This too shall pass.
We have all heard the statement and it is usually said in reference to a bad season or event in someone’s life.
It is a heartbreaking, gut wrenching, yet hopeful statement.
We have officially entered birthday season around here and for this mommas heart… birthday season brings about a lot of feelings.
The little humans seen to be growing up so quickly!
I really don’t want to be one of those blubbering mothers that sends their kids off to college and is nothing more that a hot mess wrapped in snot, her kids memorabilia, and a false case of time warp confusion.
(Don’t get me wrong, I know I will miss them profoundly… but I want to make sure I miss them in profoundly healthy ways.)
I want to send them off with a hug, a smile, and lots of wisdom.
I want them to know they are prepared to take on the world and anything that might be thrown at them.
But what about me? What about mom? You know, that lady who will be left with the empty house, empty kitchen, and empty car with no one to tend to.
(Well, I guess I will still have Shane… but he is pretty self-sufficient, ya know? Like, he can drive.)
This got me to thinking… How can I best prepare this future me to bravely be ready for her new world?
How can I make sure she has soaked up every moment with the kids yet still keeps a tidy house?
(Notice I did NOT use the word clean.)
How can I make sure she makes time for play but still manages to get dinner on the table?
(When I say dinner… I mean more than take n bake pizza.)
How does she get to the end of the line without regret? Without wondering where all the time has gone?
(As I mentioned previously… No matter how well I prepare, I know I will miss these days deeply. This is about accepting the inevitable and proceeding with purposeful planning.)
As I wrestled with this, I came up with 3 things.
(I DO NOT have these mastered. This list was for me… but I thought I would share it with you.)
1- We must be intentional. This applies to all areas of life. We must make sure the things that are taking up our time are things that are also benefiting our family somehow.
Be intentional about your….
-commitments (it is ok to not volunteer for every committee and to not work in 3 classrooms every week)
-activities (it is ok that your child is not playing 7 sports, learning 2 instruments and 3 foreign languages… I am fairly certain they will somehow navigate life without playing the violin and speaking mandarin)
-and even your downtime (Don’t act like you don’t know the concept, I am not speaking a foreign language… I know downtime can be slim pickings for us during these seasons… but at some time during the week you will have a small glimpse of time to your self.) What do you do with it? Scroll social media? Watch tv? Don’t be too quick to do what is easy… this is sacred time, treat it accordingly.
If you won’t reflect on your commitments, activities, and downtime positively from the finish line… cut them, change them, or thin them out!
2- We must love extravagantly. This means we make more time for those little people. We pour into them until they are to the point of overflowing.We make them a priority even if it means we have to stop what we are doing, get down to their level and into their world to read or play on the floor.
Sometimes the best way to love them extravagantly is to listen, like really listen. (The kind of listening that is done when you are face to face and looking deep into their eyes. This means you are not stirring spaghetti sauce, wiping the babies face, and clearing the table… you are listening. Which directly leads to #3)
3- We must be fully present. Be engaged in your kids world, lives, hopes, dreams, and fears… know what they like and dislike, who their friends are/aren’t, and what they are struggling with during this season. (brace yourself)… This means we need to put down our phones, close our laptops, take a break from from the fake life you have created and sometimes vicariously live out online and be there, real time, real life.
Here is the deal, we get one shot at this parenting thing… I want nothing more than to look back and think job well done.
I know I won’t think I have done it perfectly (I am my own worst critic) but I want to know I truly did my best.
I hope to look back without regret and a with a heart full of profound memories.
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I cross my heart I won’t abuse being including in your circle of trust… I won’t spam you, I won’t sell your information, I just don’t want you to miss a thing!