I’m so excited to share this post with you. My friend Nicole knows how to encourage the hearts of women. If you haven’t read her heart-words before, today will be a treat for you. She was gracious enough to share with you here today– (Thanks so much, Nicole!!)
“Don’t worry,” my friend said casually, “this time goes by so fast.” It was a rare moment away from my children, and the last thing I wanted to do was talk about children. Stabbing my french fry in the air, my voice tense, I answered. “I’ve been pregnant, nursing or raising a toddler for fifty percent of my adult life. It’s not going by so fast,”
My head knew that her words were probably true, but the rest of my soul screamed in protest. I wondered if I would ever get back. Back to a woman who wears clean clothes, who can stay awake long enough to read a book chapter, who can string an entire sentence together without being interrupted. Everything about time seemed off-kilter. I was either rushing frantically…hurrying to take a shower, hurrying to clean up breakfast, hurrying to finish a phone call…or I was bored. Bored of preschool TV shows, bored of playing one more round of Pretty Pretty Princess, bored of the bedtime routine that always lasted an eternity.
There were rare moments where time stopped manically swinging from one extreme to the next. A few times in those five years, I laid down in my front yard while the kids played, and looked up at the large leafy tree above. As I stared up at those leaves, time returned to its proper place, and my soul took a deep cleansing breath. And in those moments, I believed that I was living one small slice of motherhood, and that things would eventually change. But three breaths in five years is pathetic.
The time did go by. But I will never “get back” to the woman I was before because the woman I am now is better because of the refining fire of parenting young children. The woman I am now still is impatient, but slightly less so. The woman I am now still wants to hurry through stages of boredom and tedium, but takes a few more moments under the trees.
This morning I drove my youngest to a friend’s house down the street—and my oldest stayed home, by himself, for twelve entire minutes. Freedom. Later I asked my middle child to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer–and she did it all by herself. Independence. But at the end of the day, my preschooler still offered up his arms for a sweet, tight hug. I felt the still-plump of his arms around my neck, and kissed the soft chub of his cheek. My older two are lean and lanky, knobby-kneed, with feet larger than their bodies and teeth in various stages of coming and going. But I gather them up anyway, bones knocking into my thighs as I kiss them too. The time didn’t go by quickly. It went by in spurts and in a snail’s pace. But it went by. And I won’t ever go back to the woman I was before…but that’s OK with me.
Nicole Unice is a wife, mom, ministry leader and author from Richmond, VA. Her first book and DVD study, She’s Got Issues (Tyndale), deals with what God teaches women through the top five ordinary issues we all face. You can find her blogging about real life and tenacious faith at http://www.nicoleunice.com