confessions graphic FINALThis post is edited from the archives. You can read the original one here.

Nuggets! Want nuggets! Want have it! 

In a minute, I say, the nuggets are still cooking in the oven. 

First cook it, then eat it, he says, Little Boy is trying to understand time.

Yes, I reply, but first we have to wait a little bit. 

These days he is learning that some things have to come before others unlike his baby days when it was just crying if he didn’t get what he wanted immediately (ok, there’s still some of that going on). And as always, I’m learning the same lessons.

Whole rooms messy and unpacked. Can’t do it right now, you’re making sure a toddler adjusts to a new country and taking care of a newborn. Settling in takes time. Couches that need to be delivered, part of the living room in darkness because we don’t have lamps. Wait. It will have to be done some other time. There are groceries that need to be bought, music classes to attend. You can’t do everything.

Time to go out and enjoy Stockholm on my own. He won’t be nursing so much in a few months, he’ll be on solids, soon, soon, you can go out.

After he was born two years ago, I remember wondering when Little Boy would start sleeping through the night. I didn’t care so much that he woke up at night, but sleeping through the night would be an achievement, my achievement, proof that I was a good parent and knew what I was doing.

 So he was going to sleep through the night. Early. Earlier than everyone else’s babies. You know how this story goes. After sleeping six, seven and then eight hours in a row at three months, his sleeping habits nosedived from month four until month nine. Of course he didn’t sleep through the night early. To make matters worse, I tried strategies I should not have tried to get him to sleep more because I was ignoring the laws of time and placing myself as lord over time. 

He needed time, and the truth is, I needed it, too. I needed those night feedings of holding him in my arms, getting to know him, understanding him, falling in love with him. I needed the time to think, to watch early sunrises, and I needed to be taken to my emotional and physical limit to realize that I would not be able to do this on my own because having a baby is an exercise in knowing you can’t do it alone.  It took time, but time brought life to us and we learned what worked for Little Boy, for us, for our family.   If there is one impulse that I felt over and over and over again in the early months, it was this one – Why isn’t _______ happening NOW? When will it happen? You could fill that blank with anything from breastfeeding to schedules to sleeping to naps to eating veggies to cutting teeth to crawling to walking to talking to…really this list could go on for a while.

And I remember thinking I could not go on feeling continually frustrated by my own expectations, but my ways of trying to fix it ignored the one thing I needed for “it” to change – I needed time. 
It has only been in the daily living, the daily facing of daily challenges, the daily choosing to say no to the daily fear and the daily insecurity that has led to the daily covering of the daily peace and the daily freedom. 
We spend so much of our lives in the field between the work and the promise, and when our heads are down, bodies deep in the work, it feels like futile, never-ending work. It is so hard to see the promise. One day patience will rise up inside of me. One day I will sleep eight hours in a row at night. One day he will eat his vegetables. Or at least I won’t be responsible for it anymore.  The time spent in between when things don’t make sense, when it is still inconvenient, when we are tired or sad or depressed or angry – it is this time that forms our character, shapes our souls and grows our physical, emotional and spiritual muscles.
I grapple daily with the reality that everything related to my children is going to take time, a lot of time, and almost always, it is more time than I originally expected. Isn’t in the same for me? The same for us? Don’t most things in our lives and our relationships take time, a lot of time, more time than we expected? I find in this I have only two choices – dwell on what’s not happening and be a version of sadness and misery to myself and those around me or choose to wait it out and find delight in the little things that surround me in the time of work and waiting. 
Little Boy is not potty trained and I have no idea when it will happen or what that will look like, but oh there are so many hilarious things he is saying and doing now surrounding the topic. Baby wakes up at night, I am exhausted, but he naps well during the day, giving me time with Little Boy and time alone because they take an afternoon nap together. My kitchen cupboards are disorganized and messy, but we are eating tasty food that I make almost every day. It’s raining and cold, but my fall jacket is waterproof and my rubber boots keep my feet dry and warm. Anything worthwhile in life takes time, and almost everything with our children will take time, it has to take time, life takes time and time brings life. 
This post is Day 10 of 31 Days of blogging in October. I am writing this month about my first season of motherhood, sharing stories and lessons that stayed with me from that time. (New to this series? Start here and follow the links to each day’s post.)

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2 thoughts on “time”

  1. I’m not sure what else to say besides thank you so much for this post. I’m not a mom, or even close to being one, but I struggle with wanting to be lord over time and can be unwilling to wait on God’s time. Thank you for your honesty, because it convicts my own impatient heart.

    • Hi Liz, I’m so sorry I’m only now noticing your comment – I’m so glad this spoke to you, and yes I think the “laws of time” are applicable to all of us whatever our stage of life may be. Hope you are well.


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