‘Tis the Season…to Not Keep Up with Life

By Polly Conner
June 8, 2016

tis the seasonI like a clean home.

Not a spotless clean but a tidy clean.

My home is far from perfect or clutter-free but I always felt like I had somewhat of a handle on things. I’m just a person who is usually on top of things. However, since my third child was born, I feel like I’m constantly one step behind…in everything!

I can’t seem to stay on top of laundry. Phone calls and texts often go unreturned. The carpet is vacuumed less and please keep your eyes up if you are using one of our bathrooms. The mail sits for days before being opened. I’m pretty sure it was a good three months before I changed my daughter’s sheets.  Probably more than that if I’m honest. The garden has been close to neglected, just like the inside of my car. I totally forgot to schedule my three year old’s well-check appointment and I feel like I live in a constant state of clutter and dust bunnies.Tis the season to not keep up

I just can’t find the time or energy to keep up–with life!

A few days ago, as I was lamenting to my mom about the state of our partially barren, weed ridden yard, she said something that really stuck with me.

She said, “Polly, this isn’t a season of life where you should have a perfect yard.”


And she’s right.

In that small moment, I was freed from expecting my yard to look like my retired neighbor’s meticulously groomed yard. We are in different seasons of life and the one in which I find myself in does not allow for me to weed, water, seed or fertilize. And that’s OK.

What I didn’t realize was that the effects of my mother’s statement reached much further than she intended it to. It’s not just the yard that I need to be freed up from. It’s pretty much everything in life.

I share this because I want to not only free myself up from unattainable expectations, but I want you to be freed up too.

Sweet momma, if you’re like me and find yourself in the thick of raising little people, this isn’t the time in life that rooms will be clean, beds will be made and closets will be organized.Tis the season to not keep up-3

We are in a season where there will be a constant state of crumbs, mysterious sticky spots, hand prints on windows and permanent stains of clothes.

Clean laundry will remain unfolded for days and sometimes the trash won’t get emptied until the smell declares a time for change.

Busy mama, it’s a season where it’s OK to say no. To almost everything. Even good things.

It’s a season where date nights are rare, family outings are often more work than fun, grandparents are a necessity and alone time is almost non-existent.

The hard water stains in the tub are starting to look like art, the dust bunnies under the couch have started a colony and you might have a spider problem in the basement (or maybe that’s just me–for your sake, I hope so).Tis the season to not keep up-2

It’s a season where both husband and wife need to identify as a team more than ever, love one another when they don’t feel like it and give much grace to each another–especially in the middle of the night.

It’s a season where children simply demand your time and attention almost 24/7, you’re pretty much just napping through the night and unless you are willing to lay your agenda and expectations aside, you will find yourself in stress and with a strong case of the grumps.

It’s OK to not keep up, dear momma.

Because when we are older, wiser and a bit more wrinkly, we will miss these days of having our plates so full that we couldn’t keep up. When our kids have moved on, our homes are quiet and we actually can keep up with the yard, we are going to long for little feet to pound the grass down.

We are going to miss the little handprints that decorate our windows.Tis the season to not keep up-6

We are going to miss feeding squirrely children and the crumbs they leave behind.

This season of life is intense, but when put in perspective – so short. So momma friends, lets lay our expectations and pride aside. Lets soak up this season of life and all the crazy that comes with it. Lets embrace the mess, the clutter, the crumbs, the stains and the overall lack of order.

Cause true life is found when we die to ourselves–when we pour ourselves out, when we love fiercely and live in the present moment.

The yard can wait. It will always be there. But these messy little people, they won’t.

Tis the season to not keep up-9

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P.S. Don’t leave without snagging a set of our On the Job Meditations for Moms: 25 Bible Verse Cards! 

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11 replies
  1. Debbie says:

    Great reflection on life as a mom. I have four kids, and 17 grandkids and I treasure every moment I can amid all the craziness & business of life.
    Our oldest son’s death at the age of 30, leaving behind 4 young children gave be a greater perspective on what is important. Don’t let life rob you of those precious moments.

  2. Bridget says:

    Thank you for this wonderful reminder. It might seem like an extravagance, but when we crunched some numbers and priced out housecleaners, we were surprised that having someone come, even once a month was doable and SO helpful in keeping our sanity. We cut other spending out and made it work. I highly recommend it!

  3. Kate L says:

    As I sit here and read this, tears stream down my face. Part from exhaustion but mostly because I could have written this myself!!! Since my 4th child was born last July my head has been spinning…. I feel overwhelmed on a daily basis…never keeping up. Feeling so spread thin…never feeling like I can give 100% to any of my children (or especially my poor husband). About a month ago I said to myself, enough is enough… lower your expectations and start embracing all these crazy moments in time. Because as you said, they don’t last long. And some day (hard to believe in the moment) I will miss it all. I always say to myself at the end of the day… I may not have been “super mom” today but I did the best I could and they all know how much I love them.” The days are sometimes long but the years go by so fast!!! Thanks for your blog!! You made my day by reading this 🙂 PS- I love your recipes too!

    • Polly says:

      Kate- so good to hear this! Hope it gave you the extra boost you need for the next few days. We really are in one of the most intense seasons of life. One day at a time!

  4. Gretchen says:

    My 4 kids are grown – we have them in 6 years time. I cannot tell you how hard the struggle was to merely get through the basics for the day. I was always pleased if there was actually a path to navigate through the house. Now, I am close to retirement, and I miss those days. Early on, I had to come to the realization that we were not just raising our little ones – trying to guide them toward becoming adults that would Love the Lord, and country – and be productive individuals. We were also making memories. We were SO POOR. The next meal was not always within sight. But today they tell us that they had no idea – that they had a wonderful childhood. I treasure every memory. Our struggle to handle the daily required their participation – which gave them a solid foundation for their own homes later. I used to have a sign on the wall that read:

    “Quiet down cobwebs,
    Dust go to sleep.
    I’m nursing my baby
    And babies don’t keep.”

  5. Kristal says:

    Thank you so much. I have five kids under the age of 10. No matter how hard I work, they are always faster. We love to go to the park, ride bikes, and other things. Sometimes it’s hard to let the dishes go, and sometimes I have to say no to the fun in order to get things done. It’s a juggling and balancing act that is different for everyone. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts as it hits home with me.

    • Polly says:

      Isn’t that so true! I feel like as I tidy room to room, the small tornados (i.e. my children) are right behind me undoing my work. I have to remind myself that joy and peace is not found in ease or a clean house. Keep relationships priority!

  6. hickory nut says:

    Ummm, it’s as if you took pictures of my house…This describes my life PERFECTLY, and I am a mother of 3 as well. When someone stops in unannounced I feel like curling up into the fetal position and dying. But, instead of wasting so much time trying to keep everything in its place, I play baseball with my boys, we go for bike rides, I accept dandelions, and praise worms that are found in the driveway. It really made me grateful the other day when my girlfriend explained to me that her son wasn’t very good at baseball because they aren’t parents that play/practice with their kids. She explained she doesn’t have time for that, as her husband is always working and she is doing dishes or laundry or something. She laughed it off, but it made me kind of sad for her and all she is missing. Because let’s face it, she’s missing time with her kids AND I’m sure her house still isn’t spotless. Thanks for this post, makes me feel better that it’s not just me in this messy, somewhat sinking ship. But it’s a fun ship, and I want my kids to think back to their childhood with great memories of quality time spent with parents. And thanks also for mentioning the reliance on grandparents! Sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t have had so many kids if I have to rely on their help so much. Knowing others are going through the same really makes me feel more in control. Well, in control of the little control that has not yet been totally lost…

    • Polly says:

      It’s a hard balance to keep for me! I personally would rather spend time cleaning up and having a tidy house but this stage simply doesn’t allow for that. They need focus and attention or else they will simply create even bigger messes than the one I am ignoring them to clean…haha!