Thursday, January 26, 2012

Making room for you

I've been a stay at home mom for a lot of years, almost 15 to be exact if you count the time I was on bed rest before my son was born. I've lost track of the number of diapers I changed, loads of laundry completed, lunches packed and how many hours of carpool I've logged. Now that my son and my daughter are in the 8th grade I can see that they don't need me in quite the same way. The baby cry signaling hunger has changed to the teenage cry of, "Mom I don't have any clean underwear," or "Mom I need five bucks for lunch."'s been hard to realize it but it's true, my babies are growing up. Next year they will be in high school and I'll wave to them from the line of cars on the first day and wonder if I'll be able to compete with new friends and activities. The truth is, I know they will always be my sweet babies, even though they both tower over me in height. I'll still think of them as infants, or toddlers, or little kids. Isn't that impossible not to do? Even though my son reminds me almost every day that he's (imagine tired, annoyed voice that only a teenager can deliver) "Got it covered."

So I step back, give them enough room to let their wings open and watch in wonder as they dive into whatever new situation it is that's been presented and I laugh and clap when they experience victory and I cry and scowl when they don't. That's the nature of being a Mom, our children are our heartbeats.

But, not to the exclusion of entertaining what our own dreams and desires are. As we begin to let go, and even when we have diaper cloaked toddlers and infants, it is possible to engage our own dreams and visions. It is possible to carve out time for ourselves and enjoy a little bit of adult time, girl time, friend time or whatever you want to call it. In fact it's imperative for our own balance and well being as a Mom. When we are empty from giving and giving it's easy to feel like we can't do one more thing. But the truth is, it's in that moment that it's often best to entertain our own hearts desire, to read, to watch tv, to have time with a friend. It's these simple interactions that help us as Mom's recharge so that we can get back to doing for our kids.

I hear from my friends all the time that there is a definite struggle to find fulfillment outside of our Mom role. It's a question we all ask ourselves, "How do I know what to do?" or "What is fulfilling to me, since I've spent so much time in this role I have no idea who I am or what I want to do?" As I watch Zach and Kayla spread their wings and embrace their independence I wonder too.
We may not know right away, but as I say to my kids and they often repeat back to me, "What's holding you back? You've got nothing to lose."

Why not make room for yourself this year? Why not take that art class, tennis class, read a good book, start a Bible Study, or a playgroup? Why not start singing, dancing, acting, writing...?"
Why not? You've got nothing to lose.