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This Next Stage of Motherhood

As my husband and I waved goodbye to our kids while we sat on the lounge chairs drinking sangria, we smiled and looked at each other and said “I thought this day would never come.”  You see, we have 3 kids and for the past 13+ years, we have been attentive to every need and tried our best to make sure no one was seriously injured.  But this vacation was different.  Our 3 kids can now swim like fishes.  The older 2 are responsible and are stepping out on their own.  So we told our 3 children that they could go off at the resort waterpark by themselves, as long as they stuck together.  And guess what???  They did amazing!  They checked back in with us often and did not fight one bit.  We had to snap a selfie to document this moment in our family history:

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But it got me thinking….  as a mom, I am in a completely different stage of life than I have been before.  We no longer have playdates or meet our friends at the inflatable jumpy places.  We don’t have to plan our outings around nap time.  We can run out the door to virtually anywhere and not have to pack the diaper bag or extra outfits.  This new lifestyle is so less stressful!

But let’s flip that.  We no longer get invited to playdates or the jumpy places.  I no longer walk my kids into school.  It’s a simple drop off in the morning and pick up in the afternoon.  No getting out of the car to talk to other moms.  And I’ll admit….  I think that I have lost some friends because of this new stage of life that our family is in.  I have to make a conscious effort to hang out with friends again.  And it’s hard!  Schedules are hard!  Pretty much all of my friends have kids around the same age as mine and getting everyone together (or even just the moms!) is hard!  School schedules, work schedules, activity schedules go on for days…..

So all of the moms that I used to see every day and all of the birthday parties the kids would be invited to are now gone.  I can count on one hand my good circle of friends that are in the same stage of life.  AND THAT’S OK!  Because even though we are all busy mamas just trying to raise our kids, I know that each of these ladies would help me with anything I needed in a heartbeat.  So it’s ok.  Going from staying busy with playdates to being purposeful with my friendships is far better.

This stage might not last too long.  Our oldest will be 14 in September and we will officially have 2 children in middle school here in 3 short weeks.  I’m not sure what the next stage of motherhood is but until then, I will enjoy where I’m at.

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