936 Pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting
Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!
I saw you today at the park. Your little girl in her sundress, and two toddling twin boys rushing to the play set. You placed each boy in a swing; your girl climbed up on her own. One by one you took turns pushing them, traveling between swings whenever one lost momentum. I saw you keeping a close eye on each, and dolling out snacks when tummies grew hungry. You never stopped.
I see you every day. I see you in the mirror when I wake up, tired eyes, hair all a mess. I see you in the faces of other Mamas at the park, the store, the too-long line at the coffee shop.
We are sisters in a loud, chaotic, fierce, passionate mission. A mission to raise three little people, all born within 5 years’ time.
I see you braving the grocery store because this morning you opened the fridge and discovered it empty—again. One child runs ahead of you, two more lean out the sides of the cart pleading for treats. I see your eyes darting between your tiny people, your grocery list, and labels on the back of jam jars.
I see you through the rearview mirror in the drive-thru line for coffee. Surely you, like I, drove extra miles just for the drive-thru. I see you stretching your arm back to fiddle with a pacifier, trying to quiet the baby as you place your order.
Brave Mama of three ages 5 and under—I also yelled too much this morning. During the rush and hustle and impossible amount of work it takes to get three children who can’t yet button their pants or tie their shoes loaded into the car—I lost my patience too.
We all do.
I can imagine you this morning shoveling bites of breakfast into your mouth between sips of lukewarm coffee as you refilled three little plates of food and rushed to flip each batch of pancakes before they burned. And then someone needed a diaper change, right in the middle of it all.
I can picture you crunching numbers in the budget, and clipping coupons for boxes of diapers. I see you place that book you’ve been wanting back on the shelf at Barnes And Noble. It will have to wait.
I can feel your mind lock up under the endless questions. The ones that fire rapid speed at you from the backseat, as well as the ones that you ask yourself all throughout the day. Questions about education. And organic and GMO. Questions about child care, and that spot on the back of his leg, and if you should take him to the doctor, and is this show too scary for her?
Your mind runs at full-speed all day every day. Much like your little people.
I see your constant wonderings. You wonder if you’re doing enough, if you’re doing too much, if you’re doing it right, if you have any idea what you’re doing at all.
Because 5 years is hardly enough to give us any kind of confidence. We still feel lost most of the time. I know.
But amongst all of these questions gripping you around every corner, I have a few more for you.
Do you see those little eyes staring back up into yours? Do you see the adoration? It runs deep.
Do you see judgement in those eyes? I didn’t think so.
Finally, do you know that you are doing a phenomenal job?
Once in a while someone makes a point in their day to tell me that I’m doing a great job. That I’m a good mom. And it breathes life straight into my soul. Sometimes—many times—all we need to hear is that we’re doing this thing well. We’re making it. We’re going to be ok.
So let me tell you that today, Mama of three kids who still can’t fix their own lunches or empty the trash can—I admire you. I respect you. I applaud you. You are brave and strong and beautiful. Much more than you feel today, I’m sure.
And tonight when you collapse onto the couch, all aspirations of productivity after the kids went down vanishing into the cloud of your exhaustion, celebrate this: You did it. You are doing it.
You loved and guided and taught and fed three tiny people another day. And sure you also yelled and lost your patience and pleaded for a nap that never came. That’s all part of the beauty of this crazy stage—the realization that it’s not perfect. We’re not perfect. And that’s ok.
Those three little people—they don’t need perfect. In fact, they need to see that you are not perfect, and that it’s ok that they’re not perfect, either. That’s when they can glimpse grace at it’s best; forgiveness and kindness and mercy and love all working itself out through our imperfections.
So today, dear Mama who feels exhausted and defeated and completely not enough to handle raising three tiny people—it’s ok to not be enough. Jesus is our enough.
Embrace every little bit of help offered because Mamas—we need it. And next time you see a fellow sister in this crazy mission of 3 kids five and under in the coffee line, buy her latte for her. Because you know as well as I do that a simple act of kindness or word of encouragement has the power to carry us through with new strength.
Let me be that word of encouragement today.
You’re doing an incredible job. This work is not for the faint of heart. And I admire you today. So do those three little people who hold your heart. We’ve got this.
Raising kids stirs something deep in our souls — an innate knowing that our time is finite. Taking my kids outside in creation, I’m discovering how to stretch our time and pack it to the brim with meaning. God’s creativity provides the riches of resources for teaching the next generation who He is and how He loves us. Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!