Monday, January 4, 2010

No Longer a Young Mother of Young Children

I foolishly thought, when I stopped having children, my family was done growing.  But my family is growing: taller, heavier, louder.  It was painfully apparent during Christmas break that my kids are taking up a lot more space than their younger selves.  We long outgrew cuddling on a couch and now we can't even squish onto two couches; we can barely crowd into one room!  What would have once been a rough house game in the middle of the carpet now spreads across the entire house, even at times spilling outside.  Silly giggles are replaced by hearty laughter and playful taunts.  We are already developing long-lasting inside jokes, the sort that carry into adulthood and make family reunions complete. 

I have lost my "young mother of young children" status.  This year my oldest has left Primary and my youngest has entered.  I am actually sitting through entire Sacrament meetings again.  I'm even able to pay attention to speakers!  Each week as I observe my family spread down the aisle (each with their differing levels of attentiveness), I am forced to admit that my kids are getting older.   As I look in the mirror I am forced to admit the same about myself.  Just when did that wrinkle go from seen-when-smiling to permanently-there?

I must admit I woke up the other day in a panic.  Years of parenting have been spent.  What if I'm wrong?  What if I should have been a helicopter parent after all or I have a fatal blind spot allowing major problems to fester for years unseen?  If I've been very slightly off course for YEARS how far off will I have dragged my children?  By the time I notice could it be too late to correct?  HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO NOTICE ANYWAY?

Then I remember.  The Lord sent me my children and it is my calling to be their mother.  I have done the best I can, I continue to do so.  After all, I can only offer my best and trust the Lord will magnify it to be enough.  I will continue to pray for guidance and try to do better.  And I will continue to watch in amazement as my family grows in ways I never imagined.

And I will use that recently bought eye serum every night, too.  Just because I've lost my young mother status, doesn't mean I have to have too many wrinkles, right?


  1. Hey... we will be hottie young grandmothers... right? LOL

    I was honestly just thinking earlier today how sad it was that my kids will all be out of the house in 5.5 years. (all 2 of them LOL) But I wonder what I will do with myself. I imagine I will read more if I haven't been reduced to a blubbering pile of mush by then.

  2. I feel the same way. It actually makes me cry and panic all at the same time. My goals and dreams never really went beyond having babies....what do I do now? (have more babies?)

  3. Why didn't I get a Christmas card with that great picture? I would like a copy of the picture. I remember when I took you to college that I wanted to say WAIT there was so much I wanted to teach you and so much I wanted to tell you, now my time was over. You are doing a great job.

  4. Love those pictures! I was just thinking yesterday about what I would do once I was done having babies. I want to be done by the time I'm 30 (an easily reachable goal), but then what? It seems like this part of my life is going to drag on and on forever, so I've been trying to remind myself everyday to enjoy every minute of their toddlerhood I can. Addie might have started Sunbeams yesterday, but tomorrow she's going into YW.

  5. This same thought started to hit me about a year ago when I was in Utah and ran into the young adult sunday school teachers that I had when Bryan and I were about to get married. I realized that they were the same age I was now when they were teaching me....and I remember not thinking that they were a young couple, which meant that people who were just getting married now would not think of me as a young couple. It was a hard pill to swallow.

    Good luck with the wrinkles, I am hoping to inherit mom's "I always look 10 years younger than I am" gene.

  6. I'm in the same boat! My oldest entered young women's last June and my youngest is in his second year of primary. So bizarre. So weird to finally be done with diapers. I'm very happy about it. I feel like I'm getting to be a little more human again. No longer is every moment wrapped up in caring for a helpless creature. Very nice reprieve.

  7. Lovely sentiments. I also have been thinking this week about not being "one of the young ones" anymore. I have plucked like 4 gray hairs in the last couple of weeks...Clark reminded me that I should rather be gray, than bald. So I stopped plucking.

  8. That panicky feeling you felt? I understand. A bit too well. The sad part? I am only in the beginning. Argh.

    I am vicariously living through you. I know that I will be where you are soon. Out of med school, done with pregnancies, and starting to pay off loans.

  9. Steph- It is scary, isn't it. Maybe we can get our kids together somehow and be hottie grandmothers to the same grandchildren? Arranged marriages would be awesome.

    Aimee- Not for me, I will face the what to do next instead of having more. I'm planning on going back to school.

    Mom- You would have gotten it as a Christmas picture, if I had gotten them out. That was the original purpose of them!

    Andrea It really happens that fast. I made a goal to finish by thirty and I love it!!

  10. I know how you feel. About raising kids (and I"m only on number one). And those darn wrinkles. I'm off to find an eye cream.

  11. Davis Family- I'm hoping to inherit, too. But better safe than sorry. It is weird to realize I considered 14 years a long time to be married- now it seems like a blink of the eye!

    Alyson- Our oldest are nearly the same age. My oldest turned 12 last March. We need to get them together this summer (or sooner...)

    Emma Jo- We can grow old together, oh, wait, you're moving away so we CAN'T. Clark is a wise man, bald is worse than grey.

    Ambrosia- It is nice to know people make it to the other side (relatively) unscathed!

  12. Allison- It really is just as scary with one, too. I think the eye cream is working, but it may be placebo colored glasses.

  13. Wow your kids are good lookin!

  14. YOU ARE NOT OLD!!! If you were old, I would be old, and I AM NOT OLD.

    I've still been married under 10 years (until April) and my kids are still small enough to cuddle all at once on the couch, even if they're all out of diapers. Besides, I'm having more babies soon ( soon as I talk my SAHD husband into it) which is sure to keep me young.

    But, yeah, eye serum is on my buy-soon list. Fortunately, I know I've inherited my mom's eternal youth genes--I'm her spitting image, after all. :):)