Time is flying! As a mom of three teenagers now I can tell you, your parenting journey really does go way too fast.
I keep asking myself, “How do I stop time”, Is it really summer already? Is it true my little baby boy is turning 18 this year and will leave our home for college next spring? Say it isn’t so!
It is so funny, when you are a mom in your early 20’s and you have these babies at your legs and people tell you “Enjoy these days, they will be gone before you know it”, and there you are NOT believing them.
You are in the middle of sleepless nights, toddler fits, soaked diapers, and little fingers at the bottom of the bathroom door. Because really, using the restroom alone is usually asking too much!
But you know what,?
It really is true.
I was watching home videos the other day and I just wept. I wept because my kids are not babies anymore, I wept because I truly couldn’t see back then that I should just stop and truly savor every single second (yes, even those hard ones) I didn’t think for one minute back then that the moments I was experiencing would be gone in what would seem to be days instead of years.
My kids are not babies anymore. There is no sweet baby talk, giggles over little things, and dancing around the house with no cares. Those moments are gone!
My life is in a new stage now! I have to remind myself that it too, brings many great things and I don’t want to be too busy missing what is gone to miss the moments of today. Every stage brings something wonderful to our lives- even teenagers!
If I could give younger moms advice about savoring the moments this is what I would say:
1. Don’t rush time- how many times do we say, “Oh, I can’t wait till this stage is over or they start doing this or that, or just want so bad to have them out of diapers? Trust me, it will all happen soon enough! You just wake up one day and realize your child isn't carrying their favorite blanket anymore or all of a sudden are sleeping through the night and you look back and think "how did that happen?" There are so many things you will miss once they are gone!
2. Be intentional – Schedule family nights, date nights, and activities with real purpose on developing your relationships with your kids! This will not only create wonderful memories but help you have deeper connections with them.
3. Take lots of photos (even if it is just with your phone) and videotape your kids -. Although they make me weepy at times I’m so glad my husband was a video maniac when the kids were young-we have so many memories on film that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Pictures are one of those priceless treasures no one wants to lose. They capture moments and memories forever, I'm so grateful for all of our photographs.
4. Care more about your relationships than your children’s achievements – It is ok to want to see good things for your children., you are proud of them and want them to have a joyful life! However you should always value relationship over their achievements, their grades, and their talents. Think about your lives in 20 years, will it really matter that your son didn’t make the team or your daughter was a C student? I see way too many broken relationships with parents and children because of this issue. Love them, cheer them on, and let them know no matter what nothing will separate your love for them. Our Savior cares more about us than our weakness and we should do no less for our children.
5. Use your time wisely – God has given these children to you. Use the time you have parenting them pouring your wisdom into their lives, forgive often, and make time for what matters! I think of the story of Mary and Martha often. Mary wanted to be at the feet of Jesus while Martha wanted to clean up. Martha wasn't a bad person but her priorities in this case were off balance. There is nothing wrong with wanted a clean and orderly home, but don't let it consume you! You have your kids for such a limited time, make sure you use your time wisely. Some days let the to do list go and dance in the rain with your kids! I promise you won't regret it.
Enjoy your kids, savor every minute, because I have learned that the moments go way too quickly and in a blink of an eye they will be gone and God will be preparing us for the next stage of our lives.
The messes, the fits, the diapers, the teen years, wherever you are, enjoy every minute!
Angela, Together with Family