It’s only for a season.
In the thick of it, in the midst of the mess, it brings my soul the peace that it so desperately craves. It’s exactly the reminder I need, that this isn’t a forever kind of thing; it’s only for a season.
When my littlest won’t nap. Several days in a row. And shrieks unless he’s being held. It’s only for a season.
When my oldest won’t stop trying to poke his poop in the potty chair. It’s only for a season.
When my littlest won’t stop crying in the car. Because he’s exhausted, but he won’t let himself fall asleep. It’s only for a season.
When my oldest won’t eat a single thing on his plate. Not. one. bite. And I’m almost certain that he may starve to death. It’s only for a season.
When my littlest spits up on my new dress. Before an extremely rare date night. But I refuse to let spit up win, so I spend the night smelling somewhat like flowers drenched in spoiled milk. It’s only for a season.
When my oldest notices the pantry door ajar, so he seizes the opportunity to grab the bottle of whole black peppercorn. And pours its entire contents onto our kitchen floor, just before we’re set to leave for an event. That we will now be late to. It’s only for a season.
Whatever it may be, there are a multitude of occassions each week – or day, really – that I pause to remind myself: it’s only for a season.
But what if that’s not the mantra that I should have on repeat? Or what if it’s exactly the mantra I’m to have on repeat, yet I’m framing it all wrong?
Because what if these days, these messy, frustrating, exhausting, exasperating days, are meant to be embraced? What if they’re not be to be brushed off or glazed over? What if, instead of telling myself not to worry because one day it will all be but a distant memory, I were to hold onto them for dear life, squeezing every opportunity for growth and refinement out of even the most infuriating moments?
Instead of rejoicing in the fact that the most difficult days are simply part of a season that will pass in the blink of an eye, I’m resolved to lament the bitter reality that I have so little time to pour into my sweet boys.
And it’s not that I don’t want my boys to grow up; there is such immense joy in watching them change each and every day. Being able to enjoy new things with them and experience the world through their ever-expanding view of life is an immeasurable gift. But I don’t want to rush it for the sake of my sanity. I shouldn’t have to yearn for this season to end simply to make it through each day.
I know that there will be countless moments in the coming years of motherhood that I will be tempted to tell myself, “Don’t worry, it’s only for a season.” I’m sure that mantra will wiggle its way back into my heart and mind, because this motherhood thing is hard. I’m certainly not attempting to water it down or sprinkle some glitter on it to make it pretty (we’re all on the same page that glitter actually ruins everything it touches, right?).
My hope, though, is that I’m able to take those words and view them through the lens of the big picture. This motherhood thing is so much more than a bunch of difficult seasons strewn together. You and me, we’re molding little human beings. That’s intense. And incredible.
I want to take it one season at a time, but not because that will make me feel better after an exceptionally tough day. Because me “feeling good” isn’t at all what I desire to be the defining factor of my journey through motherhood. My perceived satisfaction isn’t what raising my children is about.
So the next time you’re feeling entirely depleted and broken and consumed with doubt, just remember: it’s only for a season. That’s all you get. One, fleeting season.
Press in, friend. Dig deep, get dirty, and embrace this season of motherhood, with all of its joys and trials.
Not only for the sake of your beautiful children, but for the sake of your own heart, too. Savor this season, mama. I hate to break it to you, but you won’t get it back.