A few weeks ago, we celebrated the end of an era. At two months shy of five years old, my youngest finally let go of his overnight pull-ups.
A big deal, I know.
We ceremoniously gathered all the remaining pull-ups and said good-bye to them. Wrapped and waiting for the garbage-man to deliver them to their final resting place, Zachary is proud of this acheivement.
But after 22 years and seven children, this final send-off is bitter-sweet.
Where have all my babies gone?
I look around the house and gone are the remnants of babyhood. The cribs and toddler beds have been replaced with bunk beds. Brightly-colored baby toys and coloring books have been replaced with Xbox controllers and game discs. Diapers have been replaced with boxer shorts, and long cuddles with mommy have been replaced by overnights at friends’ houses.
My purse is no longer the black hole of pacifiers, wipes, and toy keys. Instead, I have hand-held games and slips of paper scribbled with other childrens’ phone numbers. While I have gone through the teenage years (my daughter is 22 and my oldest son is 19), I have always had a baby or two that needed to be cared for.
I’ve finally reached the end of having one more “little” to constantly tend to.
All those years that I longed for a full nights’ sleep, a few minutes to myself or an uninterrupted meal, I never thought I would miss the baby-years that consumed all of me.
These days, those much coveted minutes have turned into unknown hours as the boys head off to school in another week. Zachary misses the cut-off for kindergarten by a month, so he’ll only be gone half days to preschool. Still, it’s the last year I’ll have any of my children home during the school day.
For a woman who has spent more than a decade as a stay at home mom, the upcoming years are a scary mixture of unknown re-invention. While I’ll always be a mom, for the first time in years I can start thinking about who else I am.
Occupation: stay at home mom won’t be at the top of my life resume. I will be able to add “In addition to being a mother of 5, I am also a….
… Artist, writer, entreprenuer?”
Maybe “YES!” to all three. For now, I think I’ll focus on the littlest little as he bounces through preschool, preparing to be the last “big-boy” of the house.
Eventually “Occupation: Grandma” will take top honors on my life resume.
Has your life as a mother entered a new era? How do you handle the life transitions as your children grow up? Are you looking forward to adding “Grandma” to your life resume?
This is an original post written for World Moms Blog by Amy Hillis from Ohio, USA. When she’s not keeping up with her boys, she can be found on Facebook and on Twitter @transplantedx3
Photo credit to http://www.flickr.com/photos/25220549@N05/4311803980/. This photo has a creative commons attribution license.
Oh the end of an era! Tis bittersweet, isn’t it?
My boys are only 2 1/2 years and 3 1/3 months old so I’m a long, long way from getting my minutes and hours back to myself. But I know time will just whiz by so I’m soaking it all in.
I’m really looking forward to being a Grandma one day! Both my kids are teens already. I’m actually quite looking forward to the day that my salary is no longer required and I can truly be free to do whatever strikes my fancy!
This made me cry! What a beautiful cycle. I’m looking forward to being a grandma, too, one day. 🙂 All are great resume toppers throughout your life!
Thank you for a glimpse into the future with our two kids and a terrific reminder to be present! I love the cuddles but I also love watching them grow. I love looking back at baby pictures, I love the now, and I love dreaming about the people they will become – a mixed bag of longing and excitement. Yes, the next greatest joy would be grandchildren but I had our two already into my 40’s. You never know. No doubt you will reinvent yourself into something great, yet will always remain the wonderful mother that you are.
I’m going through the “letting go” stage for the 2nd time in my life. My little grandson starts kindergarten tomorrow and he has lived with me most of his life. So I’ve gone through the heartache of seeing my two adult children go to kindergarten and tomorrow morning my heart will ache when I see my precious little guy put on his new backpack and head off to kindergarten. I’ve gone through the stage of being a stay at home mom, then I went back to work as a teacher and next I quit teaching to raise my grandson. I don’t want to return to teaching, but I’ve been honing my photography skills over the last 5 years and have been photographing about 5 weddings a year. I think it’s time to kick it up a notch. But I would love to be a grandmother to another grandchild and not a mama to another grandchild. It really is much harder 30 some years later.
My boy’s only 2.5 yo and on some days, I wish he could just grow up faster. But I’m realising that I’ll soon miss this phase so I better enjoy all the cuddling, raining kisses and silly games! I do hope that someday I’ll get to see my grandchildren 🙂 So it’s important for me to stay healthy!
I am struggling with these same feelings. my children are 7 and 4 and I am realizing for the first time in 7 years, I don’t have a diaper to change as my daughter is sleeping through the night in her underwear. I have had a “baby” for what seemed like so long and yet it went by so fast. I was just thinking about how I can “reinvent myself” the other day. I am now a mom with 2 young children…not babies anymore…and I am proud of that.;) Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!
I was teary eyed after reading this. I love the photo too. I still have my 2 year old at home with me, but my 6 year old started full time Kindergarten last year, and I did miss him. This summer has been a nice break to catch up on all those cuddles and playtime, but the start of 1st grade is bittesweet. I love being at home with my little guys!