“I can’t wait until I’m married and have kids. Life will slow down and be so much easier.” -18 year old high school student
I remember when one of my students said this to me. She was bogged down in the stress of college apps, scholarship essay writing, sports, and of course, school. She, like most 16-23 year olds, are so bogged down with their own lives they think the middle years must be easy. Ha!
Well, I kept some professionalism about me and didn’t make a sarcastic reply, though I wanted to. But why does it look like the middle is easy? My college students say it all the time: “you are so lucky. You have life all figured out. You don’t have to worry about anything major.” Uhhhhhh, excuse me? I have bills to pay, employees to schedule and take care of, a business to run, a house to maintain, kids who have endless needs…the list goes on. So do I make this gig look easy? Doubtful.
It would be easy for me to blame the millennial generation for being selfish and self-centered, but that’s not their fault, right?! Honestly, it’s partly my fault. I walk around telling everyone “we’re fine,” “the kids are busy,” “we’re just doing normal stuff.” I downplay what I’m doing because it doesn’t seem important. I’m not curing cancer, saving lives, or being an humanitarian–so does it really matter what I’m doing? Yes. What you do matters. Raising your children well, matters. Being kind to your husband, matters. Working hard at your job, matters. Making your home a warm and inviting place to come home to, matters.
Life is more hectic in the middle because someone has to do the daily mundane tasks that no one appreciates. This matters. You don’t have to post it on social media once you finish 3 loads of laundry, but maybe with your family. Maybe after asking them about their day, you can also tell them about your day. Your kids are dressed warmly because you did laundry. They have a healthy lunch because you went to the grocery store and got up 15 minutes earlier to pack it for them. Or just be honest, you’re exhausted tonight because you had a difficult meeting at work.
When your life becomes second to so many others, it is easy to get lost in the middle. Don’t lose yourself and your value. You matter in the middle.