Don’t Rush The Early Miles!
Do you approach your parenting like the Tortoise or the Hare? I have four kids. My Uncle jokingly says that I’ve been in “baby prison” for the last 7 years. Sometimes it does feel like prison.
After I’ve cleaned up the sixth accident (in one day’s attempt at potty training) I start to wish my kids were older. It can be easy to rush the early miles.
Having little, little ones isn’t always convenient. When the baby wakes you up at 4 A.M it can really make you wish for a fast forward button on parenting. Shopping isn’t easy when you have to stop three times to nurse. Strapping four kids into car seats, cleaning up puke from car sickness . . .it can all get a little overwhelming. It becomes easy to just plow through it and function as robots eager to “just get through these years”.
We get no do-over though and we’ll never really win the race or even see the finish line unless we slow down and enjoy the journey.
My best, happiest memories are from my early years. I refer to those years as my “bubble years”. (Mostly because I lived in the bathtub back then). I had a mom who took the time to find the fun in everything. She wasn’t too busy to bath me in my bathing suit outside in my little turtle pool with bubbles. I had bathtub crayons and would paint myself like a Smurf. I can’t imagine how much time it took to was it all off. She let me play in mud puddles. I even had a special dress to wear for the occasion. I thought that, with her example, parenting would be easy. It isn’t.
I get tired and overwhelmed and I’ve called her and wailed “how did you do it?!” She laughs and tells me to slow down. Time with them is what’s important, shaping their hearts and minds is number one.
I have found that when I am overwhelmed as a Mother it is usually because I’m doing too much too fast. The house does not have to be perfect everyday. The deadlines I set for myself can put me in a rush. I have to shred them and just sit down. I have to hold little Sadie and study her laugh. I have to pace myself. Don’t let yourself be a Hare, you’ll pass out from exhaustion before the finish line. Take it slow. Make time to laugh and leave your children with memories that they’ll always treasure.
Remember Isaiah 40:29 (NLT) “He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; he offers strength to the weak.”