Erin Spatz: The seasons of life
All of life is broken up into seasons. Some seasons you move through quickly, and others seem to take forever. When Dylan was a newborn I remember calling my mom, crying. I was so tired and I was convinced that I would never get to sleep again until I was in my coffin. That season of my life felt like forever. Looking back, it was such a small part of my life. Three months actually, and then my sweet baby slept through the night.
Itís so easy to lose yourself in those seasons and think they wonít end. But, seasons always change. I am entering a season in which I will no longer have babies at home.
All of my kids will be school age. I am not sure how equipped I am for this. I see other moms with their kids all in school and they seem to know what they are doing, And they look like they are really enjoying it. I, however, am mourning the loss of the baby season. I feel completely unprepared and unsure of myself. Mothering babies seems like a cake walk to whatís approaching.
But when I think back to when all my kids were really little, when I had a first grader, a preschooler, a toddler and a newborn, I know that I had lost myself. All I was, every moment, was mommy. I had no real name of my own. I had no skills other than nursing, diaper changing and cleaning up messes. There was a time, when leaving the house was a well-timed, well planned event. My only alone time was after the kids were asleep, and I would stand in the shower and cry, thinking all I am is a glorified day care provider. On the rare occasions that I would got to the grocery store alone I would drag that time out as long as possible. Enjoying the feeling of no one hanging on me.
The reality is that what I was doing was losing myself, temporarily, for a season, to pour myself out into my children. And the feelings of being nobody but a mom, came from completely emptying myself into my sweet children.
I often compared myself to other moms who seemed to have time for the gym or to volunteer for things that I would have loved to have done, but couldnít. I lost myself when I focused on the limitations of being the mommy to four small kids.
I lost myself when I couldnít balance being mommy and keeping myself on the to-do list, let alone on the top of the list.
†I lost myself, but the good news is that it is really hard to stay lost. As your babies get older and they need you in different ways, you start to reappear. It is a slow reappearing, like a hibernating animal after a long winter. You have to hibernate yourself for a season of winter, while you help your children flourish.
It feels like the longest winter in the history of the world.† But, your spring is coming.
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