There is one thing I know for sure about motherhood.

When my kids are out of the house and on their own, I will have deep feelings of regret.

So many things I will want to claw my way back to for a do-over.

My heart will hurt without their presence near me.

I will find my mind overthinking the past and how I should have done motherhood differently.

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How do I know this?

I already feel this way.

Every time I see a mom cuddling her sweet infant close to her.

Every time I hear a toddler’s laughter at the park.

Every time I see a mom holding the hand of a nervous kindergartener on the first day of class.

Every new school year that comes and goes.

Every birthday that is celebrated.

My heart aches for what once was. The deep ache makes me want to go back and start over. These aches lead to regret of how I wish I was more intentional with my littles.

Thoughts of how I might not have been present enough in the moments of motherhood can really bring me down.

All the stress, all the anxiety, and all those big feelings that motherhood brings can take away from the precious moments before us.

The sleepless nights will come and go.

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The constant beckoning to play on the floor will fade away.

That baby attached to your hip will soon become a young man who you will have to quickly steal a hug from as he runs out the door with his friends.  

The toys little hands once held onto, day after day, soon gather dust in the corner of their room.

The other thing I know for sure? We can’t go back in time.

I know, I wish we could too, friend.

What we can do is to take these feelings of heartbroken regret of the time that has passed so quickly and turn them into momentum to enjoy the present stage our children are in. Don’t let the regrets steal time away from the blessings before you.

Ask God to help you focus on the joys right in the moment you’re in.

Hold tight to the way your child’s eyes light up when she tells you a story.

Capture that sweet voice of your son when he calls out to you for help.

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When the guilt tries to take over your heart, remember there are still beautiful seasons to look forward to even though those little bodies are bigger. Seasons that will grab your mama’s heart in the same way the smell of your newborn did or your preschooler’s first school performance. There are more firsts waiting to be had. More special moments are on the horizon. The joys of motherhood will continue!

Gather all those sweet moments you can now and with joy, look forward to what’s ahead.

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:18-19)

Originally published on the author’s blog

Amber  Palmer 

Amber is a busy mom of two kiddos, wife, and blogger over at My Jars of Clay. When she is not homeschooling her daughter, you can find her writing to encourage other moms and helping them keep their focus on Jesus. Amber enjoys spending her time reading, singing when no one is around, and throwing random dance parties in her kitchen. She loves connecting with other moms in person and over on Instagram.