Can life get any faster? As I was watching my oldest run around yesterday, I was struck by how big he is. How old he is. I felt my chest start to tighten and breathing was just a little bit more difficult as I told myself not to blink because that’s how quick the next 8 years will go. Sometimes I think that I need a kick in the pants like that. I need to see clearly that time is really the most precious thing I have with my children and that it can never be reclaimed. That realization helps me to suck it up and do what I need to do. To set aside my wants and desires. To realize that this season is short.
Because it is.
We live in a culture that finds virtue in telling us that, as Mom’s, we need “Me Time”. It’s a myth. That’s right, it just isn’t true. It leaves you wanting more Me Time. Not recharged and ready to go. It creates animosity in marriage because it is usually born out of thoughts like “Well, he gets a day off from his job and mine is 24/7.” If I could go back, say 6 years ago, and give myself some advice, it would be this:
Take your eyes off yourself. Selfishness is just about the most destructive character trait you can have. Quit thinking that you deserve something, like time off, and realize that every moment is a gift. That’s right, every moment. Because someday most of those moments will be lost to a failing memory. Are you tired and grumpy? Fake it. Smile. Be nice. Clean. Cook. Go to the park. Marvel at beauty around you. Look at those children and see yourself through their eyes. Did I mention take your eyes off yourself? Know this, that fatigue, that not so great feeling? It will probably only get worse. Yep, aging stinks, but it happens. One last thing, by taking your eyes off yourself, you will quit obsessing about your weight. I mean really, is that the one over arching theme that you want your life to be about? Good grief. Get over yourself. View the roles of wife and mother as what the really are, God’s unique gift that teaches servanthood in an amazing way, with rewards that are unparalleled. So quit complaining. Make the choice to close your big mouth and enjoy the life that you have. Yep, that’s what I would tell myself.