One Day at a Time
I have five kids, all five-years-old and younger.
Yes, you read that right. My oldest is five, I have three-year-old triplets, and my youngest is eighteen months. It’s been a doozy of a mothering season, that is for sure!
“How do you do it?” People ask me all the time.
My answer? “One day at a time.”
That’s not to say my husband and I don’t have big picture parenting goals and strategies that help us build our family with intentionality. We do! And we rely on that big picture—the goal of what we want to teach and develop in our children as they grow, and what type of parents we want them to remember us as—to guide us from day to day.
However, that big picture is painted and completed one stroke at a time. As moms, it’s one day at a time, one hour at a time, one parenting decision at a time. Those decisions and hours and days add up, and together they create the portrait of our family—of our kids’ understanding of their own childhood.
But we don’t cram the whole picture into one day, one hour, or one decision. At least, I find that overwhelming.
We have our family values and a few simple parenting goals written and posted around our home. These act as reminders to my husband and me of what this whole parenting ordeal is all about. They guide us in moments of uncertainty, frustration, and feeling overwhelmed.
There have been times when I’ve been so focused on the big picture—the values, the lessons, the goals, the style of parenting I’m modeling—I’ve lost sight of my own joy and reason for being a mom: to enjoy my children.
I can get overwhelmed by all the things to do and be when it comes to parenting. There’s a lot of great information out there! And I’m among the first to say, “Read this book!” or “Take this course!” or “Try this technique the next time she has a tantrum!” I love strategy, and I love learning from those who have gone before me. Intentionality offers huge payoffs.
And also, I’m attempting to take life with my little ones one day at a time. I’m learning to hang the big picture up on the wall where it belongs instead of trying to carry that huge painting around in my arms.
Balancing it and lugging it and hoisting it into every moment with my kids is too heavy of a burden. This big picture should be a guide and an artistic expression of who our family is—not baggage that weighs us down and makes us even more tired.
So that is how we do it! One day at a time, taking frequent glances up at that big picture of the type of parents we want to be and the cherished values we hope to instill in our kids. All while enjoying these bright and energetic humans who keep us on our toes!
Today, I bless you, Strong Mama, with the enjoyment of your children, and with the grace to take this big job of parenting one day at a time.