These days I am thinking about when my children were littles. They are almost 14 and 18 now. I miss them being so tiny! Watching them grow has been a privilege and honor. I never thought I would miss the waking up in the middle of the night, dirty dishes, toys all over the floor, the squabbles, the noise… oh man the noise little ones can make, hearing mommy 4 million times in a day, being bombarded with every question that came in to their brains, all of it!
I remember being so frustrated and overwhelmed. Looking back I didn’t need to be but when you are in the midst of having days where you lock yourself in the bathroom for peace and sometimes cry, it is hard to see how amazing it all is. I miss those days! I really do. Children are a blessing from our Father and there is so much we learn that is hard to appreciate quite as much as when you are in the middle of it.
Our son was about a year old when I started trying to follow our Father so I was a new mom and a relatively new wife and new to trying to live this way all at the same time.I would struggle fitting in Bible study and prayer when they were small.I always felt like I have to do this or I have to do that. The kids needed attention at certain points. When I had a moment sometimes I just wanted to chill. I did study and I did pray, but I wanted to do more of it and it was hard finding the time. I felt like I was failing a lot of the time because I wasn’t do this thing or the other thing as much as I would have liked. I tried to fix all of me at the same time and it just didn’t work. I didn’t take steps and make a little progress then start the next thing. I felt like I had to do it all at once. Boy, burnout city. You always feel like a failure that way.
It took me a long time to just chill and be content with the fact that the littles season is just in fact that, a season. Life wouldn’t look the same at their different stages. I would have to learn to adjust housework, quiet time, Bible Study and prayer and every other thing to the season we were in. Babies and little children have no concept of others having things to do. You teach them to be patient when they can comprehend it and the older they get, the longer they can wait. And that includes spending time with your husband, the season you are in will dictate whether or not you have to take care of something right away or make them wait a small amount of time or awhile. Your husband has to come first, realistically. You need to have “dates”, even if it is on a blanket on the living room floor and you order pizza in and have a picnic there while the kids sleep. I had to learn how to do this too. It was harder for me because I was that child whose mother left when I was a baby, She abandoned her family and I know what it feels like to not feel important , loved, abandoned and not be treated well by those caring for you. The last thing I ever wanted was for any of my kids to feel even the tiniest bit of that. I made mistakes of unintentionally putting my husband last and giving him my leftovers and for longer than I would like to admit. But now even though I have things I wished I did differently with him and the kids I don’t really regret it because all of it led to where we are today and I am always trying to glorify our Father in all that I do and I no longer expect perfection from myself and no longer take it quite so personal when my kids drive me up the wall. And our oldest drives me the most crazy when………….he is acting like ME! I will never forget the first time it hit me like a brick on the head that what he just said or did to me and really really annoyed me, I looked over at my husband and just said “I am soooooo sorry!”. He just smiled because he knew I finally got it, haha. He told me for years, he is acting like you, how can you really get that annoyed? I hadn’t seen it yet but I did finally and it is actually kinda funny because it is true.
Our children are our mirrors. How can we hold them to standards that we don’t always apply to ourselves? My husband started saying that to me when I would get frustrated. When that finally sunk in, it was a game changer for me. I don’t always deal with them the way I should but I strive to more and more. When we mess up, have a bad attitude, are rude, sin and are unpleasant and moody don’t we want grace, mercy and forgiveness from others and our Father? Our children deserve it from us to, they are children and still maturing and growing. Of course punishment is sometimes necessary but we know what it is like to need those things from our our Father, our husband, our friends and others. We generally don’t do these things on purpose and neither do our children. They don’t misbehave, not listen and annoy us with the intent to do that, they are children and generally want to please us and listen, they just don’t always do it very well, just like we don’t in our walk with our Parent.
I miss the days that felt like chaos, I now know they weren’t. We were just living life. One day I look forward to when they have children of their own and hope they learn enough from us to have an easier start and experience while leaning on our Father in their own walk with Him. One day you will miss this dear momma, try to enjoy and embrace each stage.