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You Only Have 18 Years - Cherishing Every Parenting Moment

Updated: Apr 8

You only have 18 years.

You only have 18 years to teach them.

You only have 18 years that they are under your roof.

You only have 18 years to give your time, money, and resources selflessly.

You only have 18 years of them messing up in front of you so that when they leave and go into the real world, they aren't blindsided by the things of this world.

You only have 18 years to read or listen to them read to you.

You only have 18 years of sitting around the table at dinner, looking into each other's eyes and hearing about one another's days - the highs, the lows, and everything in between.

You only have 18 years to build a strong foundation built on trust and respect for each other.

You only have 18 years to remind them daily of how much Jesus loves them.

You only have 18 years of a loud and crazy house that is always on the move.

You only have 18 years of loads and loads of laundry that might not actually be dirty, but the clean stuff is thrown into the hamper because kids find it easier to throw it all in when they are in a hurry to clean their room. And honestly, I end up washing it anyway.

You only have 18 years of sassy attitudes, cold shoulders, meltdowns, and dramatic responses.

You only have 18 years where they directly need you.

You only have 18 years to make lasting childhood memories before they go off and start making memories for themselves.

You only have 18 years of lunch-making and school-taking.

You only have 18 years of making traditions that stick. All the memories might not stick, but the traditions will.

You only have 18 years of reminding them to flush the toilet, turn off the lights, close the doors, and clean their room.

You only have 18 years to introduce them to the practice of following Jesus Christ, the power of prayer, and living out your faith verbally and non-verbally so they may see it and want to emulate it in their own lives.

You only have 18 years to introduce them to all the classic movies you loved growing up.

You only have 18 years of gathering their things and setting them in a pile on the stairs where they will sit for at least a week even though they go past their stuff multiple times daily.

You only have 18 years to be a direct role model for them to see every day.

You only have 18 years to look in their eyes daily and say, "I love you."

You only have 18 years to learn from them.

You only have 18 years to be humbled by them.

Live in the present, in the moment. Play pretend. Find joy in the mundane. Listen to them talk about their crush. Hold them during their first big breakup. Listen to their music. Invite their friends in. Focus on what you have, not the regrets of what you could've or should've done. Reflect on what you did and celebrate your child for who they are and who they are becoming. We will often miss the mark as parents, but let's choose to see what we have done, not what we missed. Time is fleeting, and no one knows how long they will be on this earth. But this sentiment is a good reminder that even if your child lives with you for longer than 18 years, or your child sadly doesn't make it to 18 years, or your child never makes it to this side of the earth, we know we cherished the time we were given. So, live, laugh, find joy in this season because

You only have 18 years.


Farm girl, toddler collecting eggs, black and white farm photo, parenting, homesteading, backyard farming

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