The Coming Week

fortune

There was a time when my world was filled with babies, diapers, nursing, morning sickness, high chairs, toddlers, tantrums, and teaching little ones to read.

Then it happened. They really did grow up, go to college, move out, get married, start careers – and the children I thought would never sleep through the night no longer sleep under my roof.

It’s the craziest thing.

And it’s bittersweet.

Russ and I are in a season of reaping the reward of twenty-eight years of parenting. Some of those years were very, very long, and very, very hard. Having lots of little ones was exhausting sometimes; when Isaiah was born I had five children seven and under.

We still have a long way to go, but it’s different parenting an eight year-old when you truly know how quickly the time will pass. I want to embrace the years and enjoy the time I have with my younger crew.

It’s become very clear to us that there are only two things that really matter: God and the people he brings into our lives. God is forever. The people we love are forever, but our time on earth with them is not.

This week most of our children will be here and I want to soak it in. Like my fortune cookie said, “The coming week shall bring you much happiness.”

What season of parenting are you in? What are you learning?

Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

15 Comments

  1. Susan Patterson
    July 31, 2015

    Oh Lisa, these are some of the sweetest years! Enjoy!

    Reply
  2. Rebecca
    July 31, 2015

    I'm in the season of little ones and work. So much coordination, so much loud, so many opinions about how every single minute of our days should go. I need regular reminders that tolerating the whining is worth it and time spent in the floors with puzzles is time well spent.

    Reply
  3. Alyssa
    July 31, 2015

    I'm kind of in two seasons– I have 3 young adults- 22, 20 and 18 that I home schooled and are all currently living at home, although there has been a lot of travel and some living away. I treasure this time before they move away for good. I look forward to them meeting their spouses and having kids someday but I'm in no hurry. My dad would always cry when we would all be back home around the table for a meal, and now I understand why- it's rare and precious. My role is changing as I step back and watch them make their own decisions and we make the "community" we have all living in one house and running a business (coffee roastery) together work.

    I have an 11 year old son, adopted from foster care at 7 and parenting him has been way different, as you know. Homeschooling is right, but a challenge. He needs a lot of attention and interaction. And we have a dog for the first time ever. I think he will be the last one unless God brings us another adoption, so I am treasuring the last of some of the little kid stuff as well. Fortunately I have lots of nieces and nephews right down to baby ages so I can enjoy them!

    As they get older I am seeing glimpses of time for myself, my husband and community open up and I think that will be a great season as well… maybe foster care or helping young moms???

    Reply
  4. Melissa
    July 31, 2015

    I'm in the calm that is one baby. 7 months old, and so easy. I know being a stay at home mom will eventually be hectic and exhausting, and I hope someday I'm surrounded by a house-full of kids. But right now, it's calm and even a bit boring! (I wish that we could go ahead and have another now, but we can just barely afford our one until my husband graduates next year… waiting in God's timing!)

    Reply
  5. Bobbi
    July 31, 2015

    I'm in the very earliest season of parenting. At 32 I have seen these days come for friends and sisters and sisters-in-law and acquaintances, but am discovering firsthand how real it all is – and every aspect of it is so very strong.
    Our (first) daughter was born 11 days ago, and I am learning the joys and worries that come with being a mother. There are so many emotions. So much tiredness (after an 18-hour labor finding out baby was breech and having an emergency c-section). So many smiles. So many baby expressions that I don't want to miss. So many feedings. So much milk dripping down everywhere. So many newborn diapers we've already been back to walmart twice. So many moments I wish I could capture in order to come back later and re-experience them. God has given me so much in these 11 days, I can't even imagine 11 months or 11 years.

    Reply
    1. DFNY
      August 1, 2015

      Wow, 11 days old. Congratulations on your baby girl. Enjoy your time together. And ask for help whe you need it.

      Damaris

      Reply
  6. RussAnita Olson
    July 31, 2015

    my youngest is 8, and oldest is 17. I realized how quick it goes, and am soaking in the last time through each stage. The days are long but the years are short. I'm also in the season of 3 teens and while I thought three littles was hard, this is it's own difficulty. The letting go and holding on. Our son was 7 when he came home. I'm struggling to let go, it just hasn't been enough time yet to be at this stage of the game.

    Reply
  7. mkrksk
    July 31, 2015

    My season is still busy, little ones, noisy, hardly a moment alone . . . yes good to remember that these days won't last forever and try to find the joy in the moment. Looking forward to seeing you in Sept at the P4O retreat 🙂

    Reply
  8. Jeri
    August 1, 2015

    Oh so true. Our newly turned 18yo decided to move halfway across the country…broke my heart. He took his school with him to complete and we're just praying 18 years of parenting and teaching him really have taken hold in his heart.

    Reply
  9. ErinH
    August 2, 2015

    After so many years of my 2 being "littles", the are changing into preteens/teens. My almost 13yo daughter and almost 11yo son are becoming who try are going to be, which is amazing, but, like you said, it happened SO FAST!
    🙂

    Reply
  10. Erika Greig Stanley
    August 2, 2015

    I have one that is resisting being launched (leaving me feeling like I've don't something wrong), some in the middle and one starting Kindergarten. I totally agree Lisa that parenting my little ones feels much different this time around. I too want to savor instead of rush.

    Reply
  11. cindy@lifeascindy
    August 2, 2015

    My husband and I are empty nesters. We and our children live in three different states. Or eldest and her husband just bought their first home. I miss both of my girls , "something fierce".

    Reply
  12. KMT
    August 2, 2015

    I'm in the season of post-apocalyptic adoption, when I'm stamping down the realities of RAD and DSED before they consume our household. I have sequestered myself away from those who don't get it and think my girls are normal, those whose advice is hideous and voices condescending and downright scolding to me. I have sought out those who do know, who live it every day, cold calls to those in Montana, a stranger at Costco with kids like mine, those who have lived it and look at me and my efforts and say, "Great job, keep it up, you are doing what has to be done and your kids are NOT normal and never will be and I understand where you're at and what you're going through and here's another resource for you!"

    I've separated "the pack" so that my more capable and motivate girls can move forward and achieve their full potential and are protected from the one(s) who have been using them to their own ends. I have stopped taking ANY and ALL flack, attitude, rudeness, mumbled speech, incoherent babbling, and other attention-seeking behavior as I've discovered even more ways that are so subtle they slipped right by my RAD radar so I'm less angry and more able to function.

    I've stopped reacting to the RAD behaviors, which made them worse for awhile in a big way, especially the screaming, kicking, banging, tantrums of my 14 yr. old as she tried everything she could to get a rise out of me, and now, we've gone 4 days without one!!!

    I'm able to look at my daughter when she says she doesn't feel like I'm her mother or love me and say to her, "That's okay that you feel that way. I am your mother anyway."

    Bottom line, things are better today than they were a week ago.

    Reply
  13. Sharon
    August 4, 2015

    This is such a good reminder for me. My 5 are between the ages of 7 and 15…eeking close to 16. I feel like we're beginning to see much more independence in our older two, but I love the upper elementary years too. Last night my oldest had a water party at our home with his friends and I loved seeing him and his friends include his little brother so well – it's like I got a glimpse of an adult. 🙂 I've been feeling weary this summer with some things we're working through with the younger ones, so this was a nice, encouraging breath of fresh air.

    Reply
  14. Laurel
    August 13, 2015

    Oh how I miss the years full of babies. My first 5 were born in 4 years, and they are now 26-31. After 31 years of raising 12 children, we will "only" have 3 kids left at home in the fall, as Hosanna heads off to EWU. But . . . the decision was just made this week that oldest son, his wife, and two of my grandsons will be moving in and renting our basement "apartment" this fall. I couldn't be more excited. We will soon have 9 grandsons, and ALL of them have lived out-of-town and out-of-state. So, we are EXCITED to not only have our grandsons move to our town, but in to our house. Yippee! Yahoo! My daughter-in-love and I are super excited to be parenting together (and she wants my help as she will soon begin to homeschool her own children). Truly a BLESSING that none of us expected.

    Reply

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