Living the Mom Life Day 7: Loose Hands
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. (Psalm 127:3, ESV)
So often when you are raising toddlers and babies, in between changing a diaper and looking for a pacifier to soothe a screaming baby, someone will comment about how fast the time goes and to be sure you enjoy it. In that moment, as your hair is standing on end and you have kids and bags hanging on every part of you, it’s hard to enjoy the moment. But friend, it really does go by fast. Enjoy it.
Right now, I feel like I am in the “sweet spot” of parenting. My youngest is four, and my oldest is 12. Everyone is potty trained, but no one can drive yet. I can actually sit by the side of the pool and relax. I don’t have to pack up my life in a diaper bag when I leave the house. Our whole family can go on a roller coaster together, and all four kids still like to hang out with us. Just like the baby stage, I am also trying to enjoy every moment in this stage, because I know it will also go by too fast.
As chaotic, loud, and messy as my house is on most days, I truly cannot imagine a day when these four kids aren’t here making noise and messes. I would be lying if I said I was looking forward to the time when they will leave the home. I love having all my kids home with me, and I don’t wish for those days to come too quickly. I know there will be things to enjoy in the next stages of parenthood as well, but for now I’m enjoying the stage I’m in. I encourage you to do the same. The lack of sleep, the endless diaper changes, the constant slew of toys on the floor, the endless chatter—whatever stage you are in, be sure to enjoy that stage. No one benefits from looking back or looking too far ahead. Enjoy your children where they are right now, because you will never get this time back again.
I came across this devotional from Dr. James Dobson, and thought it was a very important reminder for when the day comes to let my children go. I hope you will find it encouraging and informative as well:
“We come now to the final task assigned to mothers and fathers, that of releasing grown children and launching them into the world of adulthood. It is also one of the most difficult. Some years ago, we explored this topic by conducting another informal poll of the Focus on the Family radio listeners. I asked them to react to this question: ‘What are the greatest problems you face in dealing with your parents or in-laws, and how will you relate differently to your grown children than your parents have to you?’ An avalanche of mail flooded my offices in the next few days, eventually totaling more than 2,600 detailed replies.
“We read every letter and catalogued the responses according to broad themes. As is customary in such inquiries, the results surprised our entire staff. We fully expected in-law complaints to represent the most common category of concerns. Instead, it ranked fifth in frequency, representing only 10 percent of the letters we received. The fourth most commonly mentioned problem, at 11 percent, related to sickness, dependency, senility and other medical problems in the older generation. In third place, at 19 percent, was general concern for the spiritual welfare of un-Christian parents. The second most common reply, representing 21 percent, expressed irritation and frustration at parents who didn’t care about their children or grandchildren. They never came to visit, wouldn’t baby-sit, and seemed to follow a ‘me-first’ philosophy.
“That brings us to the top of the hit parade of problems between adults and their parents. May I have the envelope please? (Drum roll in background.) And the winner is, the inability or unwillingness of parents to release their grown children and permit them to live their own lives. An incredible 44 percent of the letters received made reference to this failure of older adults to let go.” (https://www.drjamesdobson.org/blogs/dr-james-dobson/letting- go-your-grown-child)
When it is time for me to let my children go, I hope I will remember that they also have a Heavenly Father who cares for them as much as I do, and that my job of encouraging them, praying for them, and being an example to them will continue on even after they’ve left my house.