CHERISH THE MOMENT
By Marilyn Boyer
Learning to savor your children as you look to the future so you won’t have to look at the past and wish that you had…
I have been amazed at how often I hear grandparents, parents of grown children, and even parents of teenagers say, “They grow up so fast - enjoy them while they’re young,” or “ I miss my kids being little.” It seems that in retrospect, the years when your children are young are the most memorable. But, as a mom of young kids, this is also the most frustrating, time-consuming, energy-draining, busy time of life!
Isn’t it odd that these would be the years that those a little farther on in life remember with the most fondness and tender longing? How can that be? How can we, as moms of young children, wish for our kids to be bigger, wish for more time for ourselves, wish we had more independence from our kids, and wish we didn’t have to sit down and play games on the floor one more time today - and those barely removed from our stage of life caution us to love it and savor the moment, and enjoy it while we can, as they wish they could go back to it today?
Perhaps that great wisdom of time, Retrospect, has shined its light on the past to reveal to these people, a greater insight, a deeper understanding of these precious years.
Another thing I have noticed is that the majority of people who warn us to enjoy these years look back themselves with regret. More often than not, they conclude their advice to us with…
”I sure wish I had enjoyed it more.”
“I wish I could hold my little guy one more time.”
“I wish I could tuck my baby girl into bed just once more.”
“I would give anything to put everything else on hold and pack a lunch and enjoy the day with my kids.”
“I wish I had not worked so much.”
“I wish I had taken more time to love my kids.”
“I wish I had stayed home with my children instead of pursuing a career.”
“I wish … I wish … I wish.”
Well, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to look back on the years I am a mom of young children with regret! I don’t want to wish I had been more loving and more patient. I don’t want to wish I had appreciated the little treasures that my children were - I want to appreciate the little treasures that they are!
I want to find joy in playing doll house AGAIN and I want to find the happiness in giving up a night out with my friend in order to soothe a sick child, I want to learn to savor the moment NOW, so I don’t look back when they are grown, and join the many others of parents who wish they had known then what they know now. Let’s learn from those who have already been there!
It occurs to me that if so many people look back with longing and at least some regret or guilt at their parenting and priorities while parents of young children, and yet on the flip side, as parents of young children, we find it hard to see through the thickness of the duties and difficulties and self-sacrificing that comes with being a mommy and therefore wish it all away - something is not right!
It’s a bad circle-cycle. I don’t believe that is the way the Lord intended it to be. As a Christian parent, I should not have to look back with regret, I should be able to look back in confidence, knowing that I served my children, and therefore my Lord as well, because I parented by the Word and for the right reasons. I believe, we have the tools we need to parent with confidence and with a heart that will not look back and regret that we didn’t do more.
Now, I am not saying that we can be perfect parents who will never do anything that we will later wish we had not. But I believe God has given us all the instruction we need - His Word. So, instead of blindly fighting through this process of raising young children, let’s find out what we can do to avoid the pitfalls along the way and learn to truly cherish our children now.
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Marilyn and Rick Boyer are the parents of 14 children, all homeschooled since kindergarten. Marilyn’s message of hands-on, heart-to-heart parenting has travelled around the world through her books, recordings, and her challenging, encouraging talks to homeschooling parents.