I've written before about my mini identity crisis in recent years. I am no longer the mom of babies. I am the mom of young kids. Ages 5 and 6 at the moment. It took a while for me to accept that transition. I was one of those women who looooved being pregnant. I cherished the season of nursing and diapering. It just always felt right to have a baby on my hip.
Why we decided to be done after two kids is a story for another time. And the journey to accepting that reality was a long, torturous one. But I find myself in such a beautiful, surrendered season right now. There are no longer diapers or cribs in our home. But instead, my home is filled with early reader chapter books, and bikes with only two wheels, and non-animated movies like The Sound of Music. My kids will eat sushi when we go out to eat. They won't run out in the middle of the road anymore. They even take showers on their own. And bless the good Lord...they are finally able to buckle and unbuckle their own seatbelts! It's wonderful. They're still so little, yet they're inching toward more independence every day.
A friend recently pointed me toward this great essay about what the author describes as, "The Happy Middle Years" of parenting. She says it's the stage of "no longer, and not yet". And I love that. We are no longer waking up at various times of the night with toddlers to potty train or babies to nurse. But we are not yet waking up at various times of the night worrying if our teenage driver has gotten home from a party. Whew.
This truly is a beautiful season. It's hard, and good, and rewarding. And although it's a rollercoaster, I do feel more confident as a mother than I ever have before. I feel more free as a mother than I ever have before.
“I’ve discovered that this act of mothering
is my worship to Him right now:
dying to self and delighting in them.
Oh yes, it is messy and sloppy sometimes.
There is failure… yet forgiveness and grace and growing.”
- Lovelyn Palm
Some of you may know that I am a contributing blogger for a ministry called Thrive Moms. For any mamas out there wanting some encouragement and inspiration, no matter what stage of parenting you're at, I would love for you to join the Thrive Moms Community this coming Saturday, Nov. 8th for a FREE virtual retreat! It's from 11am to 2pm CST and you can attend from the comfort of your own home. Go here to read all the details and check out the amazing speakers they have lined up! Did I mention it's free!?