Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Brother's first day of preschool was last Friday. He walked into the classroom like a champ and barely said bye to me. The playdough station was way more important than a kiss from mommy.
I'm having a mild identity crisis lately. I'm not sure if all mothers go through this every few years as their children grow. But somehow, I am having trouble with the fact that I am no longer the mom of a baby. Or even a toddler. I have an almost 6-year-old and an almost 4-year-old.
For several years, I beamed with pride at the fact that I had the littlest ones. I loooooved having a chubby baby on my hip. I loved not having a schedule because my babies weren't in school yet. I adored having a tiny one who was still just learning their words. Highchairs next to the dinner table. It was me. I was a young mom with sweet babies to care for. Playdates, nursing, diapers, cribs, car seats, naptimes. I really did enjoy it all.
But in the past few weeks, its slowing sinking in that I'm in a new season. One without babies. I no longer have diapers or cribs in my house. I no longer have a tiny person reaching their little arms up for me saying "Uppie Mommy". My week is now dictated by school pickups and drop-offs. And my almost 4-year-old is becoming a bit too heavy to tote on my hip (although I still do it as much as possible!) Perhaps it's that I seem to be surrounded by newborns and babies lately? Maybe it's my youngest starting preschool? Maybe it's the reluctant acceptance that our family may just be complete?
Let me be clear, there are a million reasons why this season is an absolute blessing. Quite honestly, it feels like a breeze compared to some of those sleepless nights and 2-year-old tantrums. And there are things that I get to experience now that I didn't before... like watching their personalities blossom in huge ways. And identifying some of the God given strengths and passions being cultivated inside of them. I get to go on fun Mother/Daughter trips because we genuinely enjoy the same things. And I get to watch my Husband and my Son play basketball together. And they can ride bikes with no training wheels. And read words. And write! It's all so fascinating to me.
But Kindergarten Mom? How did that happen? I guess I'm easing into it a bit slower than I expected in terms of my identity. It all sounds so silly since I knew full well that the newborns I cradled in my arms would someday grow up. But perhaps I have clung too tightly to the label of "new mom". I've claimed too much stock in my ability to take care of babies, and now tread a bit lighter and with less confidence into the "school mom" years. I'm now moving into the more emotional side of parenting and a little less of the physical side. And it's wonderful and scary and fun. And I'm endlessly grateful. But it's taking just a bit of getting used to.
There are a lot of other, way more complex reasons, why this transition is a bit bittersweet for me. But I'm not ready to write about them in this space right now. I think God is still untangling some things for me. So in the meantime, I am working to redefine my identity a bit. Not that it's really changed much.
But I'm embracing my role as mom without the littlest of babies. I am now the mom of slightly older babies. There, that sounds good. :)