No expiration date– Stay-at-Home-Moms and the empty nest

baby face with hands

I had a really creepy-weird experience the other day. I realized that twenty eight years of my life just raced by. Yeah, that quick.

I swear I was just standing in the living room wondering how this beach ball of a baby was going to actually find a way out of me and into the world.  Seriously,  I usually couldn’t find my way out of the neighborhood on a foggy day. So how was my first offspring expected to figure out exit directions at a moment’s notice?

Relax. It all went fine. In fact, that tiny baby is almost 28 years old now. He has two grown brothers and a grown sister.

And, me? In my weaker moments I’m still reeling from the Mr. Toad’s  Wild Ride of  diaper changing, peanut butter and jelly making, story telling, gluing, pasting, hair cutting, dish washing, tear wiping, home work checking, costume making, driving instructing, unbelievable marathons of

  • listening
  • and listening
  • and listening,

and lots and lots of clothes washing. More than once I would wonder what I was doing with my life. I mean, who gives up

  • day
  • after day
  • after day

to take total responsibility for four little incredibly self-focused and untrained human beings?

Me.

Sure, there were times when I looked at one of my wee ones in the eyes and saw my destiny. I saw meaning and depth and felt an overwhelming sense that I was right where God wanted me to be.

Then, there were the times I got dressed up, went out in public and sat down to dinner with big people who cut their own food and ate without drooling on their clothes.

Invariably the conversation would turn to “What do you do?”.   Usually, I just mumbled that I stayed at home with my kids.  I remember the polite silence that followed as if out of respect for something that had died. Like my ambition? My dreams? My ability to hold my own in the world of adults?

By the end of the evening I had mentally stabbed myself over and over again with words like

  • boring,
  • lame,
  • embarrassing,
  • archaic

and inconsequential.

Ouch! I could have saved myself the pain.

They were wrong.

Sure, there were no free evenings and weekends, no paid vacation hours to spend. Break time consisted of going pee behind a closed bathroom door. Honestly, for all my hard work, I didn’t make much money off those kids. I didn’t even have time to get a decent education during that time.

But, I don’t regret one single minute. Not one.

For twenty years I had the mind blowing responsibility of molding four young lives. Even when I wondered what I was doing, deep down in my gut, I knew that raising these kids was nothing less than destiny. 

So, now that they are all grown up, what am I going to do?

Write the great American Mommy novel?  Go to the park and wipe runny noses? Not on your life. Been there, done that.

But, I’m still a mom. I will always be a mom. For seven thousand, three hundred days I have perfected the art of nurturing human beings.

Frankly, I think that’s what this world needs. So, I think I ‘ll make my way just fine.

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