Life Moves On Even When We Don’t Want it To

My sister sent me a reminder this week as I am struggling with sending my “baby” off to kindergarten – “life moves on even when we don’t want it to”. It is ringing very true for me today as I reflect back on 19 years of having children in this house before starting school. Nineteen years is a long time! Since we have six children this phase in my life has last longer than most.

The Days are Long But The Years are Short

I look back and remember the days when I was home with four children 5 years old and younger. It felt like time stood still. By 4:00 in the afternoon, it got even worse. Seconds felt like minutes and bedtime seemed so far away. Heck dinner seemed so far away. I would daydream about when they all would go to school and I would have my “me” time. How much I could accomplish if I was alone all day. Trivial things that I could accomplish without a child wrapped around my legs or on my hip. Or being interrupted every minute to respond to a “MOM” call.

When my fourth child was entering kindergarten, I went into labor with our fifth child the day kindergarten started! Oh the irony – I almost had one day home with all the kids in school but instead we headed to the hospital to give birth to baby number 5.

The cycle began again but with a renewed appreciation of being home with a baby. The afternoons no longer dragged on because we had new entertainment in the house after the school day ended.

A few years later we had our sixth child. And again, I had a refreshing outlook on raising babies since we also had teenagers. Babies don’t talk back. Babies don’t give you an attitude. And babies love you with all their heart and soul. Teenagers could take or leave you on any given day.

Which Brings Me To Today

So today is the day I have been dreaming about for 19 years! Woohoo, my “me” time. Well guess what? I can’t stop crying. I want all that time back again. I want a do over. I’ll do it better this time – I won’t complain about the baby on my hip all day long or the toddler who throws tantrums. I’ll enjoy all the little moments when they reach out for your hand to hold or snuggle up in your lap. I won’t snap at them for no reason when I am stressed out. I’ll savor our lunches alone on the porch and won’t rush through them because I have work to do. The list goes on and on.

I have put my heart and soul into being a mother. Trust me, I have made a million mistakes because there is absolutely no manual for being a parent. It amazes me every day how different each one of our six children are and what works for one child doesn’t necessarily work for another. As I look back on these years, I was just so incredibly wrong. At the time, during those long afternoons, I felt like it was all so pointless. Now, looking back it is the BIGGEST accomplishment of my life! And I see it now clear as day. Funny how life works like that.

God has blessed us with six wonderful children. I feel so grateful that I was able to take this ride for 19 years! I’m just not ready to get off the ride…

But I have to – there are new rides to take. Like watching our older children get on a different ride than the rest of the family. Letting them go off to a college is a whole different feeling of happy and sad at the same time.

And I do get to take the elementary school ride again with my two youngest which is exciting to me. I can enjoy watching the kids play sports, be in the school play, volunteer in the classroom and more without having littles ones in tow. I am going to do better this time and enjoy the ride more.

But in reality I have no choice, because life moves on, even when we don’t want it to.

In today’s fast-paced society, family time is sparse.  Parents spend hours at work or busy at home, followed by running children to different activities.  Day after day of this, year after year, can make you feel like you are in a rut.  Families need to slow down and realize that there is much to be grateful for every day of our rich and blessed existence. By participating in the Family Gratitude Challenge, even the most ordinary moments can fill us with rapture if we take the time to acknowledge the profound in the mundane, the small miracles all around us that can slip by in a blink if we forget to notice them.  Complete with your family promoting the joyful reflection on the gift of life.

The Family Gratitude Challenge digital download includes 25 gratitude activities to use the power of positivity to improve your family relationships.