In the last few years, two moms have given me advice I’ve never forgotten. Their advice was simple but profound: there will be time for that later, and you’ll know it when it happens.
About two years ago, I passed a fellow mom while out walking. She was trucking it—really sprinting up a hill. Soon after that, I saw her at gym. I was amazed at her dedication and how she managed to juggle it all, so asked her how she did it. She simply smiled and said, “You’ll be here one day, too. It will get easier and you’ll know.” She said it with such conviction that I knew she must be right. I filed away her advice, and the months and years continued to pass.
Then last year, I was talking with a few moms at school after a class party. They were talking about different volunteer things at the school. I laughed and said, “I don’t volunteer for anything. I really should, but it’s hard right now with my little ones.”
A fellow mom turned to me and said, “It is not your time. It is not your time to do that. One day, your kids will be older, and you will be able to that. Not now.” Her words were clear and emphatic—take this off your plate for now, there will be time for that later. Do not feel guilty; instead, recognize that this is a season of life and one day the seasons will change.
I’ve thought about those two moms a lot recently. Maybe because my three littlest ones, my triplets, are getting a little older, and I’m seeing certain aspects of life getting easier. At the same time, I’m still saying no to many commitments because it’s just too hard. As I do so, I silently thank those moms who reminded me that one day there will be time for that.
When I think about those moms and their simple words of advice, I think about what a gift it was for them to stop and say to me you don’t have to do it all right now. There will be time for that later. It was such a precious and much-needed gift to hear that from moms of older kids, moms who knew my journey and knew that I needed to hear those words.
Finally, I’m starting to feel like it’s my time. Today, I ran three miles and met my goal finish time.
It was not my time when I was nursing my kids or feeding my triplets around the clock.
It was not my time when I was up all night with toddlers who had constant ear infections.
It was not my time when I broke my leg last year and had to figure out how to do all the basic things around my house.
But today? It feels like my time. (OK, maybe not quite yet for the volunteering, but for the exercise, yes.)
So to those moms who are feeling maxed out, stretched too thin, or simply wondering when you’ll get to all those things on your list? I’m here to tell you—it may not be your time.
It may not be your time to take on something else.
It may not be your time to wake up early and exercise before dawn.
It may not be time for you to volunteer at school or lean in at work.
And that is OK. There WILL be time for that. Your time will come. Your story isn’t finished yet. And mine isn’t either. There will be time.
Thank you to those moms who knew just what I needed to hear, even though I myself didn’t even realize it at the time.
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