Mothers and Seasons of Life
I enjoy understanding life from a seasonal perspective. I find that by looking at the seasons of life I can gain a better understanding and clarity about:
- what to expect
- how to manage my time, energy, and resources
- how to enjoy the present
- how to plan for the future
The Bible teaches about different seasons and stages in life, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the sun” (Eccles. 3:1). The apostle John refers to different life stages when he writes to, “little children, young men, and fathers” (1 John 2:12-14).
The major seasons of life include infancy, childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, middle adulthood, and late adulthood. In adulthood the most poignant questions and life decisions will be,
Early Adulthood: college, career choices and development; marriage; fertility and having children; having families.
Middle Adulthood: the questions and life decisions may change some to maintaining and/or changing careers; raising, training, and launching children; grandparenting; renegotiating dreams; contemplating the time left and exploring new possibilities; and legacy.
Late Adulthood: the focus most likely will change to issues of health care and aging; empowering and longevity; changed social lives and loss of loved ones; questions regarding death and dying; integrity; and was it [my life] a good story.
Currently, I’m in middle adulthood. My primary focus is still on raising, training and launching children. My career is secondary. Understanding this helps me to negotiate my time now, keeping my life values prioritized, recognizing there will be a time in the near future where raising and training children won’t be a primary focus. This will give me more time to pursue other endeavors.
I think as mothers negotiating our time and understanding the needs of our children and families is paramount. Knowing how we are wired is also important. Some women have more energy and stamina than others. Knowing this about ourselves helps us to manage our time and energy. Realizing that we don’t have to accomplish all of our aspirations, hopes and dreams in this season may help free us up to better enjoy the season we are in.
Some of us are in a clearly definable season of life, and yet some may be transitioning in or out of a particular season. Generally speaking, most women will be able to determine what season of life they are in. When we take the time to contemplate the season we are in we can gain a better life perspective, become less anxious, experience more peace, determine how God may be calling us to use our time, and better enjoy our lives.
If you feel overwhelmed by trying to fit everything into this season, you might want to give yourself permission to take a break. Try focusing on the areas that are most important to you now. Then plan on doing some of the other important things in the next season. Life planning can help you in this process, too.
What season of life are you in? How does understanding the season of life you are in help you?