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Jul 20

Pondering

I find myself thinking, more and more, about what comes next. What comes AFTER I’m done raising kids? I’m not there yet, but I know it’s coming and it has the potential to really, really throw me. When I went from not having kids to having kids – it was an easy transition. It just was. I had been learning how to be a mother from the time I was a toddler. I was the best big sister, favorite babysitter, aunt extraordinaire. Becoming a mother felt like the culmination of everything. This was what I was meant to be, the zenith of what I had been aiming towards my entire life.

But what happens when that’s not the center of my life? I’ll always be the mother, but being a mother of adults can’t be my identity. It does raise the question of whether it was wise to make it my whole identity while they were young, but I still think that was the right decision. For me, for them, for Marc. This worked – I loved being a stay at home mom. I think Marc loves the way I mother his kids. And I think my kids are extraordinary. They’re brilliant and kind and empathetic and snarky and wise. They are crap at doing dishes, but nobody’s perfect.

What’s left, after raising kids? Who am I, outside of being Mama? Is there a career in my future? I could go back to work, but it’s hard right now to think of anything coming before Sam vomiting or Julie needing me at home. Or Jessie having a crisis. I need to be available. But do I? That’s the heart of it – at what point does my life become more or at least as equally important than their needs? I’ve spent so long putting them front and center. Julie’s only 12 and Sam is only 16, so this is mostly an intellectual discussion, but at some point, within the next ten years and probably sooner – I’m going to have to figure out what fills that space that’s left behind when they don’t need me as much anymore.

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