Saturday, May 24, 2014

Change is Good

When you’re a new mom, especially for the first time, those first few months of your infant's life seem to last forever. Literally. When you are sleep deprived and up to your eyeballs in dirty diapers and burp cloths you absolutely cannot imagine life beyond the immediate demands of a newborn.

Somehow you survive those early months and transition into the next challenging phase of parenthood; toddlers. Temper tantrums, time outs and potty training take a relentless toll on moms. It is only with a steeled determination to survive that we approach each day hoping, fingers crossed, that we'll make it across the finish line that is bedtime.

Blink and it's the first day of kindergarten, the day that mother's weep in awe wondering how it is that the longest five years of their lives have passed so quickly.

And it doesn't stop. School days lead to teenagers, which precedes driver's licenses, graduation, college and empty nests. This is the way it is.

Gloria Ruben, author of the Happiness Project says this about parenting; “The days are long and the years are short”. I'm not sure if truer words have ever been spoken.

As a mother who’s bore witness to the many seasons, and subsequent challenges, of parenting I can attest; time moves on, our hearts will never be prepared and yet, somehow it's all okay.

I often find it amazing that we humans despise change so much for our entire lives and even our environment is in consistent transition. We age, the planet spins, seasons come and go as do jobs, houses and even relationships.

I hope, the older I get, the more open I am to change. I've recently discovered that when I stop fighting against change I'm freer to appreciate the memories as they are unfolding. Unfortunately, this understanding may only come with age. I think that's why experienced mothers tend to encourage the newer moms to cherish the early years. I now understand what that change means.

When I was a young mom I remember despising words of encouragement about the future. It was unfathomable back then to think I might miss the hard work parenting young children requires. When you're in the throes of discipline and laundry and field trips you can only see what needs to happen today, so much so that we fail to notice the future creeping in.

Bifocals = change
It wasn't my fault though. I could only see as far as my eyes could see. Back then, there was only time before me. Now, I've noticed (with the help of my new bifocals) that there is time behind me as well.

I think change is good for us. It keeps us on our toes, creates opportunities for gratitude and makes memories. Perhaps, instead of despising the future or mourning the past, we should learn to accept change and therefore be free to live and love in the moment. Collect moments, remember them and create them because parenting, like anything, will change. Enjoy it while it lasts. Why? Because I'm the mom and I said so. That's why.

For 18 years Stephanie Sikorski has been a Parent Educator joyfully serving local families and providing early childhood activities. But like all things, jobs change and this is her last submission to the Review Atlas. She wants to extend a heartfelt thanks to the staff who have allowed her space and the readers who have supported her work. 

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