How many times have you heard the following saying when it comes to parenting? “The days are long, but the years are short.”

There is probably nothing more true.

I’ve only been a mom for a little over three years, and yet it is hard to recall what life was like before I had kids. Most days it feels like bedtime may never come, other days, I blink and all of a sudden the boys are putting on pajamas and brushing their teeth. Some nights fly by as though I just laid my head down, then of course there are the nights when I wish morning would hurry up and come do to the amount of times I’ve had to get up to comfort and rock the babes back to sleep.

Being a parent really is a 24/7 gig. That means that for the next 18 years (that’s if you only have one child, and assuming they leave the nest after high school) you will be spending roughly 157,680 hours devoted to raising another human being. That’s a lot of hours to be focusing on someone else. Which got me thinking, what does that time really look like when broken down? For me, it looks a little like the following.

126: The number of weeks I have been pregnant.

18: The number of hours spent in labor.

2: The number of miscarriages I have experienced.

1: The number of evenings spent in the emergency room.

28: The number of weeks a baby has slept in a pack-n-play in our room.

5: The number of minutes I wait outside of your door before going in to comfort you, in hopes you learn how to self soothe.

172: The number of ounces of breast milk donated.

5: The number of parenting books I have read.

62: The number of times I have emailed the Pediatrician.

250 (roughly): The number of loads of laundry I have washed that are yours.

3: The number of times someone else’s needs of being fed are put before my own every day.

5: The number of birthdays I have planned.

2: The number of preschools we have toured.

7: The number of boxes of tiny clothes you have outgrown and I can’t get rid of.

Then there are the numbers I’m not quite sure about. The number of bumps and bruises kissed, the number of minutes spent rocking you, the number of hours that I’ve been kept awake at night, the number of diapers changed and cups of coffee consumed, the number of times I have taken your temperature, or the of number prayers sent up in your name; the number of books read, the number of laughs had, and the number of cuddles cherished. The trips to the zoo, the grocery store, and the doctor’s office. All of the moments filled with holding hands, changing sheets, and wiping butts.

Honestly, the mathematics of motherhood isn’t easy, and there is probably no perfect equation to calculate exactly where all of our time is spent. Our numbers all vary, and the way that we approach the theorem is unique and different, but the outcome is always the same. The hours logged, the minutes used, create our motherhood. Our beautiful, precious, exhausting, joyous motherhood. And while I’m not a big fan of math, this is definitely a formula I can get behind.

P.S. 10 Things You Forgot To Thank Your Mom For and I Am Mom.

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24 comments on “The Mathematics of Motherhood”

  1. Great post! I just found myself in my son’s crib laying down next to him knowing it wasn’t the smartest move but I’m trying to live more within the moment with him. I soon will long for these days. (He’ll be 2 next month)

  2. Maybe it’s the lack of sleep, but this post brought me to (happy) tears. I have never thought to calculate the mathematics of motherhood, and this is such a sweet and different take on all that goes into becoming and being a mom. Thank you for such a sweet post. This was the perfect way to start the day!

  3. Ah, the math…. I can only wonder how many hours of sleep lost….way too many zeros to think about. LOL! But….what you get in return is truly immeasurable. Love the post.

  4. Could not relate more to this post. Its so true that the days are long but the years are short. I look back a year ago and we were in such a different place bringing home my baby girl from the hospital just a few days old. Now she is a babbling, waddling, eating machine!

  5. This is beautiful writing and so relatable! My kids are grown …but this post brought back the many hours and years of raising them…what am amazing tribute to mothers everywhere..LOVE IT!


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