Constance Marie’s Blog: The Days Are Long but the Years Are Short

03/04/2013 at 01:00 PM ET

Look who’s back! We’re thrilled to say hello again to Constance Marie, our original celebrity blogger!

The actress, mom to daughter Luna Marie, 4, with fiancé Kent Katich, stars on Switched at Birth, airing Mondays at 8 p.m. ABC Family.

She’s also one of the celebrity voices narrating beloved children’s stories for Little Golden Records, available now at Walmart.

Marie, 47, can also be found online on Facebook and @goconstance on Twitter. If you’ve missed any of her past posts, check them out here.

In her latest blog, the actress explains how her teenage costars helped her realize that Luna really is growing up fast.

Constance Marie Blog Years are Short
With my now 4-year-old – Courtesy Constance Marie

Okay, so by this time everyone knows I am an actress and also an older parent … and as an older parent I admit, I am A LOT more tired! Yes, my knees and back ain’t what they used to be!

Sometimes I regret waiting so long to have a child, but I don’t make the rules. The universe decided it was going to take me a while to get to be a mom! (Read my infertility blog if you have zero idea about what I speak.) Anyhoo!

I figure it is the quality of the years and not the quantity. I also realize that some of the amazing benefits of being an older parent are 1) I am a lot more patient than I would have been when I was younger and 2) I get to be like a sponge and LEARN from all my friends who are my age, and whose kids are teenagers or older!

I ask millions of questions … What, when, where and how did they navigate parenthood? Diapers? Teething? Schools? Doctors? And how the heck do I deal with teenagers?! (I hear they can be pretty scary, but if I know this ahead of time, then I know it’s not just my kid who becomes a psycho and I can be more prepared!) Kinda like the CliffsNotes of parenting. It’s pretty awesome!

But the one thing I hear from almost EVERYONE is, “They grow SO FAST!!” I mean, when I was a new parent I was like, “Fine, fine, FINE! Yes, I get it. It goes fast. I am sleep-deprived and exhausted, this is tough. Enough already!” But now my daughter just turned 4 and I am in shock! Holy crap, they were right!

Constance Marie Blog Years are Short
With my TV daughters Katie and Vanessa – Courtesy Constance Marie

The weird part? I play moms all the time! I have been doing this for many, many years! Before I had a baby, I was vaguely trying to understand being a mom (it’s a hard concept to grasp, but I did my best). Now I’m a mom for real, and am also on a show, Switched at Birth, where I play the mom of not one, but two teenage girls. It is surreal! I’m doing scenes with teenagers by day and going home to my 4-year-old at night.

On the show, my job is to take the leap in my imagination and pretend these girls are mine. While shooting, I realize as I am doing scenes with these actresses, hugging and arguing with them, sharing mature girl time … THAT is a glimpse into the future with my daughter! It is mind-boggling to me that my daughter will one day be their size. Speaking like they do, wearing make-up and those clothes!

I’ve started missing my daughter’s toddler years already. I swear, I even get teary-eyed. I go home and know that I will not always have to deal with the not-able-to-wear-a-princess-dress-in-a-rainstorm drama, or have that little body to cuddle or gently (or not-so-gently) plop into my lap during dinner time. Or give me “drop hugs” where she races at me and knocks me down to the floor (ow!) or insist that I stop mid-stride — while carrying massive amounts of groceries — to see the first star in the night sky and take the time to be fascinated by it.

All these sweet little girl moments — and even the crazy-making ones — will be gone.

Yes, I know new big girl/teenage/grown-up moments will all come and take their place, but these precious/exhausting times will be gone. And I will miss them SO FRICKIN’ MUCH! I can now say from experience … IT GOES TOO FAST! I mean, the fact that I used to carry my daughter in a carrier and now she walks by my side seems simultaneously like yesterday and million years ago!

Constance Marie Blog Years are Short
Cupcake decorating! – Courtesy Constance Marie

I have learned that I have to slow down and appreciate that my daughter still needs me, still wants me to help her negotiate everything in her life. I mean EVERYTHING! Be it a problem with sand in her shoes, the potty, teeth-brushing or asking me literally a zillion questions after she has seen a new kids TV show. Making me do voices for all nine dolls or play princess/doctor/kitty dress up for one hour while I have a headache at the end of a long day! I know I won’t ALWAYS have the chance. There will come a time when she does not need or want me.

Because that is what we are trying to do right? Raise children who don’t need us so much, who can make that big important decision for themselves.

Yes! I will totally and enthusiastically be there for her if she needs me! Or (gasp!) remembers to call me! (*insert tear here*) or who can go against the peer pressure if she feels it isn’t right for her. Or who can do the right thing EVEN when no one is looking. Independence! But that means less cuddle time, less explaining, cajoling, urging, reprimanding, less everything. OMG. I’m gonna miss my baby so much!

I do already … especially when I am at work and see how independent and autonomous my pretend girls are! THAT is gonna be my daughter some day! Just like these young women! And I am gonna be so, so, so proud. But I will miss these baby years.

So all this to say: Whenever you are a new parent, or thinking about becoming one, or like me at one time, trying DESPERATELY to become one … let me be ANOTHER parent who tells you, “It goes really fast. Please take the time to stop and appreciate these little beings who won’t be little forever.”

Constance Marie Blog Years are Short
Running on the beach – Courtesy Constance Marie

Till next time…

— Constance Marie

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Showing 18 comments

Marie on

Amen Constance! I am an older Mom (vegan) with a vegetarian toddler & 2 new babies. I think you are wonderful & Luna is adorable.

I cry at the thought as well!

Stacey on

I get this completely. I’m a mom of 7-oldest 20 and youngest 5 months- and we are not having any more, mainly because I am now 40 years old. I am trying to soak up every second with my little one and ingrain every experience with him deep in memory. It does go SO fast. I wish I could go back and raise all 7 of them all over again.

Precious little girl, and I LOVE the beach picture!!!!!!!!

Holiday on

If you had your first earlier you could have had more babies instead of just one

dk on

Shame on you, Holiday.

Kelly on

What a horrible comment to make to someone, Holiday. Not everyone’s life follows the historically traditional route of getting married by 25, kids by 30. Everyone’s life takes a different path…for whatever reason.

Speaking as someone that didn’t find her husband until she was 39 and (thankfully) be blessed with a wonderful son at age 42, I take offense at your insensitive comment. I would love to have another child, but I am 45 and know that is a slim, slim chance.

Constance sounds like a wonderful, loving mother. Why throw stones at someone that appears to be warm person?

Ashley on

With your lack of compassion and knowledge about what you’re talking about, Holiday, I hope you aren’t going to be having any kids.

Tara on

That cupcake picture is the best! Congrats on being a great mom!

Mya on

There is nothing wrong with having one baby, just be happy with what you have.

Lisa on

Well, Holiday, I hope you don’t have to walk the path of infertility to realize what an asinine comment you just made. If you were a decent human being, you would apologize!

gail on

how could you make such a stupid and insensitive comment, Holiday? Constance had fertility issues. i say this because i myself dealt with many years of heartache, due to infertility issues. i finally conceived at the age of 36. just stop and think for a moment, how many women in this country that suffer everyday with this problem. we will take our babies at any age that we are, and embrace our little miracles.

Beth on

I get this. I am 38, and my daughter is just turning 4 as well. And while she is still so young, I am just now realizing the toddler years are already gone. And while she could be standing right in front of me, in her pretty princess dress, sticking stickers all over me, and showing me the psychedelic picture she made of me dancing with our cats (true story LOL), I miss her! I literally miss her when she is standing right in front of me. Because this child, at this minute, is not the same little girl from the day before. They grow so fast! And tomorrow, I will miss this moment too.

Laura on

Loved this blog. I can totally relate! It does go by too fast. My daughter is in Kindergarten this year. I thought the first day of Kindergarten was hard, I think the last day will be even harder! It is such a special year. I miss her when she was 2, 3 and 4. Though my husband keeps reminding me how sweet and special she is at 5. So true!

glow14 on

Your post was beautiful, Constance! I am a single mom of a 2 year old little girl, who is the center of my world. Sometimes the sleep-interrupted nights and tantrums give me pause and need to take a breath and a step back, thinking, this phase will soon pass. But soon enough I know I will be missing it! I try to be present in the moment with her, even if I’m having a bad day. And she is growing up to be a beautiful little girl. You are doing a wonderful job with Luna. She is just too precious and I love the last picture – such joy! Thank you for sharing.

Alexandra on

Shame on you, Holiday!!!!!

I Am Standing Right Behind You on

While I am not a mother (and wrestle everyday with that decision,) I absolutely love your blog and your pictures of your precious Luna Marie and your other “daughters.”

Bebe on

Awww I want to cry reading this blog because I have a little princess who is also just growing so fast. There are days that I feel so overwhelmed and exhausted, working full time and then going home to a 7yr old and 16month old not always all fun and games. But at those moments I have to remind myself that it’s not going to be like that forever. That one day I’m going to wish my kids were running around me hollering momma momma momma! instead of locked in their rooms with their phones, computers etc. Cant wait to go home and hug my babies 🙂

Carla on

This is EXACTLY what I’m dealing with. I’m an “older” parent also at 45 and my son is 4. I find myself often stopping in the middle of whatever I’m doing and looking at him and staring while thinking “where did the last 4 years go?”. His latest think is to ask to see pictures or videos of “when he was a baby” LOL!!

I love and cherish this time so much because I know there will come a time when it will be just me looking back.

Jo Ann on

Hello Constance, You will always be “Angie Lopez” to me; I still watch the reruns(: I love your work and I am thrilled for you and your lovely little daughter, Luna. I have grown children, lots of grandchildren and am expecting my first great grandson. I cannot tell you how many times my husband ( of 43 years) and I have said we wish we had waited until we were older to have our family, no doubt about it. The qualities we gained with age and experiences, we could have been much better parents, not so busy with work and such. We’re terrific grandparents though. I applaud you and wish the best of everything to you and your family. God Bless, Jo Ann