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Dear Younger Me – Don’t Wish Their Childhoods Away

Have you ever looked back at your life or even a particular situation and wished you’d known what you know now before that event or situation happened? It’s happened to me many times, and it’s probably happened to you too! Titus 2:4 instructs older women to behave well (set a good example) and to teach younger women the things they need to know to be good wives and mothers. And while this passage of Scripture is discussing qualities needed for a sound church, it applies here as well.

Trish and I (the owners of Hip Homeschool Moms) thought it would be encouraging and helpful to share a series of articles written by older homeschooling moms for younger moms. We certainly don’t claim to know everything, but we can share the bits of wisdom we’ve gathered here and there along the way and share them with you. Our prayer is that these articles bless and encourage you!

Dear Younger Me,

You know how you always hear folks say that your children will grow up before you know it? And how you’re thinking that sounds great?! Well, one day your children will be all grown up, and you will actually miss the days of diapers and toddlers and young children. I know! It’s hard to believe. But it’s true. You will.

You know how your house is always. Always. Messy? And how you often wish you could just get it clean and enjoy it that way for a week or two?Or even a day or two? It’s not going to happen for many years. And when it does happen, you’ll actually miss stepping on Legos, tripping over stuffed animals, and sliding across the floor (involuntarily) when you step on one of your children’s t-shirts on the floor. You won’t have to wonder any more what that sticky stuff is on your counter or who on earth drew with crayons on the wall or how long that sippy cup (full of milk….) has been under the couch. But you’ll look back and be willing to trade your clean house and quiet cup of coffee for just a little more time with little ones in your house. It’s true. You will.

You’ll miss the days that your children begged you to read just one more bedtime story or to stay at the park for just a little while longer. You’ll miss nursery rhymes and Saturday morning cartoons and counting heads when you’re at the store to make sure you make it home with everyone. You’ll miss snuggling on the couch for reading lessons or counting plates and forks and knives for math. You’ll miss chauffeuring everyone to ballet or baseball or swim lessons or co-op. I know it doesn’t seem like it right now in the middle of this crazy busy season of life. But it’s true. You will.

So let me tell you while you’re still in the middle of the “little kid” years to enjoy every moment. Yes, that’s right. Don’t allow yourself to always think that things will be better or easier or happier when your little children are big children or teenagers or adults. Allow yourself to enjoy your babies, toddlers, and young children. Spend time with your children, love them, laugh with them, play with them, read to them, draw with them, create with them while they’re small.

And then something wonderful will happen! When they get to be tweenagers and teenagers and adults, they will still want to do those things with you! And then you won’t see it as a burden or an obligation at all. Nope. You won’t. Instead, you’ll see it as a privilege. You’ll be happy to spend time with those young adults that you’ve invested in for so many years. It will be fun to do things with them, go places with them, have grown up conversations with them.

When they grow up and live on their own, it will make you smile when they call you to ask if you’d like to meet for lunch or to go shopping. Or when they call you just to say hello because it’s been a day or two since you’ve talked.

All of the years of hard work and sacrifice will have been worth it.

How do I know these things? Because I am you. And if I could go back in time and tell you (myself…) these things, I would. Because the years really do fly by. Babies and young children really do grow up. They really do leave home. They really do become adults with their own lives and their own jobs and their own homes and their own families. And you really will look back and wish you’d loved every moment…both good and bad. So please, don’t wish their childhoods away!

So when the days seem long and help seems scarce, remember that those little ones were gifted to you for a short time. To love, teach, nurture, and enjoy for just a few years. Choose to enjoy the time you have with them because one day, you really will miss those years. Those little children. Those crazy busy days of chaos and noise and even tantrums and messes. It’s true. You will. I know…because I am you.

(To see the rest of the articles in this series, click here)

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