I sometimes look at other moms whose children are in school all day and think how lovely it will be when I get to run errands ALONE.

Or when I am at Target, dragging 3 littles from their car seats, I think of how grand it will be when they can get themselves in and out of the car on their own.

I am guilty, and assume many of you are too, of thinking the next stage will be easier because I will not be carrying the burden of the current stage.

How many times have you told yourself, “It will be so much easier when we are out of diapers/cribs/car seats/etc.?”

OR

“I am really looking forward to the day when my kids can brush their own teeth and wipe their own butts.”

OR

“At what point do babies sleep through the night and start bathing themselves?”

This issue of looking forward to the next stage, step, or season is as true in motherhood as it is in life, but for today I want to focus on you… moms.

Since I am the mom of a tween and a toddler, I can tell you some things….

That kid who is in school instead of being underfoot… he/she is being influenced, for 8 hours a day, by hundreds of other people, who may or may not have the same morals and standards as your family.
Scary.

And those kids that can get in and out of the car seat by themselves… you know what else they can do? Get out of the car seat by themselves, run through the parking lot, and play frogger with the traffic.
Super scary.

As moms, it is crucial that we focus on the present. We have to be intentional about choosing joy while drowning in poopy diapers, sippy cups, and surviving sleep deprivation. Until we give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else in the future, it will never be where we are.
Honestly, that next stage you are yearning for might not be as bright as you imagine. You might be begging for butt-wiping and bottle-sanitizing, as you are staring in the deep, dark eyes of a teenager.

My challenge for us today is to become more intentional about not just surviving the season we are in, but embracing it instead.

I have three “intentions” for us to apply:

Slow Down – Stop living your life in the fast lane… and say “no” to some things and take your child out of the 57 activities they’re signed up for. When we eliminate the extra, we are able to do more of what we want to do instead of just what we have to do.

Minimize the Clutter – I hate to even put this into words but… when the house is tidy everything seems to run much smoother. I am not saying everything has to be perfect, just tidy. There, I said it.

Put Down the Phone – The amount of time that can vanish in front of a phone screen is astounding. Put the phone down and focus on what matters. In ten years, when you look back on this season of life, you’re not going to care or remember what your friends were posting on social media.

I am certain there will come a season, when these days and current struggles are profoundly missed. For now… let’s be intentional.

Until next month,
The World’s Okayest Mom
Christen Spratt

 

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Christen is the wife to one (he is the coolest engineer you will ever meet) and a mother to four… (one from her teen pregnancy, one with epilepsy, one with SPED needs, and the fourth may or may not be related to the Hulk.) She is a recovering “perfect wife/mom,” up to her eyeballs in all things motherhood. She doesn't have a Pinteresting life, she doesn’t cut sandwiches into dolphins, she doesn’t have a perfect marriage and she regularly shares all this good/bad/ugly with her sweet readers over at christenspratt.com. She is passionate about authenticity and breaking down the FaKebook walls. Christen frequently writes about the FaKebook phenomena, parenting, marriage, and faith while keeping a canny sense of humor.

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