Seeing many social media posts last week and this week of parents sending their kids off to school, I couldn’t help but picture myself in that boat. Realizing that day is going to come, whether we are ready or not, whether we LIKE it or not, it’s coming.
I have since taken some time to think about Mazy’s past 2 1/2 years of life, what I miss and…what I don’t miss.
The other night, after Mazy went to bed, Dan and I spent some time watching old videos of Mazy, from the time she was born. I guess it was a slow night in the Sterk house, but as we watched them, I remember saying to Dan, “Ya know, these are all of when she was so happy, which makes me forget about how much she cried!” It was true. When I look back on her life and those videos, you really do only remember the good times, most of the time, thanks to God’s grace.
As I start to think about the phases of time whipping by, I think often times in this world, we try to put the good times on a pedestal and the tough times, well, as if they don’t exist. Social media glamorizes parenting, but what about the TRUTH about parenting? I think we just don’t want those good times to end. Who does? But what about the tough times too? That’s why I’m going to dedicate this post to talking about the whole spectrum of life stages, and what I will and will not miss. Can you relate to any of these?
I Know I Will Always Miss….
- Cuddling and snuggling on my lap. There is a peace and comfort that only a child can give through cuddling!
- The joy and pride on a baby and child’s face when they learn something new.
- Toddler talk – nothing compares!
- Watching Mazy sleep. Never gets old.
- Soaking in the pure innocence of a child that has yet to be influenced by the world.
- The simplicity of a toddler’s faith.
- Hearing the pitter-patter across the floors of little feet running.
- Carrying a baby and giving birth. To be given that gift is something I will always hold so close in my heart. Not worth doing it again for the sake of my health, but something I am forever grateful to have experienced.
I Already Know I Won’t Miss…
- Getting only 1 1/2 hours of sleep a night. Isn’t it amazing what the body can do without?
- Teething. That struggle was real.
- Trying to figure out breastfeeding. After we moved, the medication I started taking after I had Mazy to clear all the excess fluid around my heart, well I got it refilled, and on a big sticker it said, DO NOT TAKE IF YOU ARE BREASTFEEDING. Would’ve been good to know that right away, but those 5 weeks I will always treasure to some extent, though they were extremely difficult.
- Baby and toddler constipation. Again, the struggle is real. What would I do without prune juice?
- Not sleeping through the night. I know many say I will miss that, but when we all get a full night’s sleep, we are all just in a better place in life!
- Ear infections. I am so thankful for tubes, but that seemed like a long haul until that point.
- The mom guilt, that is self-inflicted of course. Will that ever end? I don’t know, but it’s something I want to combat. Going to bed each night, knowing I did my best, is the best I can do. Not what social media and the world says I should do!
I hesitated to type the things I won’t miss because I remember struggling so deeply with not being able to have a child. For years I would get so upset when there was ever a post on facebook about someone’s long day with their kiddos. I wanted to trade places with them in a heartbeat. But what I was doing, was putting parenting on this pedestal and forgetting that even in the absolute BEAUTY of parenting, there are still tough times. There are still times that are not always easy, but they truly are fleeting. For so long I had this image in my head of perfection, but even parenting can be messy too. BUT I WOULDN’T TRADE IT FOR THE WORLD.
In the wee hour so the morning, trying to get Mazy to go back to sleep, I think about who I am. What has parenting done to me? What have all of the different life stages thus far, taught me? Much like the childless years taught me, parenting has taught me the same thing. That I cannot live this life without my Savior. I would not be able to get through each day, without my Savior. Seeing these years whip by, it makes me all the more humbled knowing the rest of my life, I can’t do it without my Savior. Boy is He patient with me and boy is Mazy patient too. This girl has so much to learn yet, thanks to the grace God continues to give me on a daily basis.
I don’t know where you are at in life, whether you are single, just married, waiting for the child, in the midst of parenting, or are watching your kids exit the nest, there is something about seeing time go by. It can bring a sense of regret at times, but also a fullness of peace. In both feelings, they are covered by the grace of God. A place in life we have to make sure we never take for granted.
What stage of life are you in? How are you feeling about being in that stage?