When Henry was a toddler he loved to spin around in circles falling to the ground in dizzy laughter.  We would encourage him singing: circles, circles, circles as he would spin around the room.

Each day I feel like I’m doing the same thing – circles, circles, circles – only I haven’t yet fallen into dizzy laughter.

I never thought this would be me.  Mom, yes.  Spinning in circles, no.  I used to scratch my head in wonder at *other* harried moms.  Those poor, unorganized moms.  They must need a lesson in time-management. Note to self; never, ever compare yourself to other mothers or their children.  In a vicious turn of events, you will suddenly find yourself with *that* child or become *that* mom.  Trust me.

So there I was.  All neat and organized.  Everything in its place, and a place for everything.  Always working twenty steps ahead on just about every task on my to-do list.  I was the perfect parent before I had any children.  Enter baby number one.  Small speed bump, this motherhood thing was a piece of cake.  Baby number two.  Required a bit more planning and organization, but totally doable.  Baby number three.  Might as well throw all rules and anything neat and tidy out the window.

I’m pretty clear on my job description as mom.  Keep the children alive, fed, well-rested and happy, while raising them into responsible adults who love Jesus and contribute back to the world.  You know, the basics.  But sometimes the day-to-day leaves me in running in circles.  This caring for three small people is a full-time job.  Include anything beyond the basics and the *harried* mom enters the picture.  Don’t get me wrong, becoming a mother is what I’d always dreamed of and I’m giddy to be the mother of a thriving and lively family.   Yet even though I’d heard it a million times before, these early days with little ones – the infant, toddler, preschooler years – are INTENSE.

Thus the paradox; these days – intensified by little ones – they literally fly by.  I remember crying while rocking a newborn Henry knowing that the days were going to go quickly.  Perhaps it was the hormones.  Perhaps it was a part of His great plan – to intensify the early days of motherhood and yet make each day pass by at the speed of light.  The effects are staggering.  You are exhausted and dream longingly of just one moment by yourself. Yet in that same breath you find yourself clinging to each and every precious moment with your babies.  Because in the blink of an eye there will be plenty of *me time* and no one who needs their nose wiped, wants to be tucked in just one more time or needs to snuggle.  Sigh.

Armed with that knowledge I am able to happily do the same routines over and over and over.  Because this is what I was made for.  This is who He made me to be.  And just when I can’t take it anymore! He gives me the strength and encouragement I need, providing refreshment and reminding me of how much I do love these days.

In the meantime I’m learning how to laugh while spinning – i.e. learning to let go of both my expectations and the expectations of others.  That means trying to make our home a place of rest.  For me, it means letting our kids have plenty of time to *just* play – in the yard, going on walks, reading stories or enjoying some quiet time.  I’ve gone out of my way {and against the grain} to avoid over-scheduling our boys with “extra” activities.  And as a person who thrives on structure and activities I’ve had to make the same effort to clear my own schedule.  No small feat as I seem to be genetically predispositioned for any kind of “civic duty”.  It’s OK to say no.  There will always be a need or something else begging for a spot on our calendar, but my boys will only be little once.

Family is my top priority. Keeping them alive, fed, well-rested and happy of course.

And that makes each circle worth it.


3 thoughts on “Circles

  1. So blessed by the heart of your post. I’ve experience the slowing down over the last year that you speak of… it is amazing!

    Blessings to you Libby!

  2. You are a wise and insightful woman Libby. My youngest daughter (of two) is graduating with Hallie and I can’t believe she is leaving.

    The days are long but the years are short.

    You are doing a great job with your family and it shows!

  3. LIBBY! You always know just how to make me cry and say, “Amen, sister” at the same time.

    From one harried mom to another.

    (Please tell me this gets easier!!!) :)

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