Today I have the privilege of sharing an extra special guest post. Tonya is my older sister, and she’s also a wife, mother, graphic designer, borderline Pinterest addict, and for today, a blogger.
I write a lot about being single and the frustrations and joys it brings to my life, so I’m happy to share a bit from my sister’s very different perspective. She recently shared a post with me called, “Mommy, Somebody Needs You.” It is (I imagine) a pretty good representation of what life as a mother is like when your children are small, but Tonya felt like something was missing–because she’s more than mommy. She is now, and she will be when her children are grown. So here they are…some words from my big sister.
In September of 2013 I was blessed with the birth of my third child, my first son. As anyone who knows me can verify, baby stage is not my favorite. I love all my children dearly, but I much prefer a goofy toddler over a ultra needy baby. But knowing this is my last I have been making a conscious effort to enjoy this time with him. It is overwhelming at times when he is peacefully sleeping on my chest to know that this is it; I will never have this day with this baby ever again.
Then I started thinking, “Maybe that’s OK”. Do I love his baby snuggles, and will I miss them when he is older? Will I miss my 3 year old’s hilarious dance that she repeats 17 times a day because she knows it gets me every.single.time? Yes, most likely. Will they come up with other hilarious and adorable things 3 years from now that I love just as much? Almost certainly.
Will I be just as equally impressed and proud of my daughters and son when they have moved out of my home and are successful on their own without my help? Definitely.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die,” says Ecclesiates 3: 1-2.
What if instead of being sad of the things we will miss, we all spent more time just enjoying today, knowing that tomorrow might be just as good, if not better? What about taking a break sometimes and spending some time with that guy over there at the end of the dinner table, putting the pacifier back in the baby’s mouth for the 37th time? Or remembering to call that single friend who you’ve lost touch with? Maybe checking up on the grandma in the nursing home who spent so much time with you when you were young? As much as my children need me now, I need to remember that there were people who were important in my life before they came along and who will be with me after they have grown and moved out.
Because no matter how much you love or don’t love whatever stage of life you’re in right now, the truth is that time will move on. If we remember that everything is temporary, it seems to make the hard times more tolerable and the happy times more sweet.
And 15 years from now when my time is not spent with spitting babies and charming toddlers, there will be things left for me to do. Hopefully I will be the older woman at the grocery store who is able to HELP the mom with the screaming child, instead of just giving her a nod in solidarity as I pass by with my cart equally loaded with 3 children and a mountain of groceries.
For as much as I try to teach my children that they belong to the Lord and are here on this earth to fulfill his purposes, I need to remember this for myself. God calls us to different things at different times in our lives. Today that means washing dishes and folding laundry and reading Pinkalicious for the 4th time. Lord willing, 40 years from now that might mean traveling to Guatemala and building houses for the less fortunate, or holding someone else’s baby in the church nursery so that mom can get a much needed break. Whatever I end up doing, I know that I am HIS. Regardless of whether my children need me or not, I will still have a purpose.
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