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I’m a member of the sandwich generation. Ever heard of it? It goes something like this:
Babysit 7 week old in the morning
Take 78 year old mother to cardiologist in the afternoon
Babysit 7 week old and 2 year old while the little mama goes to the dentist
Babysit 7 week old while the little mama works
Take my mother to the foot doctor
Protect the day to get caught up on – well, everything.
These responsibilities are nobody’s fault. They’re part of the cycle of life – and a random cycle at that. We care for our children when they’re young. We support their efforts when they’re older, and just about the time the grand babies come along, our parents need care.
Important side note to the young mama:
Even though your babies/kids/teens are all up in your grill, you still have them under your roof. You run their lives. You make choices according to what you think is best for them. And you have a daily schedule. Also, you are in the prime of life, so your health is the best it will ever be (believe me – it’s all downhill after that).
This is a busy time of life for you. But it is the BEST time of life. Stop wishing for it to “get better” – that steals your joy!
Perspective from the sandwich generation mama
I’m not saying my time of life is not good. In fact, it’s great! I’m so thankful for the variety of ages and stages currently enriching my days:
My husband and I get to travel once in a while (when we plan very carefully)
My kids are making adult decisions and are headed in positive directions
Almost everyone’s done with college (praise God #allofthecollegebills)
The Two-Year-Old Tornado is absolutely adorable with his ever-increasing vocabulary
My parents are both living (and lasted years longer than expected due to major health issues), and remain independent.
The tagline for RearReleaseRegroup.com is “Capturing joy in the transitions of parenting”, and there’s a very good reason for that.
If we wait until the kids can walk
If we wait until they’re in pre-school
If we wait until they can all feed/dress/shower themselves
If we wait until they are old enough to make dinner
If we wait until they can drive
If we wait until they are out of the house
If we wait and wish for the magical hour before we capture the joy, then guess what?
We miss the point, and therefore – we missed the joy.
Dear mom, don't wait for a magical hour to capture joy. That hour is now! Click To Tweet
Joy isn’t about being happy when x, y, and z come true.
Joy is about practicing overflowing gratitude and full-on seizing the moment while everything’s still messy.
Joy is possible, my mama friend.
And joy is now.
Six years ago when the bottom dropped out of my world and my parent’s health failed, I became frazzled and weary, inner turmoil waged – I could not order even one single day. Not one.
A different doctor, hospital, or therapy every day for 3 solid months, and then – more doctor visits. Power of attorney was dropped in my lap.
I couldn’t even home school my daughters properly because I was always needed at the hospital to chase down doctors, ask pertinent questions, and make decisions.
And I learned this:
God was in charge, and He had ordered my days. So I could either choose rest, peace, and joy, or I could continue harboring anxiety and frustration.
I chose joy.
But it’s not a one-and-done deal. I must choose joy every day.
So how about while I’m in my sandwich season, I choose joy.
And how about while you’re in your particular season, you choose it too.
5 ways to choose joy in your mundane mommy mess - Tuesday Talk Link Up! Click To Tweet
Five suggestions for how to choose joy
1.) Spend time in the Word and prayer each day (even if you only have 5 minutes)
2.) Seek out humor and laugh at the little things – especially with your kids and AT YOURSELF
3.) Savor ordinary moments and give thanks for them throughout your day
4.) Enjoy good (and fun) music
5.) Love your people well and spend time with them
Count it all JOY, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. ~James 1:2-4
Featured post from last week’s Link up!
*NOTE: Be sure to click the link to read the rest of this sweet post!
Andrea from Living on Cloud Nine has been raising teen boys for years. As the cycle goes, she’s getting ready to let her first one fly from the nest (boy, can I relate) and, grappling with mixed emotions, she wrote this piece straight from her heart. It’s evident from her posts that she loves her role as boy-mom and this encouraging post is for YOU, mom, because when you think you can’t do this anymore – YES you can!
There’s no way I can have another gut wrenching contraction with no pain meds. Nope, I’m done. I can’t do this anymore! Then a voice says yes you can.
Middle of the night, when you’re rocking, rocking, rocking, and pacing, pacing, pacing, staring out the window at other quiet, dark houses and thinking, “Everyone out there is sleeping, but me.” I can’t do this anymore. Then a voice says yes you can.
There is vomit in my hair, I haven’t gotten a shower today, purple crayon needs cleaned off the wall, there is clutter everywhere, why is there glitter on the dog?, how can I get dinner ready? I can’t do this anymore. Then a voice says yes you can.
I am sitting on the floor of Target with a child who is thrashing, screaming and calling me names. I can’t do this anymore. Abandon the cart, Abandon the cart. Then a voice says yes you can. Read more
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