Maybe it’s because I’m not that sentimental but I find myself in this “should I be sad?” pickle. I hear parents & grandparents all over say things like, “Enjoy it, you’ll miss this someday,” and the like but when I hear these comments all I can honestly think is “Maybe, but I’m ok with that.”
Nichole Nordeman recently released a video called Slow Down summarizing the notion to hold onto your babies while they are still little. I do like the video, it’s cute and true for so many people, but not necessarily for me.
I find that I do love these stages of them being little. I also absolutely adore them growing bigger and being more independent. I love that we are finally at a stage where they can walk without me carrying them. I don’t need a diaper bag everywhere I go. I don’t even need a change of clothes for them anymore. I love that they no longer take naps (most days) and we can take trips after school. I love that I don’t have to deal with blow-outs and snotty noses – they can wipe their butts and their noses by themselves!
I love that they are actually helpful when they “help”. I enjoy reading fuller, deeper books with them. I enjoy teaching them number lines and getting them excited about building volcanoes & learning about the universe. I enjoy that they role play dragons & pirates & princesses for hours so I’m not the one to entertain them most of the time.
I love that they want to do things by themselves.
Does this make me a bad mom?
No, I don’t think it does. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned as a parent is that parents come in all varieties and flavors. Some adore and absolutely love the baby stage. Some love older kids who can think on their own and understand reason as they are trained to problem solve.
One thing that binds all these moms is that we fiercely love our kids – in all stages and phases – and we desire to honor God when we strive to raise them in the ways of the Lord. God told us to train up a child, to teach them diligently the words of the Lord. He doesn’t say to wish they always stayed little.
Train up a child in the way he should go;
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” — Proverbs 22:6
“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” — Deuteronomy 6:6-7
I hear of these households that have parents struggling to let their kids grow up, gain independence, and finally trusting them to be adults by the time they leave the home. I don’t foresee that I will have that struggle. If anything, I might trust them too early, to let go rather easily.
This doesn’t mean I don’t love my kids or that I am reckless in letting them do things above their age or maturity level. It does mean that I allow them to do things that might challenge them and that they might fail at. I am there to supervise, to speak into the situation and give them godly counsel and wisdom as we navigate those failures. I am eager for them to grow up, not because I want them gone, but simply because I’m excited for the man & woman God is forming them to be. I’m not pushing for it, yet I’m not holding it back either.
Do I look at their baby books and coo at all the memories it brings up? Absolutely!
Do I remember the times of snuggles after breastfeeding and caressing my kids’ faces as they slept? Definitely!
Do I even miss those times? Sure I do. But I don’t wish for them back.
Now, am I looking forward to the drama of the teen years? Not at all.
Am I excited for the moment that they no longer want to hold my hand when we walk in the parking lot, or when they request that I drop them off a block away from school so they can walk the rest of the way? Not at all.
I know it’s coming, so I take advantage of all the snuggle time I can get now. I take advantage of little hands in mine. I take advantage of my kids wanting to tell me stories and talk about nothing – because I know a day will come when they won’t answer my question about how school was without a sigh.
I’m a mom who lives for today with a vision for the future.
So, if you see Nichole Nordeman’s video, or hear all the comments about how we ought to pray they don’t grow too fast and it makes you think to yourself, “Self, I’m glad they’re growing and I’m happy to see them get big.” Rest assured, you aren’t the only one and it doesn’t make you a terrible mom.
It makes you a mom who loves her kids in the here and now – looking forward to the big, amazing people these little young ones will become. I’m excited for that day!