Moms with Toddlers….let’s have a moment of silence….because we know the last thing you probably hear is silence! Everyone has told you already, but I promise you can trust me, you’re going to miss your kids at this stage!!! I cannot guarantee you will miss changing dirty diapers, picking crushed up goldfish off the floor, or figuring out how to escape Hobby Lobby unseen and unembarrassed with your screaming toddler, but you will miss their cute tiny hands and that sweet laugh that you will do ridiculous things to get out of them. YOU. WILL. MISS. THIS. SEASON. So try to make the memories today that you can hold on to in the future.
I remember talking to a mom who was a few decades ahead of me when I started having kids. She and I were discussing the “need” to have a clean home at all times. “Hi, my name is Peppi and I am addicted to cleanliness.” As we were talking she said something that just peeled layers of guilt away from me and I bet this advice will help you too! She said, “If you have toys all over the floor, it means you were on the floor playing with your children. No one should feel guilty about that!” Any time spent being with your children isn’t wasted, it’s invested. Do not get me wrong, a clean home isn’t the wrong idea, it just needs to be put in its right place.
One of my favorite stories in scripture is the story of Mary and Martha. I personally identify so much with this story, and sadly, I am almost always on the wrong end of the equation. Martha was busy cleaning and cooking which are good and necessary things but need to be prioritized correctly. Mary was exactly where she NEEDED to be, at the feet of Jesus. Can’t you see it now? Mary had spit up rags, stale snacks, a half-full bottle, and every baby toy known to man covering the floor, but the Bible says in Luke 10:42 that Mary chose the good and needful thing. She put the need for a perfect presentation to the side and chose significance. In our families, let's choose them first! I am not sure if this is encouraging to you, but any time I have left a mess to go make memories, the mess never leaves. It will be waiting for you when you get back! Your kids will literally grow in front of your eyes so enjoy every single moment you can. You will never regret that decision.
Today I have a 15, 14, and 9 year old. No one can truly explain how it happens at the speed it does, you just have to experience it to know. I did not know how to parent perfectly nor did I do a perfect job raising them. We get caught in the trap of wondering if we are doing enough. We look at social media and wonder if our child is behind. We see our friend’s kids and silently compare our kids to theirs. It never stops by the way. You will never quit being tempted to compare your progress with someone else’s family. Your motives can even be pure in trying to compare. But at the end of the day, YOU were given your KIDS. You’re fully equipped to be the dad and mom you need to be. If you feel overwhelmed, confused, flustered, behind everyone else…Pray! You have a deep well inside you. You’re full of all wisdom but you have to tap into it through prayer. When you’re not sure how you’re doing, remember that you have access to the counselor of counselors, the Holy Spirit. I can not tell you how many times we as parents didn’t know what to do with that behavior, or that bad habit, or that diagnosis, or knowing they were behind their peers. But God, so rich in mercy and wisdom, gave us the exact instructions we needed. I encourage you to take the pressure off yourself and your child and let God show you exactly what your child needs to become the man or women God designed and created them to be!
So Dad and Mom, enjoy the gift of parenting. Show up for every season of parenting and when you feel like you do not know what to do, you do. It’s in you. Take the time to pray it out and see God give you every answer you need!