A few weeks ago, while searching on my computer for something I wrote several years ago, I ran across a file from August 2008 titled “What I Wish.”
I don’t recall every detail from when my children were small, but I clearly remember writing this piece. Lilly had just started first grade. The year before, she had attended morning kindergarten and usually took a much-needed nap in the afternoon. Now that she was going to school all day, the nap was no longer possible.
To make matters even more memorable, 3-year-old Molly also had elected to outgrow her nap at the same exact time.
While all this nap dropping was going on, I was somewhere in the middle of my long and tumultuous journey through perimenopause, so change—especially change that involved a reduction in quiet time for me—was hard.
The Word document I stumbled across wasn’t long. The opening paragraph was one sentence: “What I wish someone who means something to me would tell me right now.”
As I read through the little list I had written, it occurred to me that there are—at this very moment—other women who need to hear the same kind of direct affirmation that I longed for back then.
The nap thing might not apply, but the rest? Absolutely relevant.
I never did find the file I was looking for originally, but maybe that wasn’t the point of my search. Maybe the point was finding this, for you. So you can take it to heart and be encouraged yourself. Or so you can share these thoughts with someone else who desperately needs to hear them.
• You’re not going crazy.
• I can see that you are having a very hard time.
• You will get through this.
• You can handle this.
• You’re doing a good job.
• It’s hard when children drop their naps.
• What you’re going through doesn’t make you a bad mother.
• What you’re going through is normal.
• It’s going to be OK.
• Your children are going to be OK.
• You are going to be OK.
• It will take you awhile to get used to things but you will eventually.
Eight years later, I can tell you I was right—about all of this. As it always is, God’s grace was sufficient through each and every season. It wasn’t always sunshine and roses, but we survived and (more often than not) even thrived.
Now, with one daughter about to start high school and another beginning middle school, we have a whole new set of changes coming up. In the following weeks, I may need to write myself a whole new list of encouragements.
Better yet, maybe I’ll reach out to a friend who has already been down this road a time or two. I didn’t do that before, but I know better now.
Next week, I’ll offer a few thoughts about elementary school, including my top 10 suggestions for moms who are navigating those energetic years right now.
Until then, I’ll leave you with my new favorite encouragement motto: If I can do it, you can do it!
P.S. Linking up this week with Kelly Balarie at Purposeful Faith, Jennifer Dukes Lee at #TellHisStory, Holley Gerth at Coffee for Your Heart, Lyli Dunbar at #ThoughtProvokingThursday, Crystal Twaddell at #FreshMarketFriday and Dawn Klinge at Grace & Truth.