As I looked over at my husband, we both said “How did we get here?” We’ve spent almost 16 years raising 3 amazing children. We have entered into the stage of independence. They’ll sleep in til noon if we let them, they don’t need constant supervision, they make decisions on their own and then ask for advice. With each kid going in a different direction most weekends, we are finding that we aren’t spending so much time together as a family. It’s more of a divide and conquer kind of mentality rather than toting all the kids along to EVERYTHING. One kid is starting a new job next week, another is knee deep in middle school angst and the youngest would play basketball or Fortnite 24 hours a day if he could.
And as I look at the younger moms with little ones, my heart remembers when mine were that young and they depended on me for everything. Part of me misses those days but I know that those days were hard and sometimes isolating to the outside world. I was once a young mom with 3 kids under the age of 5, crawling all over me thinking “I will never get another minute alone.” Now I find myself wanting to spend time with them as much as I can. I soak up the minutes I have with them in the car. I want my kids to ask me questions, come to me when they are unsure of something, tell me when they are having trouble with a friend. I want my kids to know that I am a safe space to come to when they are struggling and know that they won’t “get in trouble”.
And ya’ll, I’m scared. My anxiety rears its ugly head when my kids want to go off and do something with a friend or if we are traveling and spread out in different cities. It’s scary. I start questioning if I have told them all the things they need to know. Will they talk to a stranger? Will they venture off on their own without their friends? Will they fall into peer pressure? I find myself questioning my abilities as a mom. All I can hope is that we are raising them to be kind humans and to respect themselves and others. I’m hopeful for the future. When that anxiety comes creeping around, I have hope that their future is bright and full of splendid wonder.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.