In the busyness of life, it could be very easy to miss your kids’ childhood. Let’s work together to not miss it, mamas!
Last night, on my way home from meeting a friend for coffee, I pulled into the parking lot of a park I hadn’t been to in a really long time–but used to frequent when our oldest was a toddler.
When I passed the park, it hit me that I had been at that exact park 7 years ago, one day shy of 40 weeks pregnant with my second daughter.
As I chased my then 2-year-old around the playground that day, I wondered how many park days we would have while she was my only. I knew both of our worlds were about to turn upside down.
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That second daughter arrived less than 24 hours later, on her due date. If I think really hard, I can still feel her newborn wet, wiggly body against my chest. I pray I never forget.
As I sat in that park’s parking lot last night, I thought to how quickly the years have passed.
That 2-year-old toddler is nearing 9 1/2 and in 3rd grade. She is learning her multiplication tables, has braces, is a voracious reader, and took a test on Ancient Rome last week. She loves to sew, and, best of all, she loves Jesus.
The baby I was carrying inside of me at the park that day turns 7 today. More than 1/3 of her childhood has already passed. She’s in 1st grade, is reading, adding, and learning ancient history and about bats in science class. And she’s teaching her little sister her letters. She loves Legos and Shopkins and her American Girl dolls and she’s just about the most compassionate and tender-hearted person I know.
Those two little girls were just an infant and a toddler when I started this blog, when our family was living the story of More Than Just Making It.
Sitting in my minivan in that parking lot tonight, my mind flashed forward. These seven years have flown.
In 7 more, those two girls will be 16 and 14–with a 12-year-old sister and 7-year-old brother. Seven more, and they will be 21 and 23.
Tonight, while nursing Baby Boy, I put down my Kindle and stared at his little face, rubbed his fuzzy ears, touched his nose, watched him suckle, and listened to him breathe. He’s already growing so much, and I don’t want to miss it.
My one word for 2017 is “savor.” I hadn’t shared it on the blog until now (and I know–this year is almost over!) because, well, in the middle of book writing and book launches and, more than anything, being a wife, homemaker, and mothering a new baby boy and his three big sisters, I’ve been savoring this season.
Because, 7 years after that season of motherhood with two age 2 and under, I know the old adage could not be truer: No, babies really don’t keep.
They just keep on growing.
And we must do all we can to stop, savor, and soak up these ever-fleeting moments of their childhoods.
Ember @ An Intentional Lifestyle
Babies definitely don’t keep. When my husband shared that he didn’t want more kids after our 3rd, it was a hard blow. I didn’t want to be done with the newborn cuddles, smells, sounds, needs. I think every mom can agree.
But I focus in on our kids now, trying to memorize who they are. I talk and try to really listen to them. And homeschooling them makes me so happy, because I know the time passes so fast. I get a few more hours each day to be with them, and I get the joy of teaching them and seeing them learn. It’s a beautiful thing to see (most days 🙂 ).
I felt the same way when my husband said he didn’t want any more after 3 (and now I have 4…LOL!! God works in miraculous ways–just not the same for everyone!). I love what you said about savoring where they are now. I LOVE our two homeschool days. They are my favorite days of the week!!
Hi Erin, I definitely know about time flying bye. It seems like just yesterday that I was putting my son on the bus for kindergarten. Watching him have to get on his knees to get up on the first step of the bus, then seeing his little head barely peeking over the window to wave his little hand at me. Then remembering my daughters little jammies when she was an infant. They were orange, pink and yellow striped. She looked like a juicy piece of that zebra gum that’s been around forever. Now my son is a freshman in college and my daughter is a junior in high-home-school. I am facing the “empty nest” years pretty soon and that makes me wonder… will I be able to stand the quiet. My kids always seemed to say the funniest things and I would call everyone but CNN to tell them about it. That is what I think I savor the most is their natural comedic abilities. They are still very present too. Just take snap shots in your mind of the really stand-out moments. Blessings.
I love that–take snapshots in your mind. I can see your son on the bus and your daughter in her jammies by your descriptions! Thank you so much for sharing!
You always know how to speak straight to a mommy’s heart. Thank you. God Bless.
Thank you for your kinds words! <3
I am definitely Savoring my fourth so much more than I did the rest…but I don’t feel guilt for that. I think it’s just part of mommyhood. Because those early years as a new mom ARE hard. They are filled with figuring everything out, embracing a new identity and letting go of what isn’t right now. Soak it up when you can! 🙂
I feel the same way, June! Do you have a gap between #3 and #4? This is our largest gap (4 1/2 years), and I really do feel like I am able to savor him more since the girls are older and are able to help me around the house (and with him)! Thanks for sharing!
I love your word of the year. I’m not usually into this trend of picking a word for the year, but I like yours so much that I might have to borrow it for next year! (And it’s great to see you posting again.)
Hi Claire! I have so often thought of you this past year. You have been such an encouragement to me over the long-haul of blogging! It IS so good to be back! “Savor” came to me one night when I was looking at the empty bassinet in my bedroom, just waiting on Baby Boy to fill it. I was still a month before my due date (and then he came 9 days “late”!), but the word just came to me immediately when I looked at the bed. It is has been so refreshing to focus on savoring this season!!
I feel like you are writing exactly what I’m feeling. But how do you savor them while life is also busy? When you don’t have time to do all you wish you could as a mom, but only have minutes here and there to dig in the dirt or push them on the bike; how do you not feel guilty or frazzled? Do all moms feel like they don’t have enough time? What are things you do to savor the moments even when its busy?
I don’t know all the answers, but I would say saying “no” to more outside commitments and saying “yes” to our kids more is a start. It will look different for every mom. I am admittedly not the best at getting down on my knees and playing with my kids when they are toddlers and preschoolers, but I am LOVING the grade-school years. I would love to hear what other moms have to say too! <3
Lauren @ Minimal Domesticity
This really spoke to my heart today–I’m 28 weeks pregnant with our second child, and I often wonder whether I’ll miss the days of just me and my toddler, spending time together. I spent a lot of early motherhood feeling frustrated and defeated (she was a rather difficult infant and it took me a long time to adapt to motherhood), and I’m just now beginning to truly enjoy the everyday with her. I pray that I can have the wisdom to soak it all up while my kids are little. Thanks for sharing!
Congrats on the pregnancy!! I remember your season so well. I remember thinking: Have I messed up already? Because…it WAS such a frustrating time! But, my kids are now 9, 7, 5,and almost 9 months, and I can tell you now that it’s never too late to start over. The baby and toddler years are a challenge, and the elementary years come with their own challenges…but the work we put into our girls during those little years is now paying off (or at least we are starting to see some fruit of our labors). Congrats again on the pregnancy!!