Not The Mom I Used To Be

When my kids were babies and toddlers, I did stuff.

We regularly hit storytime at the library, had lots of playdates with friends, went to the park all the time. Nature walks, zoo trips…we filled our days with all kinds of (exhausting) fun.

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We made homemade playdough for crying out loud. And fingerpainted. ON EASELS.

And created our own mini pizza masterpieces for lunch.

(I realize this post is starting out making me sound incredibly annoying. Like I was Supermom or something, which could not have been farther from the truth. Yes we did stuff, but my teeth most likely were not brushed, I can state for a fact I did not have a shower, was probably wearing last night’s pajamas, and I’m guessing said pajamas had some sort of baby spit-up on the shoulder. Meltdowns and temper tantrums ensued, I counted down the minutes to naptime before I pulled my (in desperate need of a dye-job) hair out. Just trying to make a point here, so please disregard the fact that you wanna punch me in the face. We had plenty of days we didn’t leave the house too, where none of us got dressed, or bathed, and ate whatever took me the least amount of work to prepare, I can assure you. And that may or may not have meant old goldfish crackers from the floor, just sayin’)

I like to think I was a fun mom back then.

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Fast forward a few years.

My kids are now 5, 6, and 7.

And I feel like I do so much less.

They’re learning how to make their own fun now.

They go off and play together – without me.

They have friends over or walk to neighbors’ houses to hang out with their buddies.

This creating their own fun thing? Sometimes makes me feel…almost guilty.

About the fact that I’m not the mom that I used to be.

I don’t take them to the library/park/playdate all the time.

I’m not sitting around the table making playdough masterpieces with them.

Then it just hit me…that’s because they’re not the kids they used to be either.

They don’t need me to schedule fun activities to pass the day.

They don’t need me to pour their milk and get them a snack.

They’re playing with friends out in the court, making their own fun and creating universes and doing their own things.

It’s funny how I craved to have even 10 minutes of downtime when they were little (spending every day with a 1, 2, and 3 year old will do that to you) and now I’m getting more and more of it, and it feels like something’s…well, wrong. That it’s unnatural not to be in the midst of them.

Isn’t it just like a mom to feel guilt about something as natural as growing up?

Something that is supposed to happen?

Crazy.

But I’ve come to realize – this isn’t laziness or slacking on my part.

They’re gaining independence.

And that’s a good thing.

A really GREAT thing.

It’s life. It’s a new chapter we’re entering together. It’s watching them gain their wings. And needing me a little less. Little by little, day by day, they’re turning into these…independent people. And it’s a new, weird territory for me, but one I’m starting to really appreciate and embrace, guilt-free.

I look out my window and watch them playing with their friends, running around, giggling uncontrollably. I watch them throw on their helmets and cruise around. I see these kids who are growing up so fast right before my eyes. Really awesome kids. One who is kinder than anyone I’ve ever met, one who has more passion and drive at 6 than I have at 34, and one who can make me laugh even on my crappiest days with just a look.

I pour myself a glass of wine and think to myself…

This new phase?

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It’s looking kinda awesome.

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. I was thinking this exact same thing the other day, especially with summer and the large amount of time I have both the kids with me. When they were small it was museum one day, gymbo class the next, park playdate with 7 friends, etc, etc. Now, it’s just so different. Two hours upstairs and they play together or with a friend. It’s independence for us all!

  2. Well said!! So many different chapters! Mine are 16, 17 and 21. It goes by super fast! Have loved all the chapters so far. Some days are tougher than others, like when they question you and know that you didn’t hang the moon! That is tough, but they always come back. ALWAYS do stuff WITH them and not FOR them!

  3. What a great post! Sometimes it’s hard to change and adapt as kids get older, but you put it beautifully. I tried to cherish each stage and phase, because they pass so quickly. Now my girls have both graduated from college. My oldest is on a trip to China (which scares the cap out of my husband, but I know she’s in God’s care), and my youngest is getting her career path. Sometimes I do miss snuggle time on the couch, though.

  4. kathy fuesy says:

    I remember those crazy days……….mine are now 15, 14 and 12. The only thing they need me for now is to drive them to soccer practice, drive them to the mall, pick them up from a party, etc. I’m afraid these days will go too fast also!

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