Time is a game played beautifully by children. -Heraclitus of Ephesus
The pace and progression of motherhood always surprises me despite warnings from others or my own knowledge in my seven year journey to date. One minute I am covered in spit-up, overwhelmed by weaning, perplexed by cold coffee, sad about sleeplessness, craving company despite being surrounded by small humans, excited about tiny voices, grateful for milestones, and bewildered by the mini miracles I made. The next minute they are fostering independence, walking into buildings by themselves, engaged in relationships and experiences I am merely an observer of, and while still small, fiercely determined to be big in their own ways and steps. They are apart from me yet still reliant upon me for the fundamentals of life. i.e. snacks, transportation, and immeasurable amounts of love.
It’s my last Monday with my littlest love. On Mondays she doesn’t go to school, but this is the last week of her preschool, which means it’s my last mommy Monday. Soon she’ll go to camp, then we’ll have ourselves a lazy and lovely summer, but then it will be fall and she’ll join her sister at the local elementary school. For the first time in seven years I’ll be childless five days a week for a large chunk of time. I’m just beginning to handle the endless emotions attached to such a scene.
My husband and I did it our way. I stepped back, he stepped forward, and we made the decision for me to stay at home with my girls for the first seven years of my motherhood journey. There were some professional projects sprinkled in, but it was all secondary to the children, never leading or lending itself to a situation that took me out of the primary childcare scenario.
Everyone does it differently, which is why I love the world we live in; the choices we get to make, the things we do opposite of one another and yet we’re all rooted by some commonalities of compassion and/or love.
I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to adequately describe these past seven years other than to label them as lucky. To say I’ve loved every second would be a lie, but I’ve lived with an acute awareness that childhood is equivalent to supersonic speed. I blinked and I’m here.
The freedom to choose this lifestyle with the support of my better half has been a blessing, but at its start there was panic and uncertainty. These same feelings hold true now, but I’m also excited by the opportunity to show my dreams to the same ones who redefined or elevated them. We’re all in for a significant shift in terms of familial structure and time.
There’s a lot of change happening within our home. But on this last Monday, which some would say isn’t so monumental, I choose to honor the gift of seven years at home with my babies. For I’ve learned it’s the most mundane things or basic experiences that have made me the mother I am. Oh the ordinary moments I’ve witnessed, the noise we made, the naps we took, the walks we had, the parks and playgrounds we visited, and the chaos that is my car, which is littered in granola bar wrappers and hand sanitizer wipes. I have cherished every moment.
I am so excited for them to see that life is a series of phases in periods of time where we must embrace challenges with enthusiasm and create opportunities with imagination. We have markers to hit, together and apart, but these seven years will forever be mine.
I am weepy, but I’m not worried. The best is yet to come. For them, for me, for us, and for the adventures that await, I am filled with anticipatory glee. But on this last Monday, I’m also changed. I’m looking at the week ahead, the months to follow, and the years to come, and I’m reminded it’s always the ending of one era and the beginning of the next.
Girls, mama is stepping forward forever altered. Let’s go show the world how we made each other better, brighter, and bolder. Let’s keep on doing this together, for one another, and for ourselves. #teammonday