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For the Mamas Who Miss the Little Years

It’s no secret the blog has taken a hiatus. I’m going to pull the mom card and blame my kids, but it’s not what you think.

When my kids were tiny, most stories and issues were universal. Potty training? Universal. Nap strikes?IMG_5521 Universal. Keeping a toddler in a big kid bed? Universal. Navigating tantrums? Universal.

However, as impossible as it seems, those little years do not last forever.  My oldest is now eleven, and I’ve been thrust into a new world of parenting that I don’t feel prepared for (which is literally how I feel in every phase of parenting so why am I always surprised?)

At some point, the universality of her stories drifted into very personal experiences; I no longer felt I could share our interactions without sharing stories that belonged to her alone. Growing up is hard enough without it being broadcast to the whole world.

Therefore, this blog will probably shift slightly. My own experience as a mom is still quite universal, and I’m ok sharing that. But as far as specifically parenting my own kids, I’ll refrain from sharing their stories here for the sake of their privacy.

I’m pivoting to tell someone else’s story: mine.

For a long time, I convinced myself I did not have a story to tell. I’m pretty basic. But then you ask my husband or closest friends, who have seen the ups and downs, and they’d beg to differ.

It’s so easy as a mom to get wrapped up in our kids’ stories. And while those are so important, and I hold them close to my heart, I think we can all agree it’s tough to embrace our own story in it sometimes. Once the fog of newborns and toddlers lifts…we stand up, dust ourselves off, get some extra rest, find our footing again…and we look in the mirror and think, now wait a minute…who am I?

That’s where I’m at. I never felt like I lost myself. I find my greatest joys and my best self in parenting. I love how I have grown and all the ways I have been stretched. But what do I do when I’m not constantly wrapped up in providing for my kiddos? I work from home and have margin. What do I want my life to be about?

adventure braceletWhy is it so hard to let go of that little season? I have a theory. I’m not sure it’s the season I miss so much. It’s the little humans that filled that season. But Jamie, you might say, you still have those little humans. Ah, I do….but they’re different. Very different. I will never again talk to, touch, or lay eyes on two-year-old Gavin. I will never get to hear three-year-old Heidi’s giggle or hold hands with her down the street. They’ve changed so much since then it’s almost like grieving a whole person.

As soon as I realized this, the sadness made sense, and I feel more freedom to feel it. I no longer felt shame about my sadness. I realized it’s very normal. It’s a big part of being a whole human. And I started seeing my kids for more than what they were as littles: I started seeing them as whole people too.

They are more than their tiny years. They are more than being our constant source of love and sweetness and squishiness. They will have their bad days like us. They will have their ugly and emotional days, their hard days and their mistakes. So maybe we can live in tandem. Maybe we can work and live and learn together.

I welcome you back into my journey, one that is mine to tell. I still am very much a stay-at-home mom. But in my pockets of work time, I’ve taken on an entirely new challenge and opportunity; one that we’ve discussed now for years. I’m working on building a business that will eventually provide job training for survivors of trafficking.

That’s another story for another post. My point is…if you’re a mom of littles and this season I’m talking about seems lightyears away, be encouraged. You will get your rest. You will miss this time. And none of that means you didn’t make the most of it. You may dread your little ones growing up but know that all the moms around you have been through it, or are going through it, and you’ll have what you need whenIMG_5530 the time comes.  If you’re a mom in the same season as me, be encouraged. We may think the best times of our lives have passed, but we may be sorely mistaken. Those bright, shiny early years with our kids were beautiful (and LORD was it hard…but beautiful), but you never know what adventures exist right around the corner, right down the road, or just past the bend.

Sometimes making mistakes and taking chances while parenting our big kids is one of the best ways we can show them what life is all about. What better way to teach them than to take them along for the ride?

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 2 Corinthians 15:58

There are different gifts but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working but the same God works all of them in all men….In fact, God has arranged the parts in the body, every single one of them, just as He wanted them to be.” 2 Corinthians 12

“A door for effective work has been opened for me….” 2 Corinthians 15

3 thoughts on “For the Mamas Who Miss the Little Years

  1. This is a beautiful story. A reminder that it is ok to jointly feel joy just as much as it is ok to feel sadness for what no longer will be.

    Thank you for sharing these parts of your own journey and your thoughtfulness in what you are sharing and whose stories it is appropriate to share.

    I pray you go well into this coming week. ❤️

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