The Four Words That Changed My Perspective On Parenting
When I was eight months pregnant, I asked my brother-in-law what his number one piece of parenting advice would be.
He responded with four impactful words, drawn from a Persian adage: “This too shall pass.”
I didn’t realize how significant that advice would be for me until I had my son, Sutton. I faced hardship with my little guy that I hadn’t quite expected as a new mom, but I have also had the sweetest moments of my life with him. He is currently in the toddler stage, and in the midst of his tantrums and “terrible twos.”
In this time, I have learned so much about my selfishness and tendency to lean toward the negative rather than focusing on the positive. These four words have been a strong reminder for me that each season of hardship is fleeting, but that the immeasurable beauty of each moment passes even more quickly.
Dear friends, if you are in a season of motherhood or fatherhood where you feel completely drained, you are not alone. And if you just can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel no matter how hard you search, I pray that these four words encourage your heart today: “This too shall pass.”
In the moments when life feels like one big blur as you adjust to a crying newborn, late-night feedings, and little to no sleep—this too shall pass.
During the season when your 9-month-old is in and out of the doctor’s office because you can’t figure out why he is spitting up, not eating, not sleeping, or just can’t seem to be put down for more than five minutes— this too shall pass.
When your toddler’s favorite word to scream is “no,” when hitting, biting, and throwing tantrums in every public place becomes the new norm, and discipline seems never-ending—this too shall pass.
In the months that 9 years old means continuous fights with siblings from morning till night and you feel like you can’t handle settling one more argument—this too shall pass.
When your 16-year-old experiments with temptation or battles bullying or peer pressure and you feel defenseless in protecting or guiding her—this too shall pass.
And when your little baby goes off to college and you see that she needs you a little less each day and have nearly forgotten the time and love that you have invested into her every moment—this too shall pass.
In parenting, the immense love and worry that we feel for our kids won’t ever fade. The hardship simply changes and shifts as our babies grow a little bigger each year.
But friends, what we need to remember is that the sweetest moments of parenthood will pass even more quickly. The moments of holding a new, sweet-smelling baby in your two arms and snuggling them so closely. The feeling of having one of the greatest responsibilities in the world in caring for someone who can’t yet care for themselves. The first noises, coos, and giggles that make your heart feel like it’s going to explode with joy. This too shall pass.
The cutest, most mispronounced words you’ve ever heard. The very first time “mom” and “dad” are spoken from their sweet little mouths. The snuggles, strangling neck hugs, and I love yous. And the realization that you are the only person in their little world as important and special as you. This too shall pass.
The moments of sweet adventure when they see something for the very first time with you by their side. Having the opportunity to teach them pivotal life lessons, like respect, loyalty, responsibility, and kindness. Watching each day as they grow into a little human being that you’re so incredibly proud to be raising. This too shall pass.
Talking them through their nervousness as you help them get ready for their first school dance. Holding them tightly as they cry tears on your shoulder when they experience their first real heartbreak. Walking them down the aisle as you watch them take on the world with someone they love so deeply. This too shall pass.
Let us not forget that with the challenges of parenting also come the sweetest moments, which we won’t ever get back. On the days when it feels like frustration and defeat have won, I pray that we will remember that each moment fades as quickly as it comes.