In the thick of life and schedules and carpools and runny noses and deadlines, you may curse your busy schedule. You may long for the days when there is no karate pickup at the same time as ballet drop off, or when your kids aren’t playing baseball at exactly the same time at fields across town, when you can sit down and read your book in peace. Go ahead, curse it in the moment. It’s a completely normal emotion.
But at the risk of sounding like every empty nest (and maybe older) mom you know, appreciate this time. Yes, appreciate it. It won’t be like this forever. One day the kids won’t need you to drive them everywhere and while you might not miss it the first time you’re not needed in that way, or even the second or third, you will have a moment when you realize that part of your life is pretty much done. And you’ll miss it. Really, you will. It’s even been said in song: Joni Mitchell sang in Big Yellow Taxi: “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”
This time in a mom’s life, this time of feeling like you’re running everywhere after and for your family, is hard and intense. Very intense at times. You feel like you never get down time, never get time in your own head, and never quite catch up. It’s a frustrating feeling.
Hopefully, you do find moments to sit and try to compose yourself and plan your time, even if it’s in a the parking lot of the local coffee place between carpool runs. You have to make that time – but somedays you still want to run for the hills. Don’t, though. Because you will get through this time. You will.
It’s all relative
Busy-ness, however, is relative. What feels very busy to you now may seem relatively calm when you look back at some point in the future. Remember your life before you had kids? Remember how busy you thought you were? The same may happen at some point in the future when you look at this time. Yes, as busy as you are now, there is always the possibility of even busier. If you are managing your busy-ness, if everyone is getting everywhere they need to go and there is still clean laundry in the morning and work deadlines met (or even not!), appreciate that you are capable of doing all that.
Take a mental snapshot
No matter what phase of busy your life is in, don’t forget to take mental snapshots (as well as real ones!) every once in a while. Maybe it’s of the way your son dashes off to lacrosse practice so eagerly, or the when your tired daughter falls asleep in her pink leotard on the way home from ballet class. Maybe it’s etching into your brain the memory of how much fun your kids have on a daily basis and absolutely don’t care that the house isn’t museum-level clean.
Whatever it is, there are moments to hold on to that have nothing to do with how extremely busy you are, and everything to do with a happy and active family.
Busy or not so busy — that is always something to appreciate.
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