It's after 9pm and I'm just sitting down for the first time today. A day that included taking my students on a field trip, getting homework taken care of for my own kids, changing diapers, fixing owies, making dinner, cleaning the kitchen, getting boys to basketball and wrestling practice, working out at the gym, getting kids showered and in bed....and finally sitting down.
But you know what? I'm learning to appreciate it all. Because it's a season. A season of life that is tiring and grueling, and requires selflessness and hard work, but one that I will miss with every bone in my body.
In the past year, I've had friends unexpectedly lose their babies, go through major heart ache, be diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, lose jobs, move away from friends, and suffer in ways that don't even compare to the minor challenges I've had. And because of that, I've tried to change my perspective to one of thankfulness.
There are days when I feel like I can't possibly take a breath because we are so busy. Wondering if I'll be able to stay awake to get everything done. Or even keep my sanity in the process. But, I've chosen to enjoy and appreciate. As cheesy or cliche' as that may sound, I have really and truly realized how much I have to be thankful for and how quickly that can be taken from me.
I've had moments that I'm not proud of, as a mom. When I'm quick to get frustrated over a missing shoe, a spilled cup of milk, an argument between brothers or even a phone call interrupted. I've lost my cool, felt angry and not been the kind of mom I like to be. But when I find myself in that place, I try to remind myself of the fact that I need to be grateful. Because one day my kids aren't going to need me like they do, or because someone I love may be taken away from me.
We never know when our last day might be. I don't live in fear of this moment, but I have let it guide me to a place of peace with the chaos that is life. I'm already missing the season of growing babies. I absolutely love being pregnant and holding a newborn baby in my arms. I'm even crazy and love labor and delivery. To know that season of my life is over, makes me a better, more appreciative person, I think.
In fact, I know with 100% certainty, I'm a better mom because of the experiences I've had over the past 9 years, raising 4 kids, and seeing friends and family go through trials and tribulations. Instead of letting myself get frustrated by an incessantly crying baby, I try to think about the fact that someday she'll be crying about a break up and I'll be wishing it was tears over an incoming tooth. Or feeling upset over the food that was knocked over at the dinner table, when someday I'll be wishing I had my little ones still eating with me at the dinner table.
The point is, every season of our life passes more quickly than the one before. When we can look back on a season with appreciation and gratitude, it can help us to live more in the moment. Motherhood is one of the most difficult jobs on the planet. And from what I've heard, it doesn't get easier as they get older. Well, maybe once they are moved out and married, but teenagers are not always easier. So instead of wishing away our time and feeling frustration, we need to take a deep breath, be thankful for the blessings we have and realize that in the blink of an eye, our children will be grown and we'll be wanting this time back.
So with that, I'm off to bed, where I'll keep my fingers crossed that everyone sleeps well. But, if not, I'll try to remember that someday, I'm gonna miss this.
Because each season of life is fleeting....