There is a fire burning from somewhere deep within me. I can barely contain its heat.
It’s not the Holy Spirit, friends. Although, at times I have felt the warmth of His Spirit dwelling within me, this is not that day.
I am talking about the burning within that comes from being a woman in her forties. Uh-huh. Some of you reading this know exactly what I am talking about, right? The kind of heat that resonates from within and from out of the blue? The kind where you can be in a room set at 60 and just know that the room has got to be topping 100 because of the sweat suddenly pouring down your back and your sudden desire to start stripping off all your clothes, no matter where you may be?
Yup. Sounds like bliss, right?
No? Are you sure?
How about the following scenario? Tell me if it sounds blissful.
“Goodbye, love you! Have a gre- “
“Oh. My. Lord. Mom!” Insert the biggest eyeroll of the day yet, and it’s only 6:30 a.m. “You already told me that you love me like a thousand times.”
“What? I have not told you that I love you today. Just telling you goodbye because Gramps is here to take you to scho- “
“Oh. My. Gosh. Mom! I mean you have already told me you love me a thousand times until today. I think I get it. You are so annoying, Mom.”
SLAM!! The back door shakes with your just shy of 16-year-old son’s annoyance and you watch him stomp across the driveway to the waiting truck of your father, who is gracious enough to take him to school at this ungodly hour. You hear a super cheerful, “Morning, Gramps!” as he opens the truck door. Not being able to help yourself, you hurriedly open the back door, and yell out, “Love you bud!”
“Mom! Jeez. Love you, jeez.”
“Love you, more!”
Persistence and an unwillingness to accept the fact that he doesn’t want to partake in a goodbye/good night ritual that he lovingly and freely participated in for YEARS, until a mere couple of months ago, has you yelling out the door, “Love. You. MORE!”
“Jeez, okay. Not possible. Annoying, Mom.”
“Loved you first.”
Oops, no. Nope. THAT was the biggest eye roll of the day. “Dang it. Okay, enough annoying one, gotta go.” Gives you annoyed look as he jumps into the truck and turns a smiling face to his Gramps whom he adores and whom he, as of yet, hasn’t really bestowed any teen angst on, because apparently, Gramps is still cool, and you, Mom, aren’t.
So, again, I ask you, sounds blissful, right?
BAHAHAHA! I know. Hot flashes and dealing with snarky, ungrateful teens, who, by the way, only two months ago still thought you were the coolest mom who hung the moon, are not what one would call blissful.
Yet, there’s a blog article going around the interspace world right now that says being a mother in her forties is blissful. Apparently, as a mom in her forties, you are in a state of bliss because you no longer are the mom in her thirties who, at the summer pool, has to chase her toddlers and other small ones, all over the place, with nary a second to herself. You have reached that been there, done that stage, and have no cares. A step farther, as a mom in her forties, your time is so free that you are as toned and carefree as the chick in her twenties at the pool, who, tan and sleek, doesn’t have children yet.
I know, it’s funny. I read the article and was literally laughing so hard that I snorted and had tears coming down my cheeks. I shared it on my social media feed and all my fellow moms in their forties guffawed along with me, while my thirty something mom friends were strangely quiet.
The thing is, I get it. I get where the thirty something author of that article was coming from. It is a REALLY tough time of life when you have a baby on the hip, a toddler running away from you with his butt cheeks flapping in the wind because he’s potty training and not into pants at the moment, and a preschooler daringly jumping into the deep end of the pool, all at the same time. It’s a lot.
I absolutely get the sentiment of where she was coming from and empathize with her. You know why? Because I have been there. I have done that. I do get it.
Since I do, I can tell you, that the time really does go by so very quickly. I can tell you to embrace the chaos that is found within the joy of mothering littles, instead of scorning it and wishing you were over those years and resting in a state of so-called bliss. I am telling you, that you need to relish that time chasing those kids, instead of wishing it away. It only comes once, and then, in a blink of the proverbial eye, it’s gone.
What you, thirtysomething mama, need to know is this: That mom in her forties, whom you are so jealous of, is looking right back at you with a knowing smile, telling you to focus on your present, instead of hers. She’s longing for that time when her littles weren’t towering over her with deep man voices, telling her how she annoyed them with her love. A time when she could chase after them and scoop them up in her arms to protect them from harm.
Embrace your season. Even when it’s hard. Even when you think you can’t possibly get through it. Learn to enjoy it. You can understand it by asking for advice from someone who has been there. It’s okay to admit you don’t have all the answers. You aren’t meant to, but you are equipped to get through it. God gave your children to you for a reason. He could have given them to anyone else, but He chose you. He’s got your back.