This summer while on a holiday at our family cabin we decided to spend the afternoon down by the lake.
While looking ahead to find an empty spot to set up camp on the beach, we passed two families with very young children.
There was a toddler on a potty completely naked reading a story. There was a baby wrapped in a mothers arms. There were strollers and blankets and lots of stuff strewn all over the beach around them. There were temper tantrums and a cooler with a days worth of snacks.
I turned to my husband after we were settled and expressed my gratitude for the stage we are finally at with our kids. My youngest was 5. All of my children were so much more independent than they used to be. I can now actually read a book if I want to when on holiday.
In that moment I caught myself thinking that the stage I am at is way better than the stage they are at.
And then I came back down to earth and reminded myself of the actual truth.
HERE is never better than THERE. It’s just different.
Since discovering this, I waste a lot less time on thoughts like:
“I can’t wait for no more diapers.”
“Life is going to be so much easier when they are all in school all day.”
“I can’t wait for when my oldest can drive so I can have more time.”
“I will be a lot less grumpy when they are all sleeping through the night.”
Not getting myself all caught up here gives me more time to be present in the now and actually enjoy being a mom.
Sure now there are no more diapers, or accidents. There isn’t as much stuff to lug around or prepare. There isn’t as much constant supervision, but being right where I am now has its struggles too.
The kids still fight, they steal each others clothes. I expect more of them and as a result am disappointed sometimes. They take up more space, eat more, want to stay up a lot later. They want more from me in the way of rides and sleepovers and help with their crazy ideas.
I could very easily convince myself that there was better than here couldn’t I?
I want to be someone who tries my best to embrace where I am right NOW because no matter what stage or phase of life I’m in whether I’m HERE or THERE it is and was and always will be 50/50.