Have you ever had one of those days where your baby wakes you up early, spits up his breakfast all over the living room carpet, pees on you when you change him and goes through so many sets of clothes, you end up letting him run around in his diaper.

Those are the days when you just have to press on.

Those are the days when you want to strangle the first empty-nester that tells you to “enjoy these days, it 050606_2goes by so fast.”

While it’s true the years go by fast, the days drag on forever. These are the days when you have to press on but these are also the days you want to bottle up. Because ten years down the road you’ll only remember how cute he was running around in his diaper. You’ll only remember how sweet he looked when you picked him up out of his crib that morning.

But now, in the moment, it’s rough. No one said it would be easy, just that it will be worth it.

Whenever he was asked what his favorite stage of parenting is, one dad always replied, “this one.”

Each season of parenting has special moments and special things about it. Each season of your kids’ lives holds something that makes you say that season is your favorite. Because, if you think about it, each day is a gift, and that is why we call it the “present”, as the saying goes.

The key is to find the joy in the long days to help sustain you. You don’t get that time back and sometimes you’re thankful for that but down the road, you’re gonna miss this.

Steven Curtis Chapman reminds of this in his song “Cinderella.” Read these lyrics:

It’s been a long day and there’s still work to do
She’s pulling at me saying “Dad I need you!
There’s a ball at the castle and I’ve been invited
and I need to practice my dancin’
Oh please, Daddy, please!”
So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
‘Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh I will dance with Cinderella
I don’t want to miss even one song
‘Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she’ll be gone
Read those last two lines again. And she’ll (or he’ll) be gone.
Even reading these lyrics again, I recognize my own need to read those lyrics often to remind me of why my most favorite stage is “this one.”