I recently read a book by Eryn Lynum called 936 pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting.
The premise of the book is that we only have 936 weeks with our kids before they turn 18-years-old and then they have all the freedom to do as they please. Most kids go off to university and some even move out of the home.
Yes, only 936 weeks.
The idea is that you take out a penny for every week that has passed. And as you watch the pennies get less and less you begin to value your time with your kids. You begin to discover the joy of parenting. You begin to parent intentionally.
Today I met a nurse. As she was preparing the injection she was about to jab into my bum cheek, we struck up a conversation. She asked me if I had kids and I said, “Yes, three under three.” She gasped. She had four children, two preteens and a set of toddler twins. She went on to explain how she absolutely dreaded the toddler phase of life. “I honestly hate it”, she said.
I understand her struggle. She’s grappling with her season, contending against the challenges of motherhood. Oh, how we have all been there. I have similar moments. Moments of frustration, feeling completely spent and exhausted. But then I remember my 936 pennies and it suddenly puts life into perspective again.
My heart has been so challenged with this notion lately. We have two options as Moms. One harder than the other but hugely beneficial. We can either allow ourselves to fall into a space of resentment and bitterness in this season that we’re in and tackle our way through the jar of 936 pennies. Or we can embrace it, letting go of our frustrations, allowing the messy kitchen sink to stay messy for a few more hours while you tickle your kids’ tummies which cause them to roar with laughter. Because those are the moments your eighty-year-old self is going to treasure.
So let’s get frivolous on the dance floor, also known also the lounge floor, and elbow deep in finger painting. Forget the mess, let the dogs lick up your thirty-minute stoved cooked dinner that’s now lying all over the floor.
Spend your pennies wisely. You dear Mom, are rich!