I hesitated writing about this topic for a few weeks, because this is a very difficult topic for me. But I can’t put this off anymore. The time of year really calls for it.
Back to school time.
I saw a number of social posts a couple weeks ago from people who dropped their kids off at college for the first time. When they got home, they bawled their eyes out because their babies are ‘gone.’
Then last week came a flurry of first-day-of-school posts, which more times than not included something to the effect of “[X] grade! Where has the time gone?”
I was out and about at a few school sports games and other events over the weekend, where more than once I heard laments of “They’re back in school again! Packing lunches! Homework! Soccer practice! Dance class! Karate lessons! OMG, it’s back to a crazy schedule again! When is the next holiday?”
We often get caught up in the day-to-day struggles of being a working mom with active kids, feeling like there’s so much to do, and so little time to rest.
And so we spend so much of our kids’ childhoods just waiting for the next break from it all. A time when we don’t have to be troubled by these commitments.
Eager for them to get to the next stage in life, because of how it might be easier for us.
Wishing the time away.
Then we’re genuinely surprised that they’re getting older, reaching milestones that seemed so far away when we started out as parents.
And then they’re out of the nest. And here we are, sitting on their beds, a blubbering mess who’s wishing she could just have a little bit of that time back.
Even if you’re not at that stage yet, you can probably recall a time when you came across a picture from a time when your kids were little. The next thing you knew you were caught in a time warp of motherly emotion, wishing you could snuggle them like that just once more.
I’ll be honest here: the reason I mentioned that I hesitated to write about this is because it’s a difficult topic for me. My daughter will be heading off to college in less than three years now, and already, just the thought of it makes my stomach lurch and my throat tighten. 🤢
I’ve already confessed to her that I’ll probably become a crazy cat lady within a month of her going off to college. I’m going to need something with a pulse to care for, lest my biological drive to be a caregiver falls off a cliff.
Now, I’m not implying that you shouldn’t encourage your children to grow emotionally and intellectually, or strengthen their maturity and independence. By all means, don’t hold them back in any way for fear of ‘losing your babies’. I think one of the most beneficial things my parents did for me was to foster my independence and self-sufficiency as I was growing up.
What I am saying is you should never hesitate to remind yourself of the joys you DO have in this and every phase of their lives. It’s the privilege of being a Mom. Of being able to love these little creatures with all your heart, despite the amount of work involved.
Whenever you’re tempted to wish for things to be different, try to refocus your thinking on the gift of being with them on THIS day, not on how it might be better any day in the future.
Hug your babies, and cherish the Now with all you have.
By the way, I specialize in helping single moms with demanding careers who live the overwhelm and stress that comes with the daily rush. If you’d like to learn a little more about how I can help you, click here to schedule a free, 30-minute coaching session.