Friday, November 8, 2013

It's a Season -- Parenting Through the Little Years (Part Nine)

This is Part Nine of "Three in Diapers: Parenting Through the Little Years." If you are just tuning in now, please check out the Introduction, Part One, etc. for context and disclaimers.

9. It's a Season -- As mentioned in Part Eight of this series, the phrase "it's a season" has special meaning to me thanks to the gracious counsel of a couple of precious older women in my life.

We each have individual talents, desires, hopes, and preferences, and often we have to give those up during this active part of parenting young 'uns -- for a season.

I've often found myself saying to one of these wise older ladies something along the lines of, "I feel so out of the loop..." or "I wish I could find the time to play my violin more..." or "My house is a mess" or "I can't keep track of all the new people anymore" or "I feel like I'm always distracted by trying to make sure my little family is taken care of." And these women graciously smile at me and respond gently, "It's a season."

And this is good to remember. I love, love, love the precious years of having little ones in my house. I try hard not to imagine a time when there will be no babies in the house to cuddle or little ones whose expressions and antics keep me constantly entertained. I'm amazed at how these little trouble makers actually are little people who are building their own memories and beliefs and experiences and goals that will all contribute to the type of people they are when they grow up.

But in the middle of this all-time and energy consuming season, it's easy to start thinking that this will last forever. And we can look around and see areas that we're failing in or things that we've given up for a while, and think that these deficiencies will also last forever. And wanting to fill the lack, we can become overwhelmed with our expectations.

So it's good to remember that expectations, and sanity, can often be over-rated. This is a season of life. It's a precious season that is unique and holds many of it's own challenges and joys. And it's good to embrace the joys fully -- as many people regularly remind us that these days will go by in a flash -- but it's also good to hold our expectations loosely. There will be time for the clean house and the weeded garden and the organized file cabinet... someday. And if there isn't time for it all, it all was probably over-rated anyway. Be thankful for today.

It's a season of life. A beautiful one at that.


Okay. Maybe Part Ten will have those practical tips I keep promising. ;)

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