Happy Easter!

For Pastor’s Wives, I should just say, “yay! We survived!”

But really, no matter our vocation, we all have difficult times. We have periods as moms where our lives have more things on the schedule than times to do them, or more items on the shopping list than money to pay for them.

I’m emerging from a post-lenten fog.

I’ve had a lot on my plate.

I’m beginning to think that March is not my favorite month. Last year I struggled with my oldest son being away at basic training in March, and this year I just, well, struggled. It was nothing I can put my finger on, but I can tell that I am coming out from the other side.

I’m enjoying my family again.

I’m feeling productive.

Yarn is flying off of my crochet hook and knitting needles.

Decent meals are being cooked.

The house, while not company ready, IS family ready.

I’m getting my work mojo back.

It is all good.

And I am so thankful to God for sustaining me through my rough times as well as my up times.

We all have down times.

And that is OK.

The Many Seasons of Momhood

Seasons of Motherhood

Seasons of Motherhood

Entire TV series are created to celebrate the ups and downs of early motherhood. The sleepless nights, the boogers, the puking. . . all of it is chronicled, celebrated, commiserated.

The cute pudgy-cheeked preschool years are shared with other moms during playgroups and outings and photo ops.

Elementary school moms catch up at elementary school drop off, juggling backpacks, a traveler mug of coffee and a work tote.

Middle School and High School moms meet up at sporting events and at auditoriums and theatres.

But, we mothers of college students rarely cross paths.

And we can be a lonely bunch. I’ve not had time to be lonely, with five more kids at home (though I have missed my extra licensed driver!). But what about the moms sending a last or an only off? She is adjusting to an empty nest and the gaping hole left where a child used to live.

I was never one to jump for joy when the kids would go back to school in September. . . while I was somewhat happy for a return to routine, I also missed the freedom of seeing my kiddos when I wanted to see them. I missed lazy afternoons reading on the porch.

And, with sending a kid off to college, I miss the “him-ness” of having the kid around my house. I miss the comings and goings of friends, I miss the mysteriously disappearing food, I miss the glimpses of humor and personality. Instead, I am left with a longing . . . for just one more text, a surprise phone call, a funny email.

But they don’t always come. . .

Because my adult child is just that. An adult. A young adult who is learning to spread his wings. A young adult who does not need me on a daily basis anymore.

It is a tough reality. And yet, it is a relief. We were able to raise a stubborn little boy to adulthood. . . mostly unscathed. As much as I miss my daily contact with him, would I really want him calling me daily to report on every.little.thing. that happened? No way (and I have a pair of four year-olds for that!)

So, instead, I am learning to embrace this season of motherhood. It is a season laced with slightly more worry and concern, but also a few more laughs as our relationship becomes lighter. I’m learning what type of communication works best for college kids (note–think Tweet-length communications), and I’m enjoying watching the young man he is becoming.

Chime in! What season of motherhood are you in? What has surprised you? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Navigating the Changing Seasons of Family Life

Dakotapastor and I celebrated 18 years of marriage last month. I’ve been a mom almost that whole time, as our oldest was born a week or so after our first anniversary.

In this time I’ve been a stay at home mom to one and then of many. I’ve been a homeschooling mom, I’ve scrimped and saved to be a private school mom, I’ve been a public school mom. I’ve been a part-time working mom. I’ve been a work at home mom.

Now I’m in full-on career mode. Juggling the home and work and work travel and daycare are totally new concepts to this 40 something.

I’m probably not doing everything right.

Others juggle way more.

But, I’m pretty proud of myself. Stepping put of my comfort zone and seeking out not just a job, but a career, was a big step for me.

And now, as I travel around visiting colleges with my nearly-grown firstborn, I know that I made the right decision for our family.

While I would not trade the time spent raising the kids for anything, I also know, all too well, how quickly the children grow.

In a blink of an eye, our children morph from completely dependent to nearly independent.

I knew that I needed an outlet to focus my talents on. I knew that I needed more than a hobby. And, let’s face it, I knew that we needed a second income stream to fund college for six.

I love working more than I ever thought I would. I’m finding that not only am I bringing home a paycheck, which is a nice feeling, but I am gaining much more. Working in the non-profit sector, I feel like I really am making a difference in people’s lives. I am growing in knowledge and experience, I am gaining confidence, and I am slowly (very slowly) beginning to look and feel like a professional.

I am so thankful for ALL of these seasons. I would not trade my stay at home mom or homeschool mom seasons for anything. I feel so blessed to have been the main caregiver for all of my infants. I’ve taught all four boys to read (and hope to do the same with the girls.)

In many ways, I do feel like I have it all. I may not have it all at the same time, but, I truly have experienced the best of all worlds.

My advice? Acknowledge that where you are happy today may not be where you are tomorrow. Realize that no season lasts forever. Be open to knowing when a change may be warranted. Don’t let your past “I’ll nevers” rule your present. Remember that change takes time.

Chime in! Are you experiencing a season change? How are you dealing with the changes?