This year marks a new season for our family. Our youngest is joining her older siblings in full time school and my emotions are all over the place. All last year I was brimming with excitement at the thought of having all my kids in school, some time to breathe and to rest from the ten years of being a stay at home mom with littles running around. But now that the time is here and my baby girl is headed to kindergarten, I’m feeling a flood of sadness mixed with excitement. I find myself picking her up and holding her because I know it’s only a matter of time before she’s too big for me to hold. I find myself wondering when was the last time I picked up and carried my ten year old son? When was the last time I pulled my middle child fully onto my lap to snuggle? When was the last time I nursed each of them and did I realize that time would be the last?
Parenting – it’s so bittersweet. Watching them grow is the most amazing thing. Their budding personalities and conversations are priceless. And while I do miss those little years, I’m loving these in-between years (sleep and time to yourself do eventually come, young moms!) Now that they are off and I have less time with them, I have to remind myself that there is a season for everything. And just like I’ve been telling my anxious son about going back to school, there’s purpose and beauty in each season. We just have to look for it.
This new season
So what’s the purpose and beauty in this new season? I’m not exactly sure yet, but I’m walking in expectant and cautious to fill my time with just anything. I’ve heard from older and wiser moms to not jump into too much this first year, that the time will go by faster than I think. And although I did accept a part-time job, I’m making sure that my remaining hours are filled with rest and time to think about what this season will become. And on a practical note, I do have plans to do some serious closet cleanouts.
One thing’s for sure, I’m going to relish this new time the best I can. The years keep going faster and the summers keep getting shorter. My kids won’t be young for long. I want to be sure I have enough mental and emotional energy to give to them at the end of their school days but I also want to continue to grow as a person, finding my identity in more than just being a mom. So before I pack my calendar, I’m going to leave space. Space to breathe and space to reflect. And I’m hoping in this space I will find out what this new season will be.