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Growth Spurts: Not According to Plan

It was the first time in my then-nine years of motherhood that all of my children were to have ongoing scheduled activities, of which I was not to be a part. Honestly, this was pretty exciting to me. Now that my two eldest were in school Monday through Friday, and my youngest was going to Mother’s Day Out twice a week, I was going to have ten whole hours a week to myself! Oh, what to do with the time?! 

My husband and I decided to have a little celebration on that first day of all three kids in their designated places. We had been saving a gift certificate we had received for a couples’ massage for just such an occasion, so we made arrangements to cash it in. Then we planned to have a nice, leisurely lunch together. Certainly, this wouldn’t be our average day-without-the-kids, but we thought it’d be a nice way to kick off this new season. The massages were wonderful (though I think we each fell asleep at some point), and we left quite relaxed.

We got to maintain that relaxed, carefree feeling for all of about five minutes, for it was at that time that I saw that I had a missed call from Casey Elementary School. I knew what was coming. And it did.

“Mommmmyyyyy . . . I don’t feel good,” came the little voice of my eldest daughter on the other end of the line. She needed to come home. Thus, with a sigh and a sort-of laugh, my husband and I drove our not-as-nearly-relaxed-now selves to the school to rescue our daughter from the school day she didn’t feel she could complete, and we went home to eat sandwiches instead of the yummy Mexican feast we had planned on enjoying (which would have been both prepared and cleaned up by someone other than ourselves).

Were we disappointed? Yeah, a little. Angry? Nope. Our little girl needed us, so we hopped to it. And we reminded each other–over sandwiches–that we are still in the season of being imperative to our children. After each other, they are our top priority. We are the primary caregivers to three children who need and depend on us, and they repay us with an immense amount of love, which makes it all worth it. There will be plenty of time for things like massages and leisurely Mexican dinners down the road.

Interruptions, delays, and unexpected detours . . . These just come with parenthood.

Flexibility, improvisation, and gowithitness . . . These must be acquired in order to maintain one’s sanity in parenthood.

It’s okay to make plans; just be prepared to change them at the first sign of “Mommmyyyyy. . . ”


Carrie Bevell Partridge is a planner who is trying to learn the art of gowithitness. Visit Carrie’s blogs: and


About The Author

Carrie Partridge

Carrie Bevell Partridge grew up in Memphis, TN with her parents and four siblings. She attended Mississippi College, where she met her husband Kevin. They have been married for 20 years and have five children. They live in Ridgeland, MS. Carrie has written the “Growth Spurts” column and managed social media for Parents & Kids Magazine since 2011. You can read more of her work at and

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