I was barely ten feet into the store and I heard a woman earnestly whisper over my shoulder “They’re so beautiful.”
“Thank you,” I said as she stopped walking to look over Emma and Rhett sitting in the shopping cart. She started telling me all about how she had 4 kids back to back and that she lived that season of life day by day, but suddenly those years just went *poof* gone. No more kids needed her, and suddenly life wasn’t so hectic.
Through wisps of gray curls, she tilted her head looking me square in the eyes “It will go by in a flash. It’s more fun than you think right now.” And with a warm smile, she walked away.
Little did she know that I had just spent 2 weeks with 3 sick kids or that the endless days of mothering, filling needs, or remembering the minor preferences of every child has drained me to my tipping point.
I felt overwhelmed, over-worked, and simply over it.
For weeks my husband and I have been in arguments and tense discussions about me taking mental health breaks. He says it’s hard to get me to leave the house, I counter with “well I need planned time not spontaneous requests to leave when I’m right in the middle of being productive.”
Because heaven knows, I’m rarely productive with these 3 tiny people demanding my attention and time all day every day.
And of course, I managed to be at the pinnacle of productivity right when the kids all three came down with “the phlegm”.
So why do we always make excuses as parents?
Life is never perfect, nor is it easily. And it’s definitely not glamorous.
But as moms we want to make excuses that this season of life is especially difficult. And it is.
In fact, in those moments standing in Costco while that older mother whose gone before me walked away, my mind ticked through the little memory reel of the last few weeks and all the fights, all the sickness, and all the bad.
I wanted to shout after her “but life is chaotic right now! It’s not very fun!”
But this sing-song voice boomed in my head. “It’s more fun than you think right now.”
…Than you think.
And suddenly a flood of emotions and memories crashed in on me.
They always say time flies raising kids, but maybe it’s more than that.
Maybe instead of time really flying by, it’s that we’re missing the time we have with excuses and focusing on getting to the next stage or past a current struggle. When it’s said that the days are long but the years are short, it’s so relatable.
We get so overwhelmed by life that we forget to even have fun, let alone recognize just how fun it is.
At this very moment I have an 11 month old, 2 year old, and 5 year old. And the days seem so very long and heavy, as if I am carrying the whole family through the muck. But in those long days we experience the whole range of emotions from anger and tears to exhuberance and excitement in a single hour.
Related: How to create a calmer home and not be an angry mom.
No other time in parenthood are spontaneous dance parties so awesome or picnics so sought after. No other age can you convince a child that even something very monotonous like cleaning a table is fun… #BecauseBubbles.
Full belly laughs.
Splashing in the bathtub.
Pretending shopping carts are rockets.
Excitement in learning and exploring.
A love and enthusiasm for each new day.
Building forts and the sounds of an awesome tickle fight.
Unhindered dreams and imagination.
… and bear hug squeezes right around the neck.
They’re only things that we get to experience daily from kids when they’re young.
And she’s right.
I’m having a lot more fun than I think.
Each day I’ve learned to reframe and rethink parenting with 4 words
The 5 words “more fun than [I] think” are powerful. They have the ability to completely change how we raise our kids. In fact the simple 3 words “than I think” has such positive implications for how we view tough situations.
…they’re more loving than we think.
…they’re more helpful than we think.
…they’re more eager to please than we think.
…they’re more fun right now than we think.
So I will continue to remind myself that today is more fun.
Remind yourself with this simple hair-tie bracelet or place a photo inside this necklace with the phrase. I designed them for myself, but know others could benefit. If you choose to buy, proceeds cover our site’s overhead expenses.
Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!