April Jeppson: Take time with your children while young

Published 8:45 pm Friday, December 15, 2023

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

My daughter turns 10 this weekend. As my youngest, I’m having a sad realization that my babies are growing up. I’m glad that she still enjoys playing with her dolls and has such a robust imagination. However, the fact that she enjoys such activities has given me almost a false sense of her age. How could my “little girl”be turning 10?

April Jeppson

When I was pregnant with her, my neighbor openly admitted that she was nervous for me. She said that I appeared to be barely hanging on with two children and she thought a third might throw me over the edge. Or that I may jump off a ledge. I can’t remember her exact wording, but she was indeed worried that I wouldn’t be able to handle three small children.

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In all honesty, she wasn’t wrong. Staying home and raising three children under the age of 5 was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. There wasn’t one particularly difficult task — it was just genuinely hard for me. I didn’t realize how difficult it would be for me to not see another adult all day. Or because of the overwhelming thoughts that my children would throw public tantrums, I just stopped going places.

I do not regret the seven years I stayed home with my children. I was able to be there and experience so much during those formative years. I honed in my cooking skills and dabbled in inexpensive crafts. I learned how little minds operate and how sweet small children can be.

Genevieve was about 3 when I took on some part-time work. The structure and socializing was good for both of us. I remembered how much I enjoy working outside the home. Within a few short years, all of my children were in school and I was back working full time. In hindsight, my stay-at-home mom days flew right by.

Did I ever tell you about the time she made doll clothing out of paper? And when I say “doll,” I mean pencil. She colored, cut out and taped clothing for a pencil. She made it so she could slide them on and off for easy outfit changes. The amount of time she spent figuring things out through trial and error amazes me. It’s neat to see the characteristics of your children as they grow. They are little, but they each have their own distinct personality.

Anyway, I’m rambling. I’m thankful all my children are still under my roof. I’m glad I still have opportunities to play with them. I’m also thankful that I have the understanding to realize how good my life is. I’m going to snuggle extra with my children this weekend, and it’s going to be awesome.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.