It’s funny. We think about all of the things that we will do when our children are born. We rock them, hold them, sing to them, enjoy every minute of them.
Not much time passes before we begin looking to the future when we start saying, “When the kids are older, I’ll be able to…” It’s only when those moments have passed that we realized that we had missed them.
It was a few years back that it dawned on me. Our kids were still young at the time and going anywhere required planning and patience.
One day, while having a conversation with my mom, I remember saying, “When all of the kids are a few years older, it will be easy to go anywhere!”
Her response was one that I won’t forget:
“I always said that, too…
‘When the kids are out of diapers, things will be so much easier.
When they are done with preschool, I’ll be able to start saving our money.
When the kids are in elementary school, I’ll have so much more time.
When the kids are older, I’ll be able to…
but there is always something else. Enjoy them now.”
The following day, I received a comment on a post that I had written, called ‘Mommy, Will you lay with me?” The comment was from a mother that had lost her child when he was five years old.
Five years old.
I can’t imagine- my heart broke for her (and it still does).
Her comment was simple, yet so meaningful: She simply wanted the time with her child back. She wanted to have those moments together again. She stressed the importance of appreciating every moment that you have with your children and never taking those moments for granted.
These conversations both served as reminders that I still remember today:
There is always going to be something else, something that we want, but we can’t let that stop us from taking advantage of this time… today. We can’t just let these days pass idly by, while we wait for our kids to get older.
The passing of time is like a double-edged sword.
- I’m no longer waking up to feed babies at night, yet I can’t fall asleep easily at night as I look at the clock, hoping I can fall asleep soon thinking, “If I fall asleep right now, I’ll still get ____ hours of sleep.”
- I’m no longer carrying a baby around in a carrier strapped to my body, but now I have to remind my kids to stop playing to come to hug their mom. 😉
- I’m no longer rocking someone to sleep, but I miss how they looked at me longingly while trying to keep their heavy eyelids open, just to look at mom for a minute longer.
- I’m no longer planning my days around naptimes, yet I miss the days of lazy afternoons.
My words will change.
The day will come when my words change from “When our kids are older, we’ll be able to” to “When our kids were younger, we were able to…” I’ve already started saying those things with our older kids (teens!)
I don’t want to have to regret any of these moments with our kids. I want to know that I used this time wisely. I want to know that I enjoyed every minute that I could, that I taught them all of those life-lessons that come from late-night conversations, that I demonstrated examples of how to be caring & responsible.
Babies Don’t Keep, but neither do toddlers, school-aged kids, or teens…
Remember that even if things don’t go as planned, you took this time for your family, and they will be better because of it.
You stepped out of your comfort zone to embrace this moment and enjoy this moment.
We can’t predict the future, but we are in control of how we spend our time now. When I was younger, my mom sang this song to me… and I now sing it to my own children:
“Que Sera Sera.
Whatever will be, will be.
The future’s not ours to see.
Que Sera Sera… what will be, will be.”
Aren’t those wise words? Que Sera Sera. The future’s not ours to see. All that we have is the present.
As parents, we have the power to teach our children, shape their character, and show them a wonderful world. I read a quote once that I wanted to share it with you. While I may not get it exactly right, I’ll give it my best shot…
Children may remember many things that you did for them in their childhood, but they will always remember you for the feeling that you cherished them.
How are you going to do that today? Here are some suggestions.
- Play with them (don’t just watch)
- Speak words that will impact them
- Talk to them and listen with an open heart.
- Your words become their inner voice
- Use our 30-day One-on-One Time Calendar to remember that every day presents an opportunity to enjoy the moment.