Becoming a parent is one of those experiences in life where basically every cliché is true: It goes so fast. You’ll miss this. Just wait until they’re walking/talking/teenagers. They’ll grow out of it. It will get easier. At Parent Cue, we say something similar: It’s just a phase. So don’t miss it.

It’s all true. The baby phase passes. Even on the days that seem like they’ll never end, time is moving; we can’t slow it down and we can’t get it back. But . . . Can I tell you a secret? I don’t love the baby phase.I’ve had three daughters and am beyond grateful for each one. I’ve lost a pregnancy and I know what a blessing it is to hold a child and know they’re yours forever.There is no greater feeling on this side of heaven.

But I still don’t love the baby phase. (Insert shrugging emoji here.) And you know what? That’s okay. I can love my baby and be present with my children and still loathe not be in love with the baby phase. Because let’s be honest—newborns are hard. Really hard. You’re sleepy. You’ve got spit up on your shirt. For some of us, our hormones are completely lop-sided. And you can’t remember the last time you took a shower. It’s okay if the gross and exhausting bothers you.

Everyone tells us to enjoy these days. To savor them. That we’ll be sad when they’re over. And maybe for some parts of the baby phase, that’s true. Baby skin is incredibly soft. Babies (can) smell delicious. Babies do bring with them a certain type of magic. But then you find yourself in the parking lot with a diaper blow out that destroys their outfit and yours, and you look in the mirror and see puffy eyes and greasy hair, and you feel lonely and overwhelmed . . .

IT’S OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY IN THAT MOMENT.

I am not “missing” my daughters in any phase. I appreciate the easy parts and try to learn from the hard parts. But I won’t pretend the sweat dripping from my brow is a glow—it’s sweat. Hard-earned sweat.  So the next time you’re hiding in the pantry or closet, desperate for your newborn TO KNOCK IT OFF WITH THE UNEXPLAINED SCREAMING, just know you’re not alone. It isa phase. You definitely don’t want to miss it. But that doesn’t mean you have to always like it.