Dear Moms of Young Children,

I’m in your shoes, and I feel like it’s time for a service announcement. What better time than Advent for me to send you a little love? It’s my gift to you, with hugs on top for no extra charge.

So here goes…grab a cuppa your favorite steaming beverage and have a seat…

You’re doing enough. Really. Cuddle those kids, hug your hubby, savor the kisses. You’ll have time on your hands all too soon…and if God’s calling you to something, he’ll keep at it. It seems, in my life, that God calls me to do less and to be more. “Do less stuff and be more present for your kids, Sarah.” “Worry less about how things will get done out there and focus more on what your vocation in here is, Sarah.” “Hey, Sarah, have you thought about the dishes – or dinner – lately? Because, well, that is part of the deal here.” (I’m sure God is much more polite than the voice in my head, actually.)

There’s not enough time in the day, no matter how much we do. There’s always more – more laundry, more dishes, more picking up, more, more, more. When you’re a mom, and especially (it seems to me now) when you have young children, there’s just not enough time.

I’ve heard other groups complain about this too. The retired folks I know – who should have all the free time in the world, right? – seem to be up to their ears in busy-ness. The empty nesters, those with high schoolers, the couples with no kids, the single lads and lasses – everyone is busy, busy, busy.

But really, it’s not a competition for who’s the busiest. My conclusion, after careful thought over about thirty cups of coffee this morning (mostly decaf because I like it when the infant sleeps), is that all of us are busy. It’s a shared boat. The people who aren’t busy live in the mythical land of Oz, or maybe at the North Pole in the off season.

I’ve noticed, though, that we – meaning women, because I can’t speak for the men at this point – can’t seem to do enough. It doesn’t matter how many kids are running around the house, how many hours of volunteering we do on the weekends, how many service projects we have going at one time – we always seem to feel like we should do more.

Why is this? Is it us? Is it some crazy expectation that’s out there in the ether, pushing us until we all have nervous breakdowns or quit everything completely? I’m not sure, but I know this: when you’re a mom with young kids, you’re doing enough. Raising those kids is enough. Surviving day-to-day is enough. Why does there have to be more? Is that the Spirit or is it society?

I’m not saying you can’t do more, so please don’t read this that way. I’m just offering some reassurance in more than one place today. Having said this to a friend earlier – and having her thank me for relieving her of the burden of more – I wanted to say it to you too (or maybe just me, because you know by now that this is just a fancy way of talking to myself, right?).

So, Moms of Young Children, enjoy the anticipation of Advent. Yeah, you can. Collar a young kid in the vicinity and watch their eyes when you drive down a country road after dark and you go past the Griswold house, lit to the sky with lights. Pinch your hubby under the mistletoe and think about how much more handsome he is now that he’s Daddy than he was when you first met him. Throw on some perfume and some big girl shoes and play dress-up. Why not? There’s plenty of time for all the rest, but these years – these years with little fingers and toes, these moments of wonder and enchantment – they’re not going to last long if you don’t make some memories!

Hugs and blessings,