Motherhood is a strange and amazing thing. I’m sure no one will deny that. It’s scary, awe inspiring, frustrating, rewarding, elating, on and on and on. From one extreme to the next and it has phases. There’s the newborn phase, toddler phase, mom of more than one young child phase, but now I feel I’ve entered into yet another new phase of motherhood. A more self sufficient phase, if you will.
Gav is in first grade and Ro now goes to preschool 3 days a week for about 4 hours. That’s 12 hours a week I now have no one to take care of but myself. It’s a very strange feeling. For over 6 years, I’ve been feeding and burping and wiping and cuddling a little one at, pretty much, all times. If I wasn’t, I was working at the dance studio. For over 6 years, someone else needed me to be there at a moment’s notice, needed me there to take care of their very basic needs. Now I’m not the only one in charge of my kids. They have teachers now that are in charge of them for a period of the day and I’m left by myself.
I honestly thought I was going to have a hard time with this. I thought the second my kids became independent, I was going to start to have feelings of needing another child. Feelings I swore up and down I would never have again. I had this lingering fear I was going to have to eat crow on my adamant statement that “We are 2 and through!”. Over and over people told me, “Oh you’ll change your mind.” “Never say never.” And my response has always been the same. That God may have other plans for us, which I will joyfully accept of course, but as far as I’m concerned and as far as I can control, we’re done.
Fast foward to the day before Ro went to school. I’d done this before with Gav. I wasn’t even pregnant when he started 2 year old class but I knew we would be trying again eventually. This time, in my mind, it was the last one. I started thinking that I may start to go back on my “2 and through” stance. *cue internal freak out* The next morning we packed up the book bags, got Gav on the bus, and headed to preschool. I walked Ro and his school supplies in for the first day and then left. I left feeling different. That’s the only way I know how to describe it, different. As I drove away, I felt a little pang of sadness. But not because I dropped my baby at school, but because I knew that phase over motherhood was now over. I felt it. But only for a moment.
It was a sadness of letting go and knowing that I was ready to do it. It’s only 4 hours, but it’s my 4 hours and it will only increase as they get older. And I’m shockingly ready to embrace it. I’m ready to leave behind the early mornings and late nights of feedings. I’m ready to leave behind the child proof locks and hip holding. I’m ready to move forward into sitting down and eating popcorn while we watch movies together. I’m ready to move forward into shopping carts with plenty of space and two kids walking along side me (not quite there and the walking nicely beside me part, but it’ll come soon enough). I’m ready to embrace this new phase of semi independent motherhood.
What phase of motherhood are you in?