There’s something about becoming a mother that makes you keenly aware of just how quickly life passes. Yes, there are too many long nights up with fussy babies. The tantrums and illnesses take a lot out of you and may leave you wishing for time to speed up. But once you welcome your first child, you understand what all those well-meaning mamas meant when they told you, “The days are long but the years are short.”

One mother perfectly explained how time changes when you enter motherhood. In an essay that’s gaining steam on Instagram, Elizabeth Coratola writes about wanting to soak up every minute with her baby, while already reminiscing about his newborn days and looking to the future.

“Never in my life has the concept of TIME given me as much anxiety as it does right now,” she writes. “I know many of you can relate, but lately I feel so obsessed with soaking up every moment with my baby that it’s almost making me feel inadequate somehow. It’s like I just can’t seem to hold onto every little moment as much as I wish I could. He is only 9 weeks old, but I feel like I am already yearning for the past and for things that haven’t even happened yet. I am trying so hard to appreciate every last second with him, but sometimes it just feels like time is evaporating so fast and it leaves me feeling so sad and anxious. Maybe it’s because it’s my last baby and while I want to celebrate every milestone, I also grieve it because I know this season of my life is coming to an end.”

She continues, “Do we reach a point in life where we come to accept that the time with our kids has flown and instead of longing for the early days, we just appreciate the memories? I’m not sure, but for now I am going to do my best to cherish this phase and hug my baby tight enough that I’ll hopefully hold onto every detail forever. “