To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven… (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV)
On Mother’s Day, Ali Hormann shared a list of the top ten things that she’s learned since she became a mother. The one that resonated most with me was #5: “You try to think back to what you did with all the free time you must have had before you had kids and nothing comes to mind.”
I remember before I had kids feeling like I was really busy. Now that I work full time and share responsibility for an entirely dependent human being who wakes up at 7 AM no matter what time I went to bed — now I’m busy.
Yet I have so much more time, or at least energy, now than I did when my son was first born, when he needed to be fed every three hours, and I frequently ate “lunch” at 3 pm and it was a latte. He’s finally sleeping through the night (I mean for real, not “5 hours,” which is nobody’s definition of a good night’s sleep), and I feel almost human again. I actually have a few short hours to myself in the evenings during which I could consider accomplishing something (and which my husband and I sometimes spend together to have, you know, conversations again).
I also find that due to my tightly constrained schedule, I force myself to be more efficient at work, and I try to be more realistic with what I can commit to doing. Learning to be efficient at home also means that my chances of actually accomplishing something are somewhat higher than if I still had hours of time to fritter away every evening.
Of course, I do miss being spontaneous with my friends. It sometimes still works, but especially when I want to hang out with friends who also have kids, we have to coordinate a lot more. In fact, I almost wrote this article about the value of being intentional with your friendships — it’s harder than it sounds!
But instead, where I landed this week is that life is never static. To everything (turn, turn, turn) there is a season (turn, turn, turn)… and each season in your life is worth embracing. I loved being single and having complete freedom. I loved being married with no kids, traveling as a couple, and building deeper friendships with other couples. I can’t say I loved having an infant, but there were some sweet moments that I cherish because they’ll never come around again. Especially with kids, the stages fly by so quickly that if you blink, you might miss one!
I picked the NKJV wording of Ecclesiastes 3:1 because I wanted the word purpose. There is a time for every purpose, and I also believe there is a purpose for every time. Nothing lasts forever, and each moment in your life has something beautiful about it that God made just for you, just for right now. It’s totally okay if you’re unshowered, sleep-deprived, and covered in baby fluids, and you just want today to be over — you don’t have to love everything about every moment. Just don’t spend so much time wishing for the next moment that you miss the beauty of right now.
You’re welcome for that song in your head.