New Season of Mothering

Last week, I met my {baby} boy’s Pre-K teacher. As we were talking about the things he needed for school … she said, “And no napmat is required, this is the big kid room.” Fighting back tears.

She went on to say, “Homework will go home on Tuesday and will be due on Thursday.” Tears.

From that day until now, I’ve been praying for God to give me strength. As my children grow, I think the most difficult thing as a mom is letting go. It happens slowly, but you see this little independent person developing over time. It’s beautiful and heart-wrenching at the same time. So bittersweet. 

This morning, I dropped him off for his first day. He was excited for a new classroom, more friends and he said, “I’m big like Ella now.”

With my {baby} boy in Pre-K two days a week and speech preschool on different days, my life will change this year. I’ve graduated from the land of spit-up, diaper changes and temper tantrums and have walked through a new door. For the first time in seven years, I’m not in a Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) group. It’s a really weird place.

I’m making adjustments in my own life to help with this new season — Bible Study with wonderful friends, training for my first 5k and continuing to work on my freelance work. It’s a good step, that I must be willing to make.

One thing I will not miss is the isolation that I sometimes felt as a stay-at-home mom of young children. It is more work (mentally) than I ever thought possible. So, if you are in this season (where the nights are long and the days are chaotic), I want to encourage you. It does end. And, when you feel like all your work goes unnoticed, it doesn’t. You are shaping a little soul! All of your loving efforts will show in their personality.

Today, I’m focusing on the positive. I’m remembering the special moments and looking forward to all those we have yet to experience … those memories belong to us. They are uniquely special for our family and no age or independence will ever diminish our bond. Motherhood is such a gift to be cherished! 

Now, it’s your turn — What season of mothering are you in? If your children are out of the baby/toddler stage, what changes have you made to your own schedule?

Choices, School Shopping & Letting Go

“Sweetie, I found a really cute backpack at Gymboree. It’s got sweet little polka dots and a matching lunch box.”

“Uh, Mom, Gymboree is for babies. I want the backpack at the mall with the skulls.”

Skulls. Really? And I even had Gymbucks, what a shame.

I prayed about this one. As silly as it may sound, this is what happened last year when we went shopping for backpacks. It was tough. Not just a decision, but the realization that she had her own opinions, her own style, she was becoming her own self. It makes me tear up, even now!

The backpack had “girlie” skulls with heart-shaped eyes, pink flowers and pretty red roses. At least, that’s what I told myself. I still didn’t like the backpack, but it wasn’t mine. It was her decision to make.

And, then we went shopping for a new outfit. I wanted a cute little dress edged in ruffles with the matching hairbow and tights. But, we ended up getting a “Girlz Rule” shirt with a motorcycle on it and ripped jean skirt.

My baby girl is growing up. And, I’m learning to let her … little by little.

This year she wants a Vera Bradley messenger bag. Um, we’ll see about that one. Not quite sure if I’m ready to give her a bigger budget too?

I think choices are great, but they need to be age-appropriate. I’m trying to figure out what decisions a seven-year-old should be making. I still want to set boundaries as a parent, but I want her to be able to make her own decisions too.

So, I want to hear your advice! What choices do you give your kids and at what age? Do you give your kids a budget for their back-to-school shopping?