived and overwhelmed to fully comprehend them: "Look at him. He just loves knocking down block towers!" "Her coo is adorable. I've never heard a baby 'chat' with her mother so energetically at such a young age. What a sweetheart!"
It is by savoring these moments that we new mothers can get through the fevers, teething, ER visits, and other not so joyful moments of parenting.