Why I Don’t Say “Time, Please Slow Down!”

Ryland BabyHere in Houston, Kindergarten registration for the next school year is in full force! With that comes a ton of social media posts with sweet little phrases that on the surface seem so endearing and even like a good motherly reaction. You know the ones, things like, “Time, please slow down!” or “Never grow up.” or “Stay little forever!” And well, I don’t say them. It’s not that I think if you do say any of them you are wrong, or that I am some kind of soul-less wonder. I understand the sentiment behind them, the realization that with each phase and milestone our kids fly through, things change. Our kids need us less. They physically look different. Our parenting has to change. All resulting in the very rhythm of our life being forced to change. And, well, that can be terrifying and sometimes just plain suck. I get all that, I really do!

But a few years ago, I made a commitment to take phrases like that out of my vernacular, and here’s a few reason why…

It’s not about me, it’s about them.

I think sometimes we get caught up in our kids growing up because we’re selfish. I know, how is that possible? We are moms. The most selfless group of humans on the planet. Selfishness and motherhood do not even compute. But that is just my point. As exhausting as those early days are, we love them because we are needed! FOR EVERYTHING! Oh, you need to eat? Well, let me take care of that. Oh, you just literally crapped your pants? Let me take care of that. You reek of a spoiled version of the food I just provided for you? Again, let me take care of that. Then with each passing day, we watch them become a little less dependent on us, and while a part of us revels in the freedom, we also wonder where we fit in. This is especially true as the teenage and college years come along. So we grasp to hold on to every second of childhood and even wish for something impossible to happen – all along our kids are still growing up. What if instead, we accept that fact that our kids will always need us. Just like we are always in need of our mothers. It is true that with every phase, needs look different – they transform from physical to emotional to friendship driven – but needs nonetheless. Also remember, you existed with immense value and purpose before you had kids, and you will exist with immense value and purpose after your kids leave. So let them grow and know that they will always need their mama!

Ryland ToddlerIt has a tendency to steal the joy of the present and future.

In the moment that your child is taking his first step or riding his bike without training wheels for the first time, our “go to” should be overwhelming amounts of joy and pride. Because again, remember it’s not about us, rather about the amazing doors this new life adventure just opened up for your kiddo! But when we respond to those moments with a “Please, stop growing,” not only does that steal the joy of what is happening right in front of you, but it also indirectly communicates, “This next phase is going to be TERRIBLE!” I know we probably don’t mean it like that {well, most of the time anyway}, but that is how it comes across. Listen, I was as concerned as the next mom when my kiddos went to Kindergarten for the first time. For the first time I was not hand picking their friends, and I would not be there to help them maneuver the cafeteria or the playground. But I was also so excited to hear about all their new adventures through the perspective of their little world when they got home. How they got to paint in art class or play scooter tag in P.E.; and on those Saturday mornings when I leave the soccer field hoarse from cheering them on at their 4-year-old soccer game, I could get teary eyed about the fact that in a blink of an eye they were old enough to play organized sports, or I could think about how awesome it is going to be when I get to cheer them on when they are playing in high school! Or how cool it will be to take a road trip to go see them on “Parents Weekend” at their college and buy dinner for all their poor college friends! I don’t want time to slow down because I am loving watching my kids learn and develop into these amazing people that I had a hand in raising.

Ryland NowTime is a reality; you can fight it or you can make the most out of it.

And because I am a “Go big or go home!” kind of girl, I would love the opportunity to depress you even a little bit more and let you in on a little secret…you can say all the “Time slow down” variations you want, but it won’t help. Time will continue on, and they will grow up. But there is a way to just punch time right in the throat, and that is to be intentional with the time that you do have. A couple years ago I learned about what may be the most depressing app in existence, called the Legacy App. This is basically a countdown app for your child’s life. You put their name and birthdate in and then the app tells you how many weeks you have left until they leave your house. I warned you it was depressing! And if you are at all like me {full-time working mom, grad student, author, blogger, blah, blah…}, then time is really precious. But what this app has done for me, is not made me wish I could recapture time because that’s just impossible. Rather, it has given me accountability to be intentional with the time that I have so that I can soak up every stage, phase, and milestone!

Y’all – right now my husband and I are in the THICK.OF.IT! We have four kiddos ages 10, 7, 4, and 3, and I am not sure that time could simultaneously feel anymore rapid and slow all at the same time. So, I don’t want it to speed up or slow down – I just want to embrace it and be thankful I get to be a part of it all!

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One Response to Why I Don’t Say “Time, Please Slow Down!”

  1. Avatar
    Meghan June 4, 2019 at 12:56 pm #

    I 100% agree! I never say it either! Time is never going to speed up or slow down! We get to enjoy every moment as it passes the same speed it always has. I’m enjoying time passing just as it should be and watching my son grow into a young man!

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