Hi friends! It’s been way too long since we’ve connected and I’ve missed you!
Typically when I write, I approach it with the perspective that my target audience is both men and women. But I have to apologize to the men who read my blog today, because this one is specifically for my readers who are moms to kids still in school.
As I write this, my family is right in the middle of our summer vacation. One month from this Saturday my kids go back to school and the summer of 10, 7 and 5 will come to an end.
I always have the greatest of intentions with how we will spend our summer. We try to get our travelling time in at the beginning of summer, so the rest of the summer we can just be home and take small camping trips on the weekends. I get summer workbooks for my kids to work on through the summer to keep their brains somewhat in school-mode. And I have spiritual content I want to work through with my kids, ie. memory verses, character studies, etc.
I so enjoy the first month of vacation. We stick to a relaxed routine that allows for a lot of getting dirty, freezies, and laughing in our yard. We all settle into a comfortable rhythm.
But today the calendar flips to August, and the sense of panic sets in. And then I have to admit that over the past week there has been a growing tension, angst and niggling feeling in my heart. It’s not a new feeling, but it’s rearing it’s ugly head again. That feeling that I’m running out of time with my kids. Not just this summer, but in general.
And I say it’s not a new feeling because it happens every summer in one way or another. Why? Because I think our pace is slow enough that I have time to sit and feel.
I know I’m not the only one because I’ve talked to numerous moms who are describing the same feelings, as tears fill their eyes and threaten to spill down their cheeks. They wonder what their child will remember as they grow older and if the good memories and lessons will still be there in the coming years. They wonder if they’ve looked at their phone too many times this week. They fear going to work means that they are abandoning their kids. They wonder if their child will remember the occasional yelling or the numerous snuggles and water fights in the front yard.
And it’s not just mom’s who have kids entering their last few years of high school or mom’s who have their first entering kindergarten this fall, it’s every age and stage in between. Stay-at-home moms, part-time working moms, full-time working moms; we all feel the same way.
That’s why I felt the pull to write on this, because I know this is something all moms can agree on.
But my question for us is will there ever be enough time with our kids?
And it’s that the irony of the situation? We want more “time” with our kids, but when we do have time with our kids, we feel pulled in a million different directions (ie. work, laundry, phone calls with our sister who is in the trenches of motherhood as well) or the beautiful little angels drive us absolutely crazy to where only grandma could think they were “adorable” and we want to have some time just to ourselves. (Cue the grandma comment of, “Someday you’ll miss the dirty handprints on the walls and the loud screams coming from the yard.”)
So fellow moms, sisters in the trenches, we have a couple of options. We can blame Eve for our curse of “you will bear children with painful effort.” Genesis 3:16, because the bearing of children doesn’t just end with the labor pains, or do we lock the doors and never let our kids go?
Or do we just take today and the little moments we find with our little or big kids. Maybe it will be pulling them onto our laps or sitting in the passenger seat as they pull out of the driveway and drive us to the store. Friends, we need to just take what God has given us today.
Are we going to feel better? Probably not. Is that niggling feeling going to go away? I doubt it. All you and I can ask for is to be present in those moments where they need some quality time with us, and not beat ourselves up for doing the things that need to be done to carry on the life of our family. But be there when you can, and give the rest to God.
He will carry you and me. He gave us today and the children, who at my house are just starting to wake up. So as I start my day, I’ll pray for Him to take them and be known to their hearts.
And as for the mom-guilt, I don’t think it’ll ever go away. But I can control my reaction to it. I can let it dictate my actions and attitude, or I can pray first, enjoy my kids, do what needs to be done and take some time for myself and not feel guilt or shame about any of it. I will not let the mom-guilt control me today or any other day.
So let’s lift our fellow moms-in-the-trenches up in prayer today, send each other memes about the mom life as we hide in the bathroom for to ourselves, and gather together for coffee once in a while.
I’d love to continue this conversation on my Facebook page @ErinCPetersWriter.