I’ve discovered a bright spot in this whole kindergarten business. I miss my girl.
Seems that should be a con, not a pro, right? But you know the old saying—absence makes the heart grow fonder. It’s true. Since school snatched my elder daughter away from me, I’m giddy to spend time with her whenever I get the chance. That’s especially helpful right about now.
Because it’s hunting season.
Maybe you’ve heard me gripe before. This time of year, my mighty man heads to the woods and I’m left behind on solo parent duty. However, this isn’t a post about slashing my husband’s tires. It’s a story about growing up—as a mom.
I can measure motherhood in hunting seasons.
Five years ago, on opening bow weekend, I stood at the living room window and waved to my husband’s truck with tears welling in my eyes. While he climbed trees and relished pink sunrises, I scrubbed bottles and rocked a fussy baby. Hours crept. Conversations were one-sided. I was lonely, frazzled, and desperate for a nap.
When little sister blessed our world, I juggled baby food jars and preschool crafts. My then three-year-old missed her Dad almost as much as I did—so we added emotional meltdowns to the physical demands of mommy overtime.
Oh, how I longed for that truck to pull back into the driveway on Sunday afternoons.
And yet. Fast forward to now. My baby is a chatterbox two-and-a-half-year-old. She feeds herself and begs to watch Little Einsteins while I take a shower. For my kindergartener, free time at home is a new luxury, so she colors happily with crayons and reads stories to her sister at nap time. Together my girls dream up games like pony rodeo and doll hospital—and they bless me by inviting me in.
It’s a paradigm shift, see. I’m no longer producing the entertainment. I’m watching the show.
Remember the day-in, day-out drudgery of caring for little ones? Maybe you’re in it right now. Wise women tell us it changes, gets easier—and I’m catching a glimpse. Monday through Friday, my day flies according to schedule. Pack the lunch, drive to school, toddler time, nap time (=me time!), carpool line, dinner, dishes, bath, bedtime prayers, crash and start all over again. By the weekend, we’re ready to let down our ponytails.
Saturday isn’t overtime anymore. It’s a party. We don’t have to go anywhere! We get to play and munch popcorn and wear slippers all day!
Poor Dad. He’s missing all the fun.
“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!” (Psalm 127:3–5a, NLT).
I’ve always known my children are a gift. But on hunting weekends, that gift looked less like a box of diamond earrings and more like the treadmill I never asked for. Insulting and challenging at first, but over time it whipped me into shape. I realize now that while my daughters were busy growing up, so was I—into a better version of myself, thanks to them.
What a fantastic gift.
Of course I still miss my husband when he’s gone, but no longer because I’m miserable. I miss him because I’m not. And I wish he could be here to see it.
Happy hunting season, my love. We’ll text you a picture of our princess popcorn party—just as soon as we’ve finished painting our nails sparkly purple. Oh, yeah.
If this post encouraged you, please pass it on. You might also like Birthday Musings From a Sappy Mom, Don’t Lie to Me, Taste of Candy Land, When You Don’t Feel Like Doing Your Job, and Confessions of a Hunter’s Wife.
Linking up with: The Better Mom, Playdates With God, Mommy Moments, Living Well Wednesdays, Grace at Home, Things I Can’t Say, and Faithfully Parenting Fridays.
What a delightful perspective! Reading your post brought back memories of my girls doing similar things at the same age. They do grow quickly, so it is a wonderful thing to be full of gratitude for every stage you are at. Enjoy those sparkly purple nails!
Maybe we’ll even break out the blue nail polish, too! Thanks for reading, Kim!
Dana Baumgart says
As a deer hunting widow to three small children at home, this puts our time together in the months of September, October and November into a new perspective. Looks like we will be breaking out the popcorn and sparkly nail polish next weekend, Becky!
You and me both, Dana! So glad to hear we’re not alone in this department!
Lorien's Leaf says
I’m a hunting widow as well! For me though, it doesn’t start until mid-October. This makes me look forward to the days when our little girl is old enough to enjoy the special mommy-daughter time while daddy’s out hunting.
Ashley Ditto says
Love your perspective here Becky!! Blessings to you sweet friend!
Blessings to you, too, Ashley!
Ilene, The Fierce Diva Guide to Life says
Oh, how I love your perspective! Insulting and challenging! I have a few challenges in front of me with my family – and I am going to hang onto this beautiful message.
Thank you, Ilene! Keep hanging on!
I’ve gone through similar changes- though for me, this is soccer season(Hubs coaches). And years ago, I was resentful and upset at him being gone for games, thinking I needed the help. Now, it seems so much easier.
Yes, I think there are many parallels to sports seasons. If not that, then traveling for work or whatever else that might take our co-pilot from his seat at home for stretches of time. I try to remember my role is to be home… his is to fill the freezer. Too bad I’m still not a huge fan of venison. But I try. 🙂
Becky @ Just the other day... says
Oh my, you are so speaking my language with this post. I get it…totally! I was such a complainer when my husband first started hunting, for the very same reasons…I was worn out! Now that the kids are a little older, we have fun “girl time” (although he does take the older girls with him some now, and in that case, then it’s special time with my youngest). Very well-written, Becky. I enjoyed it! 🙂
I wonder if my girls will hunt with their dad someday, too, Becky! Our oldest has already been on a turkey hunting trip and loved it. My husband bought her a pink BB gun. I think he’s hoping his girls will share his passion for the outdoors as they grow older. Then hunting season will become special time for them with Dad instead. Either way, we win.
Enjoy the special time. These are memories that will last forever.
I hope that is true, Heather. You’re right – I’m building memories. I need to keep that perspective. Thank you!
Love this! It reminded me of how I felt about entering my empty nest this year and having a husband that travels. Although I miss them both, I’m learning early on that this is the time I’ve needed for myself for a while now….to write again and spend alone time with God.
Have a great day and enjoy those babies while they’re little 🙂
Thank you, Lynn!
Julia Hunter says
This post really made my night, it’s a relief to know that it does get easier, lol. I count my years in football seasons.
I’m with you, Julia! We’ll persevere together. 🙂
“It’s a paradigm shift, see. I’m no longer producing the entertainment. I’m watching the show.”
So true, and brilliant. Thankyou
Beautifully written! Lately I have been deep in the trenches of parenting older children–one already grown, another just hitting his teenage years full-speed. This really takes me back to the days when my three were smaller. (although I will be going back for real next March when our last but not least is finally born… :)) A part of me remembers the struggles of them being so small, but a larger part of me longs for the days when their problems were something I might actually have a prayer at solving. I am looking forward to losing sleep over night time feedings rather than worry…I wish you luck and happiness as you continue your journey!
Thank you for this perspective, Alyssa. One of my mentor moms told me that raising small children is physically challenging, but raising older children is more emotionally challenging. You make a great point. Right now I can still solve most of the issues my kids face. You’ve reminded me not to wish away any stage of parenting. So true.
Such a great perspective and reminder of how blessed we are to be mothers! Thank you!
Crystal @ Serving Joyfully says
I always love your posts!
There you go! This is a great post, Becky–right on the money, as usual!
What a great post!