Hindsight is an amazing and sometimes bittersweet thing. When you're in a moment, you LIVE there, making it easy to take on the mindset that you know all there is to know about *insert life-subject here* and can finally live it out in the wise state it deserves.
Take motherhood, for example.
When our kids are young--and we are, also--it's easy for us to view things in stages. There's the newborn stage, one that many of us 'on the other side' now admit to going into 'survival mode' during. Then there's the toddler stage, which leaves many of us anticipating future accomplishments like 'when she's finally potty-trained' or 'when he can finally dress himself.' And then there's the stage that I, myself, am currently in...the child stage. Even still, with the hindsight of the previous years having simply flown by, I still catch myself, weekly, muttering 'when he'll finally stop chatting away at me non-stop' and 'when he'll be old enough to make himself his lunch,' *which by the way is a reality for our eldest now, sigh.*
We're ALL guilty of it. It is, of course, partially a response to our newfound selfLESS way of living...where a hot meal is a 'treat'...or for that matter, a meal that is not our children's left-overs is almost as good as a night out! And that 5+ minute un-interupted shower is a major privilege versus a short tease. It's a way of living that, before children, is just foreign.
What? Life's not about me and my basic.. let-alone, extended, needs?!
After the shell-shock wears off, many of us are equally guilty of holding onto 'what once was,' as though our children were sent to shackle up our previous way of life and dangle it in front to mock us. But this mindset, moms... THIS is where we go wrong.
People *including myself even* tell me on at least a weekly--if not daily--basis, that I can't focus on what my life was before cancer. It's a detriment to my future to constantly look back and dwell on it... and honestly, even viewing pictures and videos of how life was before it can be enough to send me into the tailspin.
As moms in the BLESSED THICK of mom-hood, when we sit around our houses, looking at our messy living-rooms and kitchens, perseverating on how clean it would've been only *insert kidless number of years here* years ago, we rip ourselves and our children off of that moment. When we walk into the laundry-room and stare at the big pile overflowing our hampers and allow ourselves to think about how near-empty that would otherwise be... if only our little rug-rats weren't here to dirty so many clothes...we rip ourselves and our children off of that moment.
You see, moms... to even say 'someday' is presumptuous. We don't know if tomorrow will even come. We don't know if even the next hour will be open and available for life's opportunities.
We just don't know.
And this UN-knowlegable state is the best mindset we can maintain! Having the hindsight that the days and years are fleeting is definitely important. But choosing to live IN THE NOW... focusing solely on our motherhood and nothing more, whether before or after it, is the key.
I myself am recently realizing that, while I became a mommy by title nearly 7 1/2 years ago, learning to be and embrace being a MOM takes a short lifetime of experience... and while you may think I'm referring to my lifetime... I'm actually referring to theirs, my children's. THEY are responsible for teaching me what being 'mom' really is, which means that the sooner I let go of my own 'agendas' and embrace what theirs are and how theirs intwine so beautifully with God's desires... the sooner my life can be filled with bigger, deeper and more extraordinary blessings than I, by myself, could've ever thought up or desired.
So today, when your 5-yr-old's five-millionth question of 'why' nearly pushes you over the edge... challenge yourself to engage in the 'conversation' and embrace what your child is doing for you in that moment, to expand who you are.
And if even after doing so, you still just can't let your SELF go, remember... you feel like you're in the thick because you are... you are being transformed from a previous, rather selfish mindset.
You.. are becoming.. MOM.