All the clichés are true: Your life changes when you have kids…They grow so fast…Enjoy the time you have with them while they’re little.
We are so focused on how our children develop almost growing inches overnight and starting preschool in the blink of an eye. Little people are always changing and we are watching as if the first flower of spring is stretching open it’s beautiful petals. The tendency is to get sucked in by the joy, chaos, and busyness of serving the perpetual needs of our children to the point where we don’t even notice how we ourselves have changed.
Physical changes are probably the most obvious and nearest our consciousness every day. If you own a mirror, I’m sure you notice your fine wrinkles, grey hair, or maybe a little extra weight. But oh how we’ve changed on the inside!
My entire story before kids seems like a distant past life. Now with the wisdom of having walked the twisted roads that spark self-growth, I can see all that I’ve gained in my new identity. Compared to what it once was, my heart is soft and full. I have learned to love deeper than I ever fathomed and to truly give much more than I receive.
2 Corinthians 5:17: Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
I never knew what real service meant before. The kind that requires the emptying of self, putting others first even before my most basic needs (Nope, can’t get that bathroom privacy). Blasting at full force, the constant “doing” for my family has dominated me to the point where if it stops, I feel extremely anxious and selfish. Like a fish out of water. How strange!
Motivated to provide for my family, I have developed new abilities and desires previously untapped. I have actually started cooking. Real food. It’s crazy! I wake up every morning to exercise and shower before my boys wake up. And I so miss the beautiful snow of a northeast winter. I’m at peace with all my changes and would not trade this simple-soul life, but what else is lurking behind that blinding question: “Who am I?”
My fear for us, dear friend, is that we shed ourselves so completely in the name of caring for family and daily survival that one day we wake up and have no idea what our passions are or what we want to do with our time now that the kids are in school. I’ve seen this happen to many women. Lost. Confused. Hopeful but scared.
What’s the point to all of this? Awareness. Just as you notice, appreciate, and cultivate your children’s’ changes, please be mindful of your own. Both the deeply positive and the grieving or troubling. Acknowledge and nurture yourself, dear friend. Take time to reflect, journal, and illustrate the core components of your interior and public life.
You matter. There is no one who can be who you are and do exactly what your uniqueness offers the world. Don’t lose sight of that. Bloom, thrive, and confidently rock your changes! How have you changed?