Hey, girl, hey! I’m putting my oldest to bed right now, and I got to thinking. What are the two things you wish you knew before motherhood? Think about that as I share with our mom-to-be sisters what I believe they should know.
The Days Are Long, the Years Short
I remember I first heard that from a dear friend while expecting our firstborn. I didn’t understand what that meant at the time, but once he was born, it began to dawn on me. It feels as if I blinked, and he’s almost five years old. Sometimes when they’re cranky and whining, I was ready to scream, “I need a break!” But before I knew it, they were becoming more independent.
I’ve had my moments of wishing the day would hurry and end so I can get an ounce of rest—yet now, I sometimes wish that I could revisit those rushed days because the years went by quickly.
Tip: Allow yourself to feel the full extent of each day—yet, never forget the years quickly fade. Make memories and allow the fatigue to be fuel to tap into your creativity. Embrace resting with your child, and grow with him.
Learn How to Be a Kid Again
I used to be so focused on schedules and order—both are important, so don’t neglect either—that I forgot to make time for playing with my oldest. No, that didn’t happen all the time or frequently, yet it did happen. The older my son gets (and the more I peruse different parenting resources, the more I notice what he needs.
“Mommy and me” playtime.
He most certainly needs my structure, yet he also needs my attention and respect. Living in a world that childhood looks different than mine, he doesn’t often see his friends, and sometimes it gets old playing with his baby brother. What does that mean, then?
Until we have little girls, on those long days when it’s just the boys and me, I share my strength with them through how we play. They connect not just with my snuggles but when they can tackle me or play in the dirt together. Dancing to songs about excavators and laughing about various body sounds tickles them. I engage with them, and together we have a royal ball.
Tip: The tidying can wait. Listen to your children’s hearts and engage with them where they are in the moment. Trust me, embracing them and allowing them to see your playfulness help them build trust and credibility with you. You’ll be a safe place that when they are older, they will confide in you.
Don’t be hard on yourself. Embrace your season and theirs with grace and freedom. When you look back, you’d see that slowing down and being carefree was worth it. That’s what makes it possible for us to be Proverbs 31 women.
You got this, boo.