It’s amazing how a little break from the mundane day-to-day tasks of child rearing can help one’s perspective on parenting. For the first time in several years, Prince Charming and I took a (non-business related) trip just the two of us.
We went for a long-weekend in Mexico and had a wonderful time laying on the beach and reading books. That’s pretty much all we did on our trip. Some might think this is a boring vacation but this was honestly a dream come true.
The beach is my favorite destination on earth and unfortunately it is also over 500 miles away from where we live in any direction! We soaked up all the sun that we could (without getting horribly burned) and were able to connect and relax together as a couple. It was wonderful.
As much as I loved our Mexican paradise, it made me realize how much of a paradise we had waiting for us at home. Two healthy, happy, vibrant, joyful, rambunctious children can certainly drain our energy…but they bring us unending joy and a calling straight from God. I cannot imagine life without them.
Parenting is hard work. It is monotonous. It is humbling. It comes with accidents, sicknesses, and spills (and I certainly don’t look like the smiling mom in the Bounty commercial as I clean them up). Parenting can strain a marriage. It can bring us to our knees in wondering how to best raise our children. But having the opportunity to raise a child is an incredible privilege…and when we put it into perspective, it is paradise.
The dictionary defines paradise as: “a place or state of bliss, felicity, or delight”.
Despite the hard moments, I think we will all agree that there are many moments in our journey as parents that are pure bliss and utter delight. When your child reaches up and smiles at you for the first time, when your toddler grabs your face and says “Kissamee” (kiss me), or when your almost-kindergartener tells you that you are beautiful and the best Mommy in the whole world. Those are the moments to savor. Those are the moments of paradise.
Parenting might not be the most relaxing or peaceful calling in the world. But if we’re all honest with ourselves, we can only lay on the beach reading books for so many days before our lives (and arms) begin to feel empty. For me, that was exactly 2.75 days of beach laying. :) God has given us all a desire to do something…to make a difference in this world. Although it might not seem like it in the day-to-day grind of life, each day that we forego our own desires to meet the needs of someone else (i.e. our children), we are making a difference. It might seem like small and insignificant sacrifices right now…but someday those little people we are nurturing day in and day out will become big people. Big people who are difference makers of their own.
Sure, the beach is amazing and we all need a little down time to relax and reconnect with our spouse (which will be a priority for my husband and I over the next several years of intense child-rearing). But when it comes time to head home, we can do so with a huge smile on our faces…because we’re just leaving one paradise for another!
As I was writing this post, I was reminded of one of my favorite country songs when I was in high school, anticipating someday having a family ((with totally unrealistic expectations, of course). I certainly don’t looks as
happy cheesy (or skinny) as the mom in this video, but it is a great way to put the crazy life of raising kids in perspective. Enjoy “Just Another Day in Paradise” by Phil Vassar: