I haven’t been very secretive about the fact that we are done having babies, but I think for me it is just now sinking in. Elle was born when Ezie was 3 years and one month old and they are the furthest apart in age out of all four of our kids. That makes this a record! I would normally have another baby in my arms by now. For 12 years I was pregnant, breastfeeding, or changing diapers. Over a decade of raising babies.
Now I am raising CHILDREN and I have to admit I feel a little like a fish out of water.
I recently sold all of my cloth diapers and ergo carrier online and it was another level of closure for me.
We still own an umbrella stroller and a five point harness car seat, but other than that we have no baby items left at all! When I see young moms juggling a toddler and an infant it’s like an out of body experience because I feel like I am looking at myself except that’s not me anymore and if that’s not me who am I?
It’s a transition stage and I am adjusting. Part of me is ready to trade in my stay at home mom title but I can’t. I still have 3 1/2 years before Elle is in 1st grade which is when full-day school starts in our district. That feels like a lifetime away but then I feel guilty for even thinking about the future because I don’t want to neglect Elle and the time that I have with her at home.
Then there is the whole thing about getting older in general. I am now closer to 40 than I am to 30. My mom just turned 60 and I bragged on Instagram how she has aged so gracefully and has never been embarrassed or shy about her age. She has been through too much to take the years for granted. I want to follow that model, but this new stage of life is unknown and a little intimidating. I will be what our society calls “middle age” at the same time half of my kids are in middle school. Talk about a train wreck of awkwardness. Our whole house is going to be changing and adjusting and trying to figure out how to do life in our new bodies. I’m already dealing with the early stages for myself and so are my tweens! Just when I thought I had this mom thing somewhat down they flipped the script. I went from pacifiers and ABCs to deodorant and the birds and bees.
Not to mention this little side hustle and passion of mine (Messy Mom) is all about being a mom. I will always be a mom but will I always be a mommy blogger? And I have always been cautious about what I share publicly about our family but now it’s even more delicate.
I know most mothers of littles are tired and looking forward to the land of no more diapers, no more pressure to fill out baby books, no more guilty time-out looks. I’m finally at that stage that I have admired from a distance for so long and here I am whining more than a two-year-old about how hard I have it. Allow me to backpedal here. It’s really not that bad. It’s true that the baby years are precious priceless times that I will cherish forever and ever and ever and when Google photos compiles a movie for me called “they grow up so fast” I am pretty much guaranteed to cry. I honestly don’t yearn for it though. I have zero regrets about our decision (which is pretty permanent if you know what I mean).
There is so much I enjoy about the elementary age. I love having kids that I can watch Shark Tank with and talk about margins and valuations. I love that we can go camping together without diapers or spit up.
We don’t go to the movies often but it is really cool that we can all 6 enjoy going to the theater together. For so many years if we did go to the movies one of us ended up taking a screaming baby or toddler out of the theater and missing half of it. Now if we go out to see a full length film as a family we can all have fun!
I only have one little one left that can’t get themselves up and ready in the morning. My oldest can even start the van for me (it gets cold in Ohio and I don’t have a fancy remote car starter).
When J and I had the opportunity to go to a retreat at the beginning of the year I could travel and not have a baby in my belly or at my breast. I am not saying that those things aren’t beautiful but I don’t think I need to explain why this evolution from codependence to independence is really freeing and rewarding albeit bittersweet.
So that’s where I am at. This is my heart on my sleeve and I am sure you understand because I don’t care what stage you are in we are all just figuring it out.