I'm at a crossroads in my life. I have spent the better part of 20 years being a mommy. It started with the sleepless nights (and days, my oldest literally never slept!), then the days where my entire day was scheduled around naptime. I used to have maybe 2 hours a day that I could leave my house when someone wasn't napping. Then there were the playdates, those were some of the best days of my life, meeting my friends and their kids either at each other's houses or the park or Chuck E Cheese, or Discovery Zone. I loved that time in my life. Then I had baby number 2 and it started all over again. Only adding to that was preschool and all of that fun stuff. I also added baseball, soccer, scouts, Religious Education classes that I taught, PTA positions,volunteering non stop at school, coordinating the Altar Servers at church, the list is endless! Then I home schooled for 7 years. In those years I added baby #3 and moved across the country. I then added dance classes, more baseball and eventually school again. I never had a moment to myself during that time. There were days when I would have to sit in the parking lot of the grocery store for 2 hours on the phone to get some privacy. My kids wondered how it could take 2 hours to get butter.
While I still don't have any privacy (my kids question all my comings and goings) I have so much free time lately it's culture shock! No more travel baseball (due to injury and school ball), no more dance (for now, it will be back) and my oldest 2 drive now so I don't have to take them anywhere. It was shocking enough to be able to go out without worrying about a babysitter when they got old enough to watch their sister, but this freedom is crazy. I'd be lying if I didn't say it freaked me out at first. I felt lost. I didn't know what to do with myself. I spent a lot of time puttering around the house. I was bored. I HATE that word and I never thought in a MILLION years I'd EVER be bored. See, a lot of my friends are still in the throws of mommyhood that I was in not too long ago (six months to be exact) so I have a lot of time to myself. Now would be the time to rekindle the romance in my marriage, only THIS is a big reason why I ended my marriage--the thought of having all this time with JUST my ex sent me into a dry heaving cold panic. I'd rather be alone. In fact I needed to have this time to myself. I've since joined a bunch of groups of people that are in the same stage in their life in hopes of meeting some kindred spirits. It's just taken me a bit of time to adjust to the fact that it's okay to think about myself :)
I see all these parents complaining and stressing and going through the motions of what I went through the last 20 years. They seem so harried and can't find a free minute to themselves. I wish I had know then what I know now. I would have enjoyed it more. I did enjoy it for the most part, I'm not gonna lie. It was only the times when 3 things hit on 1 day that I would stress. I enjoyed spending time with my kids when they were little and truth be told I still prefer their company to anyone elses. Dinners together have now become like gold, because with the older ones working and their social stuff it's not that easy. What I love is that my boys treasure it too. They know when it's possible to have family time we take it. Although I'm not as much a part of the details of their lives anymore I know that this is just another phase of my life and of theirs. They are in the spring and summers and I am in the autumn. I'm still reminding myself to enjoy each and every stage and finally not taking it all too seriously. After all.....this too shall pass <3