This, Too, Shall Pass

This month my oldest daughter turns 28.  Gosh, I cannot believe that I have a child that old.  I remember being 28.  I was a single mother with a 2 year old then.  She was my 2 year old.

My oldest baby when she was 2 years old.

As I reflect on nearly three decades of being a mother, I think about all the advice that I have received over the years.

Most of it, I admit, I ignored.

That’s the funny thing about advice.  It changes over time.  At one time, corporal punishment was handed out freely.  And not just your standard spanking and swatting on the butt corporal punishment either.  I’m talking about using a switch or a belt.  My father used the belt on us.  My husband’s parents had a bridle strap.  While this at one time was considered an essential parenting technique, it would now be considered child abuse.

But even more routine things have changed over time.  I had my children over a 10 year period of time, and with every birth the advice on how they should be positioned for sleeping changed – on the tummy, on the side, on the back.  It was enough to make your head spin!

When I had my oldest daughter, I did receive one piece of advice that has stuck with me over the years.  And it applies in areas outside of parenting, too.  That advice was:

This, too, shall pass.

When I was pregnant (each time), I thought I would never get that baby (and then those babies) out of there.

This, too, shall pass.

When I had so many sleepless nights, that I thought I would never sleep through the night again, they started sleeping longer.

This, too, shall pass.

When I was nursing my twins, I never thought I would see the day that they would be off the breast, out of diapers, and in school.  They eventually started eating real food, were potty trained, and started school.

This, too, shall pass.

When my oldest daughter started high school in 1997, and I realized that I would have kids in high school for the next 15 years, I thought I would never make it.  In a few months, my babies will be graduating from high school.

This, too, shall pass.

We will have three kids in college next year, and two for the next four years.

This, too, shall pass.

Then, we will be true empty nesters.

My oldest baby the day she left the nest to start her life as an adult.

I am forever indebted to my friend from Massachusetts, Evelyn, the mother of three lovely daughters, who told me when I was a struggling single mother with no family support system, “This, too, shall pass.”

Good advice for all of us as we encounter challenges, large and small, throughout life.

Thanks Evelyn!

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