Julie has just gathered a new title in her life…and it’s one she’s both ecstatic about AND is taking some getting used to. Get ready to find out why the name Sissy means so much these days on The AllMomDoes Podcast with Julie Lyles Carr
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Julie [00:00:15] You’re listening to the AllMomDoes podcast. I’m your host Julie Lyles Carr. We’re part of the Purposely Podcast Network. And you know, I have been part of this podcast now for over six years. I can believe it. We’ve had six seasons out. There is all kinds of fun and wisdom and insight and thought and incredible guests along the way. So be sure and check out. Just go back in the archives. There are all kinds of amazing people there. We’ve got interviews with Beth Moore and Bob Goff and Michael Junior, the comedian. I mean, just on and on and on. You need to go check it out if you have not yet, if you’re a new listener. If you are one of the OGs, if you’ve been around for a while. Wow. Do I appreciate you so much. And if you’re a new listener, I’m so glad you’re here.
Julie [00:01:02] Okay, so I have a little something that you can add to your collection of dad jokes, if you will. Okay. We should call them mom jokes, but let me just read a few to you and let’s see if you get the answer. Okay. Here we go. Until I am measured. I am not known yet how you miss me when I have flown. I’m going to read it again until I am measured. I am not known yet how you miss me when I have flown. Do you have it yet? Do you know the answer? Okay, well, here’s. Here’s another one. What flies without wings? What flies without wings. Okay, here’s one more clue. Let’s see if I can get this one. Never ahead ever behind yet flying swiftly past. For a child, I last forever. For an adult. I’m gone too fast. What am I going to give you? A couple more beats. Think through it. Think through it. You ready? Drum roll for the answer. Time. The answer to all three of those is time. Until I measured, I’m not known what flies without wings. And for an adults, I’m gone too fast. It’s time.
Julie [00:02:18] So why are we talking about time today? Well, this is a kickoff for a new series that we’re doing where we’re going to talk about managing time and how we think about time and a whole variety of things. There’s going to be some really practical tips. There’s going to be some, you know, deep inside and thought about the way we spend time and how we prioritize it. And I’m so excited that you’re along for that journey. And I just can’t wait to hear your feedback and your comments, your questions from these upcoming episodes. We have some phenomenal guests who are going to be part of that series. But part of the reason that I wanted to talk about this is I recently had a time jolt. I mean, just one of those where I went, Whoa, I don’t know if you’ve ever had one of those moments where you’re just kind of rocking along. Time is so…time is just wild because the time that we have on this earth, the way we reckon days, the way we look at a calendar year, is different for every planet in our galaxy. Did you know that? Because our time is dependent on gravity and our position in relationship to the sun. So you’ll see things and you may remember from when you were in school, things about how long a year lasts on Jupiter versus how long a day lasts on Venus versus, you know, all these different things. How quickly a planet rotates, what the revolution cycle around the sun is. It’s really kind of mind bending to think about the way we think about time is different at different points in the universe. Even the way that years are understood when it comes to the universe at large, universal time is different than planet Earth time. It’s mind blowing. And I have to say in my own world, like I said, with time just rocking along. All of a sudden, here we are way past the first quarter of the year. You know, we’ve rounded the curve into the second quarter of the year. Things that I said I wanted to get done before now are still just kind of on a wish list. Other things that I really intended to get done last year that are still sitting there, all kinds of house projects and organization projects, I had all of that, but that’s not the thing that gave me a time jolt. Now, like I said at the top of the episode, if you’ve been around for a while, you know that we’re in our sixth season. And when I first started the podcast six years ago, I still had a whole bunch of kids still living in my house. We had eight children, and at that point, seven of them were still in the house. A couple were heading here. We’re kind of coming back and forth. We’re now down to four kiddos in the household. So that’s a bit of a change, right? Because that’s kind of our version of an empty nest right now. Not exactly empty, but you know what I’m saying. But there was something else that happened. My amazing producer for the show who is just so incredible, the content coordinator for the show, Rebecca, kept saying, “When are we going to talk about this?” And I kept saying, “Well, when do you want to talk about this?” And what she’s referring to is, I had something happen that is now very much changing my perspective on time to hear what it is. I became. I cannot even believe I’m saying these words. Okay, here we go. I became a grandmother. I’m still kind of in shock. I am crazy about this baby. Our first grand baby was born to my second daughter and her husband, and she was born almost three months ago. By the time this episode comes out, it’ll be right out three months. And I was so excited when they told us they were expecting. They’ve been married about two and a half years now, and they had always talked about wanting to start a family. And so when they got in touch with us to let us know, they were on a trip to see my son in law’s family in Japan. And they Facetimed us and held up the ultrasound pictures. You could have just…I mean, the joy I felt, the excitement we had. We were absolutely thrilled.
Julie [00:06:41] So that’s part of it. I mean, just how exciting and fun that was to discover that. But then there’s this other part I keep talking to my close friends about that is so wild. Because I’ve got to tell you, within my own understanding of myself and how I feel, both physically and internally and on and on and on, the idea that I could be someone’s grandmother is just bananas. It really feels like the strangest thing. I for a long time when I would think about this coming baby and what it was going to be like and on and on. I kept thinking about how great it was going to be to be like an aunt instead of a grandmother. It made me really have to reckon with some things when it comes to the way I was seen time and seen myself within the context of time. The other thing that began to hit me so clearly when we knew that this grand baby was on the way, was that my children…I already knew this. I mean, I had launched kids. I have kids who are married, all that kind of stuff, but was really getting my head around that my kids were in the ages and stages of life that I still sort of feel like I’m in. Which I know it sounds a little bit crazy, but at the same time, I still have kids living at home. I’m still doing the school carpool run. I am still running over math facts. I am still signing permission slips and reminding people to make sure they’re taking good care of their braces and all that kind of stuff. I’m still in the thick of it when it comes to parenting. And so it was just wild to realize that now someone who had been my child was going to be joining me in an experience that I’m still having this active mothering time of life.
Julie [00:08:46] Another part of it that was really interesting when it comes to this idea of time and my place that I fit in it and where you fit in it and all the things is that my husband and I married pretty young. And we had our first baby at 23. And so obviously with that kind of math, you would think that I actually potentially could have been a grandmother quite a while ago. Yet there was still something about us having always been the youngest parents in the group for a long time, for our oldest kids to then find ourselves becoming grandparents. I don’t know. I can’t really explain that. But it has been a really fascinating ride to watch myself. All the sudden it’s like I can feel the revolutions of the earth around the sun. It’s almost like time has become this tangible thing I can get my hands on, even though I know that’s not true. Part of the tangibility is I’m one of those moms who kept a lot of the baby equipment, kept a bunch of the baby clothes, separated out baby clothes into eight separate bins for each of my kids, the baby clothes they had worn, the blankets that had been made for them, little gifts they had been given along the way. And so I handed all those off. And now I have this grandchild. It’s a girl. By the way, I don’t think I mentioned that baby girl. Now I have this grandbaby who is wearing some of the items that her mama, my baby wore when she was a baby. And so there is this tangibility to time in that way that is really unique. And these clothes are still cute, I got to tell you. So that’s a really interesting experience as well, to have this tangibility of the passage of time literally in my hands to look at this granddaughter. And she looks a lot like her mama did as a baby. And to look at her and be transported back to that time in season of my life when her momma, my daughter McKenna, was born. That’s another place in this that’s really fascinating is memories and things that I have not thought of in quite a while are all of a sudden bubbling up. Because now I’m in this experience of holding this little baby and seeing this little baby and watching her explore her world and all of the things and do it with little gestures and expressions that look so much like her mom, my daughter. It is really wild to find, emerging from the depths of mom brain, different memories and things I haven’t encountered for a while.
Julie [00:11:27] In all of it, having this moment to sit for a moment in it and reflect. Here’s what keeps hitting me. You may have children who are still very young, very little, and you feel pretty buried and all of the things and the day to day that it takes to just get to bedtime with them. You may be in a season where you have kids who are getting a little bit more independent and yeah, you’re still running them to karate practice and all the things, but they are starting to get a little more independent. You know, they’re hitting junior high. Maybe you’ve got kids that are in high school and you’re starting to really think hard now about the launch. Wherever you are in your stage of mothering, here’s something that I don’t know that I would have been great at receiving back when my granddaughter’s mother was little. Back when my daughter was young. But I can see and understand a little bit better now. I’m starting to get a little bit of the flicker of understanding now. I know that we say this all the time. You know, the days are long, but, you know, the years are fast, but it goes so fast. I do think there’s truth in that. But what I’m mindful of now when I’m watching my daughter mother her daughter, are how many things I was sort of unconsciously doing that become part of the mortar of building my kids as future parents. Does that make sense? Some of the little day to day things. Some of the things I didn’t do. Some of the things that I did do. Some of the little songs, some of the little practices, some of the routines that I’m seeing my daughter now use for her daughter. The ways that my daughter is vastly improving on a lot of the parenting practices or the things that I didn’t do, the things that she’s adding into the mix and how great those things are. Wow, I wish I had thought of that that are being infused into my granddaughters experience. It’s really remarkable.
Julie [00:13:33] I know when I look back. When my oldest kids were little. How tough some of the days were. How tight our finances were. The long, long hours my husband and I were putting in to make ends meet and try to build careers and all that kind of stuff. It was hard to be mindful a lot of times because we were just so busy trying to get it all done in a day. But if you’ll allow me, respectfully, without any kind of judgment, just a “Hey, here’s what I’m learning now.” Those little small things you’re doing are really important and they matter. When you push past some fatigue and you read an extra book at night to the kids, it’s going to show up again in the future. It’s crazy, but it does. The little songs that you sing over them, changing diapers and the all those moments, bath time, those kinds of things. Some of the little habits you have now, they’re going to reappear in your grandchild’s life and some of the places where you may already wish that you did it differently or you would take it out of the equation of how you were doing things. There’s like this beautiful opportunity on the other side to see one of your kids make some of those adjustments. And when I think we can leave room for those adjustments to be made where we don’t feel offended, like, “Oh, my kid’s doing it different than I did. Ergo, that means they thought that I didn’t do fill in the blank correctly…” When we can say I want every generation to improve again on what I did, I used the tools I had. I use the resources and the understanding I had at the time, and I hope every generation gets an even better and more right and more on target and more tuned in to their baby and that baby’s needs. It’s this incredible love letter that can be sent from the experiences you’re having right now, just trying to wrestle those toddlers into their car seats every day. It’s a love letter that you can send into the future. For the kids that they’re going to have and the kids that those kids are going to have. It’s amazing.
Julie [00:15:57] It feels like right now, in this strange way, I’m both incredibly subject to time and the march of time, and I’m also getting to bend it. Does that makes sense? Because I’m getting to have almost like these wormhole moments. Okay, This is for my Star Trek fans out there. For anybody who got raised by a rocket scientist like I did. But this whole idea that there might be possibility in the universe where we could travel into the future. Right? Or travel into the past through these wormholes, these things that cut through the time space continuum and allow us these portals into different worlds and different times. Weirdly, I know this sounds bananas, but it almost feels like I’m getting to do that in this moment with this grandchild because I’m able to see back in a way much more clearly. What it felt like and what it was like when her mama was my little baby. And at the same time, to be able to see forward into this child and to see the things that stick and to see the things that are being improved upon in this beautiful way and to see the things that I hope will continue forward. I’ts really amazing in this moment to sit in this little time machine that I guess is called grand parenthood as I still try to get my head around that.
Julie [00:17:22] It makes me think of this verse from Ecclesiastes 3:11, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart. Yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” That’s kind of how it feels in this moment that it is so beautiful. It was beautiful to raise her mom. It’s beautiful to be able to see her momma now raising her and to have this little moment to take a beat, take a pause to become someone I’ve never been before. I’ve never been a grandmother before. And to think about what do I want that to look like? Who do I want to be? You know, we don’t often get a lot of opportunity in our lives to change or adapt or think about who we want to be. We moved from childhood and we say, “Well, I want to be a veterinarian when I grow up.” And then we become a grown up, and maybe we’re a veterinarian, maybe we’re not. But particularly once we become spouses and we become parents, that is an identity that we hold for a very long time usually. That is a role we fulfill for a long time. And so it’s a unique moment for me to take a pause and go, “Huh, what kind of grandmother do I want to be? What is my grandmother era going to look like?” This is pretty unique.
Julie [00:18:38] I’ll tell you something else that’s been coming across my radar that I would not have expected until this experience. I’m finding…I’m kind of joking. I’m kind of not. So just roll with me that I’m finding it kind of offensive, this idea of, well, that’s a grandma purse or, you know, that’s kind of like how a grandma drives. And I’m like, Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey. That is ageism. So it is this funny thing of all of a sudden being aware, and yet it’s poignant to to think about the ways that we build into our verbiage, this discrediting of those who have walked out some life and raised some kids and are now in their next iteration of who they’re becoming. That we blow it off as a grandma way of doing things or wearing things or shopping for things or looking at things. And all of a sudden I’m having to do a lot of repenting myself of those who I have not listened to or put to the side or felt like they were speaking from a place of kind of being old fashioned or antique in their perspective. And I’m having to rethink, Oh, wow, okay, what have I not paid attention to? What have I not thought about in the past? Because I was using the idea of once you became somebody’s grandmother, your ideas and perspective might not have quite as much punch. So I’m thinking about that a lot.
Julie [00:20:09] Now, I know I may have a listener out there who thinks, you know what, I was listening to this podcast because I was looking for information and inspiration about the season of life I’m in, and the season of life that I am in is about raising little kids. Can I just ask you respectfully, hey, hang in there with me because I’ve got some wisdom on me now. I’ve got some mileage on me and I’m still actively mothering the kids who are still living at my house and I am still learning stuff and I still have things I want to share and I still have things that I hope that you can find inspiration for in what I’m walking out. I think it’s awesome when we have small groups and we have community situations where we are with people who are at our exact ages and stages of life. It’s a powerful thing, but when you think about the way that the early church operated and when you think about the place where you might just experience the most growth, doesn’t it come from having people around you who aren’t exactly at the same age and stage and time, if you will, in their lives? I find that to be true in my life. There was always a great linking of arms with other moms who were walking out some of the exact same things I was like when my toddlers weren’t sleeping and there’d be another exhausted mom who’s going through the same thing. But there was also incredible power in having someone speak into my life who was past that stage and could look back and say, “Here are the things that I wish I’d done differently. Here were the things that did work for me.” Look for anyone who’s in a different time in their lives than we are…It’s not that they’re going to have all the answers, but they are a living testimony to the fact that they survived. And that means a lot.
Julie [00:22:07] So as I’m looking at time in a fresh way, as I’m still seeking all kinds of ideas about how to spend my time, how to be efficient with my time as I’m looking for tips and tricks to save time. I’m also looking at time in a different perspective because it is so true. It does go so fast, even though the days are so long. And I want to encourage you. I want you to learn from what I didn’t do. I thought a lot about the mom I wanted to be. I don’t think I thought a lot about the grandmother I wanted to be. And so I’m taking this pause. I’m taking this moment in time to really think about who I want to be as Hikari’s grandmother. That’s her name, Hikari, who I want to be with, any other grandchildren God may bring into our lives. And now you know what I’m thinking about? What kind of great grandma I want to be.
Julie [00:23:06] So I hope you’ll join me for this news series on time. And I hope that Rebecca is happy that we’ve now talked about the fact that I’m a grandmother. I have to be honest, I did it with some trepidation. What I’m known for is for my books and podcasts and blog posts and interviews and all the things I’ve done on motherhood. And now I have, I hope, what feels additive to that, the experience of becoming a grandmother. I hope it in no way subtracts from what people think I might have to offer when it comes to the parenting line. And I’m just so glad you’re here. I hope that we can talk about some things when it comes to time that make you think about who you are today and who you want to be tomorrow and the kind of legacy that you want to build for you, your family and your kids.
Julie [00:23:55] Be sure and swing by and say hi to me on the socials. I’m Julie Lyles Carr on all the places I would love, love, love it if you would give us a five star rating and review wherever you get your podcast and share this podcast so that others in your world can also share in the goodness that we hope you find here. Be sure and check out AllMomDoes.com and AllMomDoes on any of the social networks. We love getting to interact with you there. And of course, as always, if you have questions or ideas or feedback on the episode you’ve been listening to, we love to hear that. So I’ll see you next time on the AllMomDoes podcast.