I spoke recently with a new Mother who had just ended breast-feeding. She was sad as she said, “these chapters are fleeting, and new ones are starting. But, Jesus is the prize.” I heard the heart of her struggle. She is grappling with the reality of the blessings of this life, the boundaries of time, and the knowledge that God is good. She is trying to reconcile her sad feelings about things she loves coming to an end, along with hope for the days to come.
Every season of motherhood, each transition, is preparation for our children’s independence from us. As the joke goes, “parenthood is the only job where, if you do it well, you’ve worked yourself out of a job.” This can bring feelings of sadness and loss, wistful yearnings for past days. But, the passage of time brings perspective and can restore our joy if we let it.
I was pondering these things as I sat in my living room observing my husband and two grown sons. They were joking, posturing, trying to outdo one another with bravado. I worried someone’s feelings might get hurt so I jumped into the conversation only to get talked over and ignored. (They don’t mean it :).
I realize this is it. This is what they do. They are a father and his sons. They love me. I’m pretty sure they respect me, but this just isn’t my lane to drive in anymore. I briefly feel sad; but have I lost anything? On the contrary, I’ve been blessed. My children are the blessing and my Jesus is the grand gift-giver.
What I know is this, as seasons come and go and time marches on, my place is with Him. The lane I walk is by His side. After all these years I know He delights in giving good gifts – the best – and so I anticipate my future with Him as I laugh at my men. The gift of motherhood brings richer joy now because I am not at the center. Being a Mom means you are ever so slowly moving from the center to the periphery of your child’s path. At the beginning it feels sad, but with the perspective time brings there is great joy as you realize they can not find the joy, wisdom, and peace of walking their path with Jesus, learning to depend on Him, unless you move.
You will ALWAYS be a Mom, but your daily job description continues to evolve as time passes. While your children are growing, YOU ARE TOO. The ways you are growing and changing now, will provide helpful clues later as you consider life beyond parenting. Conquering sadness and overcoming the nostalgia of days gone by happens when we focus on moving forward with purpose. Remember what God has done for you and in you, understand that He has work for you beyond parenting, and enjoy the family God has given you, whatever season you are in.