For those whose children have all flown the coop…
There are things that as mothers we don’t get to do anymore but there are some really great things we can do now as nothers.
As we are about to launch our last chicken (that probably doesn’t conjure up the best visual, does it? Oh well, I’m leaving it.), I find myself struggling a bit with moments of sadness and grieving all the things I will miss. I sit in those feelings for a moment because it’s important to feel them and process them but I refuse to dwell there. I snap out of it and remind myself that this is part of life and that this is right and good – even though right and good is rarely easy. I also remind myself that time marches on after she leaves and that my life needs to march on as well.
When I begin to feel myself getting stuck in the sadness, I force myself to turn my thoughts to all the things I will GET TO do. This is not an exhaustive list by any stretch. I truly think the empty nest years will be wonderful and even though bittersweet, I am very much looking forward to them.
In a world of “have to’s”, here are a few things I GET to do as a Nother. (click to tweet)
I get to go to the bathroom in peace and I can even leave the door open if I want to. Scandalous!! I will add that the toilet paper will ALWAYS be full and placed on the dispenser correctly.
I get to read a book. The whole thing if I want to. In one sitting. I remember when my kids were younger I asked my older sister what she did with all of her extra time now that her nest was empty. She said, “I read books. Whole books!” Novel idea!!
I get to play. I can make plans with our spouse or friends or even alone without thought for scheduling or making dinner or bedtime routines. I get to plan trips and not have to factor in sitters or weekend basketball games, school events or just being home to be present. All those years we got to make playdates for our kids – now I get to play.
I get to take a nap. I spent most of my motherhood years running on fumes. I can’t count how many times I said (or cried), “I just want to take a nap.” when my kids were growing up. I do find it ironic, though, that I have all the time in the world to take a nap now and I don’t really need to. But I can if I want to so there’s that.
I get to relax. Not to be confused with napping. This is more of a posture than an activity. Of course, I’ll still think about and be concerned for my kids but they are adults now and are no longer my responsibility. A mother can’t just turn that off. I can pray for them as I always have and fully release them to God. The mental, emotional and physical space that has been so full for so long of all things motherhood can now be released with a full, breathy exhale. I can cry that it’s over or be happy that it happened. I will choose the latter, breathe in the spring season of my new life and relax and enjoy my new role as a mom of adult children.
I can cry that it’s over or be happy that it happened. (click to tweet)
I get to focus on my marriage. Yes, my marriage has always been a focus but there’s an element of heightened focus that I can now have as a wife that I couldn’t have when my time was split between wife’ing and mothering. Honestly, this is a frightening kind of wonderful but I’m looking forward to having the space to make my marriage more of a priority.
I get to be me. Somewhere along the path of motherhood, sometimes we moms lose ourselves. I continued to see glimpses of myself along the way but being me was always less of a priority than the ever-present and constant demands of the day. I’m not complaining! I was more than happy to put my own dreams on hold for a season. Now, though, in this season of notherhood, I get to think about who I am, who I want to be when I grow up and follow dreams that have been set aside. I get to be me and I’m figuring out that I quite like her.
And of course, I get to leave candy out! No more hiding chocolate or putting “this is not yours” notes on my favorite cereal. My favorite foods can stay in plain view and I can rest assured it will be there when I get back to it. No more secret hiding places. It’s mine. ALL mine!
In what may have seemed like a lifetime of “have to’s” in your role as a mother, what are things you GET TO do now that you are a nother? Share here in the comments or head over to the facebook page and join the conversation there.
Photo credit: Daria-Yakovleva, Pixabay