The thing I disliked the most about motherhood?
From the minute they were born. Waking up to their frantic, hungry cries. "Hurry! Feed me!! I'm about to die of hunger! HURRY!!!! GET UPPPPPPPPP!!!"
To the countless years of school mornings. From pre-school to graduation. Get them up, get them dressed, do their hair, get them fed, stop fooling around, hurry up!!! Eat!!! Come here, I need to wipe your face. Stop it. No, it doesn't hurt. Get your shoes on. Where's your backpack? What do you mean you forgot your lunch?!! I just packed it for you and told you it was on the counter! Now we're going to be late.
To the moment at the end of the day, when you've just put your feet up and turned on the TV and now they need a ride somewhere, or to be picked up from somewhere. And so you hop in the car, and rush out to get them, hoping to get at least an hour in front of the TV before you pass out from exhaustion.
And you know what? It never let up. Not until the day they each married. Literally right up to that day. Get up! Hurry! We've got hair, and make up, and photos!
And then they moved out.
And it was quiet.
It was weird. And I ached for the busyness of a family. I ached for it for a long time. I missed them. I missed the commotion.
But now I don't.
Now I love the slowness of my empty nest, retired full-time mom, life! Slowness is my absolute favourite thing about empty nest! The ability to set my own pace and my own schedule. And the knowledge that at the end of the day, when my husband and I lay out on the couches to watch Survivor, that no one will interrupt us. We can just lay there until we decide to haul ourselves off to bed! And when our little grand daughters come over to play, that's all we have to do. Play! I don't have to make sure they….. fill in any of the thousand and one things you young moms have to make sure your kids do in the course of each day. Or when I want to snuggle my newest grand-love, my baby boyfriend Skipper, I can pop over and sit on the couch and just snuggle. And listen to him coo, and look into his beautiful, baby eyes, while his mom takes advantage of the time to race around, tidying the kitchen, finishing up computer work, flipping loads of laundry. Because she's rushed. Of course she is. She's a full-time mom!
But I'm not. So I'm not.
Young mom's take heart. You're busy. We know that. All of us who raised you, before you were raising them, recognize that.
And know this. It's not going to let up. You know how you think; 'When they go to kindergarten, I'm going to…' Ya, that's probably not going to happen. Because there's never as much free time as you think there's going to be. There will always be something, some demand, some unexpected errand, that takes longer, and requires more attention, than you had expected. But you know what else? You'll miss it when these days are over. You'll miss being the hub. The centre of your family's life. The one who kept all the balls in the air. And know this too. When that day comes, and your house is quiet, that it's okay. It's nice. It's weird at first, but, there's a whole other stage waiting for you. A stage that's much more about you! So rush around. Keep everybody on track. It's tiring, I know. Very tiring. But enjoy these rushed years. Try to steal moments in the midst of it, and breath in the blissful chaos of family life. Because one day you'll be where I am, and then it will be your turn to rest.