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Growth Spurts: Now Available: Unlimited Fresh Starts

Fresh starts. New beginnings. Second chances. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like these ideas. And there’s something about a brand new year that gets us all excited about “starting over” and making changes and improvements in our lives. Undoubtedly, many of our resolutions end up falling by the wayside around mid-February, but I don’t think that should keep us from making them. Setting goals for ourselves and for our families is a hopeful endeavor. It helps us not to get stuck in the past or feel that change isn’t possible.

As a mother, I am particularly thankful for fresh starts. When my children were babies and I felt exhausted all the time, I looked for a fresh start anywhere I could (and usually every 3-4 hours). Some of my favorite fresh starts came when each of my babies started sleeping through the night. What a difference that made! But even taking a shower or getting to eat a meal in one sitting can serve as a fresh start during this stage.

Then, as each of my little ones hit the 1½-2-year marker, I was thankful for the consistent fresh starts that we all needed that came in the forms of naptimes, bedtimes, babysitters, and (sadly) trips to the grocery store alone. I would add bathroom breaks to this list, but we all know that that isn’t a reality in this stage of parenting. We’ve all seen those chubby toddler fingers sliding under the bathroom door…if we’re lucky enough to get it closed before said toddler makes a party out of potty time. Yes, fresh starts definitely help you keep your sanity during this stage.

As my children have gotten older, fresh starts have come in the forms of first days of school, seasons, vacations, birthdays, and milestones. But, thankfully, they also still come in the forms of new days…and sometimes new hours. When I get impatient or (unjustifiably) angry or am just plain tired or stressed, my children often get the brunt of it. On the flipside, when my children are irritable or argumentative or just plain disobedient, I feel the effects of that, as well. It is at these times when we all have to stop, breathe, apologize and seek forgiveness, summon a new perspective, and move forward.

You see, fresh starts don’t have to be designated by a calendar; they are there for us to declare whenever we need them. This is good news, parents! Since we know we’re going to mess up, and so will our children, we need to take advantage of endless fresh starts. In my opinion, this is a lesson to pass down to our children that is just as important as teaching them to share or to always tell the truth.

This new year, let’s resolve to have grace for each other and for ourselves. Day after day. Hour after hour. Nap after nap…

 

Carrie Bevell Partridge is thankful for and humbled by grace.

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 carriebevellpartridge.com and Facebook.com/carriebevellpartridge.

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