12/13/2013 10:17 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Four Most Devastating and Uplifting Words

There is something I tell myself quite a bit.

This something gets me through the rough patches. It sees me through certain moments of sadness or anger or frustration or despair. Speaking these words and letting the realization sink in raises my spirit up and up and up. Until I'm on my feet again. Until I find it somewhere within to keep going.

And it's only four words that perform this magic-like trick. I say magic-like because they aren't perfect. Sometimes the "magic" is slower to work and not always strong. But still, they work.

Here they are:

This is only temporary.

This is only temporary, I say during every nauseous, draining first trimester I've experienced of pregnancy. This is only temporary, I whisper at night as I fall asleep in a home that we're renting, that isn't ours. It's just for a little while I think when I'm with the kids and Mitchell is working on the new house and I'm tired and lonely and parenting without him. This is only temporary I say when we have no family time together.

It won't always be like this.

And all the other stuff that goes along with parenting? The sleepless nights, the teething, the potty-training, the seemingly endless breastfeeding, the tantrums, the growing pains, the overcoming? All temporary too. I've always known that. How else could I have four children with a fifth expected to join us this spring? I've always realized there was an end to the sometimes unpleasant parts. My children will only be this little and needing me for so long.

Thank goodness.





And I find comfort in that.

But this is only temporary has another effect on me. Because see, I don't always wish time to pass. For things to be over already. I'd like to live in certain moments for much longer than just the moments they are. Because my children will only be this small for so long. Their needs will change. Our relationship will be different.


I will miss that. Because it's only so very temporary. When I get Oscar out of his bath and wrap him up in a towel and lay him on the bed and tickle tickle tickle. This is temporary.

Or watching Gus learn to read.


Or growing a baby.


Or a day off from school to play in the snow.



Just temporary.

It won't always be like this.

And in a way, how devastating is that?

No, the magic of this is only temporary isn't perfect. When I speak those words to myself I know that part is true. I know about its dual nature and I accept it. OK, sometimes I fight it. But mostly I accept it.

What keeps me going is knowing more temporary moments are coming.

At the end of the day, that's what comforts me the most.


Sarah Reinhart is mom to four and expecting her fifth child in May 2014. A part time photographer and freelance writer, you can keep up with her family's adventures and all things motherhood on her blog

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