A New Zealand mom has a message for anyone telling parents to "enjoy" their babies and toddlers while they're young.
"I don't need to be told to enjoy this time. I literally put my body on the line to make this dream of mine come true, there is no one more grateful than me for these kids," Hannah Findlay wrote in part, in a September Instagram post.
"Can we universally erase this phrase now? We get it. You've forgotten all the hard stuff and you miss the softness and smallness of your young kids now yours are grown… but we're still in it. In those long days and short years. Messy kitchens and full hearts," the mom of two continued.
Instead, Findlay had a different suggestion.
"Can we retire this 'enjoy every moment' and replace it with a shoulder rub. Please. A reminder that we are, in fact, doing a good job," the 36-year-old wrote.
Numerous commenters agreed with Findlay's perspective.
"We don't turn around to someone who's having a bad day and say, 'Oh well, enjoy life all of the time.' We don't do that. But we seem to want to say that to mothers."
"I couldn't agree more!" one Instagram user wrote. "And I'm totally going to remember. Even now I do with friends who have kids younger than me. None of the 'just wait until.....', they are in a hard phase now, as am I, just a different hard phase."
"Girl. You are telling it. That phrase always adds so much guilt when I'm already at max capacity, just doing the best I can. Thank you for sharing this!!" another replied.
Findlay told "Good Morning America" she has spent ample time considering the topic, now that she's a mom to a 4-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son, and spends the majority of her time with her children at home. Her September post was also a re-share of a March post that explored the same idea.
"Since I've had my baby, things for me had been really, really hard and whilst I am enjoying my daughter, and I love it, it's also OK to say that there's been some really hard times as well," Findlay said. "It wasn't really until I had my son that I kind of realized that it's OK to feel like that. I don't have to feel guilty or feel like I have to enjoy every minute because it actually is just really hard in some moments and I don't think mums give themselves that much permission to just feel both of those feelings."
She also pointed out that the phrase and sentiment didn't translate to other life experiences either.
"You know, we don't enjoy life all the time," Findlay said. "We don't turn around to someone who's having a bad day and say, 'Oh well, enjoy life all of the time.' We don't do that. But we seem to want to say that to mothers."
Findlay said she first started writing about her thoughts on motherhood four years ago after the birth of her first child left her "in a really bad place." She said she was experiencing life changes she hadn't expected and needed a way to cope and process everything she was going through.
"I had an Instagram account pre-motherhood and it was mainly just pictures of me and my dog and I just had a couple hundred people following me," Findlay explained. "And then I had my baby girl in 2018 and it was quite a rough pregnancy and then I had quite a traumatic birth, which left me with some birth injuries and just a lot of impact on my body that I hadn't really anticipated."
Now, Findlay said she's found a strong community of mothers online who are more open to sharing the realities of being a mom and not just the positive and heartwarming aspects of parenthood.
"I've made some really amazing … friendships with some women, you know, even in America," she said. "We're connected through these shared experiences and through this shared trauma, if you will. And then as we've grown and moved through these experiences, become just mum friends, which is so nice."
"I honestly don't think I could have done motherhood without this platform in this way of being creative and communicating my experience," she added.