Thursday, August 18, 2011

When...

A good friend of mine once said to me, "The scales are always balanced." We were talking about the difficulties of raising small children. She had a child starting junior high and on the other end of the spectrum her youngest was a year and a half old. Her point was that parenting older children has its own set of difficulties and challenges. No matter what your situation in life or what stage you're at, life will never be without challenges. The scales are always balanced.

How many times have I caught myself thinking, "When he starts walking then at least I won't have to carry him around anymore" or "When she goes to school all day, then life will be easier because I'll have one less child at home" or "When I'm married, life will be easier because I'll have someone to go through life with" or "When I have children then I won't feel such emptiness and life will be easier"? By the way, the latter thought is the funniest to me now. When, when, when... Why do we suppose that one day life will be easier or better? As if life now were so terrible.

I can logically tell myself that life will always have its ups and downs, but for some reason I perpetually have that when in the back of my head. Today was a rough day and my whens went something like this - "When she starts preschool next week then I can focus more on him and he'll be happier so he wont' act out so much, and then I'll be happier. When he is one year older then he'll be able to communicate better and won't get so frustrated." Of course, the underlying "..and then life will be easier" is implied. If only I could remember that the scales will always be balanced. One day when my little ones are teenagers I'll probably look back and wish that my biggest problems were diaper changes, dribbling sippy cups and defiant toddlers. But for now thoughts of when often get me through the hardest days, and I'm not sure I'm ready to give that up.

5 comments:

jennie w. said...

I hated when people would tell me to cherish the days when I had little ones at home. But now that my youngest is in Kinder, I have to say that those are very sweet times. Totally frustrating, maddening times, but sweet.

In some ways it is easier now. I can decide to go to the store and just say "bye! Make sure nobody dies!" And having kids in school is pretty great. But the hours when the kids are home is so completely crazy now.

The scales are pretty balanced but I think we are incapable of seeing the good until after it's over. Which is such a pity!

L. said...

Your post was so wise and true! Actually, this IS the easiest time of my life, retired, no responsibilities except the ones I take upon myself knowingly. But I also note that I am NOT HAPPY unless I am busy doing something of worth (or else reading - I suppose that helps the author's pocketbook.).

But I see that the balance still stands: My brain can't remember or organize well, I forget names and faces in half a second. My body is becoming increasingly weak and inflexible, even though I exercise every day. Retirement funds do not allow me to see the world and splurge on anything I want (such as a corneal transplant BEFORE I am utterly blind)

So now it's: "Life will be easier once I die and get resurrected with a perfect brain, body, and no unmet needs." But I'm fooling myself, huh? The heaviest challenges lie ahead for those who reach God's kingdom. I just don't know what they are. But I am assured I will like it (it says right here in the contract....)

I think you need to talk to Jennie about joining Segullah. You're GOOD!

Lara said...

Thanks for this, Kim. Such a truth in life that we all need to remember! There's always something, so we might as well start living instead of waiting for__________to happen!

Tammy said...

Crazy at home vs. Crazy away from home.

I don't know what's worse. Having kids around you all day or having kids around horrible influences all day.

You nailed it with experiencing balance. Where you are now will train you to be able to handle where I am now.

Having teenagers is a scary thing. When they are little and at home all day, you have control of what they are exposed to and what they experience. I have NO control over that during the school day but I have to trust (and pray) that I have taught them well and that they will have the strength to withstand.

Seriously - the worry never ends :) Hang in there mama - this stage WILL get easier. Although communication troubles rear their ugly heads for teens too...

Omgirl said...

Ah, so true, Kim! As I struggle with Daphne's difficulties, I keep thinking, When she's older she'll be more rational, I'll be able to reason with her more, she'll be easier to deal with. But then there will be different challenges. And then she'll be a teenager and I'll probably DREAM of the days when all she did was argue a little and talk my ear off!