Just You Wait...
When I was pregnant I often heard, “just wait until you have a newborn and never get to sleep!”
When I had a newborn I heard, “just wait until she is crawling and getting into everything!”
When she was crawling I heard, “just wait until the terrible twos when they never stop yelling!”
When she was a toddler I heard, “just wait until elementary school when they always talk back!”
When she was in elementary school I heard, “just wait until she’s a preteen and is all attitude!”
When she was a preteen I heard, “just wait until she’s a teenager and thinks she knows everything!”
People love to warn you to enjoy this stage of your child’s life because the next one is so much worse. Are we really supposed to start our lives with our children constantly dreading what is to come? I think maybe should we allow ourselves to just enjoy our children where they are at.
Now, after five kids I KNOW there are plenty of unenjoyable, messy, lonely, helpless moments. I know we can’t enjoy every moment. We as parents all spend time in what I call “the trenches”. Those times when we aren’t sure our lives, sleep patterns or bodies will ever feel normal again. I have spent many moments of parenthood wishing I could just fast forward life just to see if the pressure ever lets up.
One time when I was in the trenches...two toddlers and a third, very challenging and needy baby in my arms, I read an article on a blog about noticing the small beautiful moments in our day and consciously slowing down to enjoy it. It was an easy article to dismiss because clearly she didn’t know what it was really like.
Then is kept popping into my head at random moments.
I would notice something small...a laugh, the smell of their heads, a little hand squeeze, or watching them figure something out while playing. I started to be more intentional about slowing the moment down in my head and truly enjoying it...truly being thankful for my little girls in that one little moment. Some of those moments are crystal clear in my brain to this day!
Being intentional about noticing the smalll things has changed my perspective on parenthood. Their childhoods really do slip by so fast. I have learned to look forward to each new stage for the potential beautiful moments it will hold rather than dreading it for the potential frustrations. We all know the frustrations and challenges will come. Believe me, I know that! lol.
To be honest, I really really love the stages everyone of my girls is at right now. I love that I have a couple of fun teenagers, two independent and creative kids, and a sassy fun 5 year old. I am just enjoying all of them right now and I really don’t want any of this to end. This entire past year is one I would like to freeze in time and enjoy forever.
Being a parent is downright hard, but please don’t let anyone scare you into dreading every bit of it. Allow yourself the grace to enjoy the moments that are enjoyable, even if it’s just a few seconds in your day.
The time will pass either way💕