Sunrise, Sunset: Managing Life Transitions as a Mom

Ok, so none of my kids are getting married. . . yet.

I’m hitting that transition stage of motherhood. My not so wee ones are 20, 17, 14, 12, 6 and 6 this year. The almost endless years of diapers and breastfeeding and babysitters and general “neediness” are done.

Some would say that would be cause for rejoicing.

And it is, sort of.

BUT, when the past 20+ years have been tied to meeting the many needs of several children, an abrupt end is unsettling.

I found myself completely unequipped for our oldest to graduation from high school, or to go away to college, or to join the military. . . because, all of a sudden, he is doing and facing things that I can be of absolutely no help with. (and don’t get me started on parents who call college professors to discuss grades!)

And that transition from dependence to independence? It totally happened in a flash.

And I know that my older kids need me–but it is a different kind of need. I am transforming from the life-manager role to the role of an encourager and trusted advisor.

I try to remind myself of how overwhelming those early years were–when I had four little boys tagging along with me everywhere, leaving a trail of mud and sticks and legos. And I am reminded of the fact that I am afforded the luxury of sleeping all night most nights.

People often refer to their lives flashing before their eyes. But as a mom, during these times of transition, I see my kids’ lives flashing before my eyes. Visions of big brothers greeting little siblings at the hospital, memories of times snuggled up reading together, worried visits to the E.R., first plays and concerts, last plays and concerts, and funny phrases they said growing up.

And then, inevitably, I tear up. I don’t cry out of sadness so much as I am filled with the intense emotions that surround my love for these children. And yes, even as adults, they will always be my children.

And so, as a mother, I navigate a new-to-me path. One that my mother and her mother before her had to navigate as well.

We’re not in this alone, Moms.

And, I am so thankful for my little “pair of sixes” who give me a chance to still coddle and nurture while the other ones slowly and purposefully pull away to test their wings. God certainly knew what he was doing when he sent us a matched set. (However, I do still fear that I may fail kindergarten!)

Chime in! How do you navigate these transitions in your motherhood career? Leave a comment and let me know, or join the conversation on my facebook page!