(This post also appears on gloryannaboge.com.)
I love how I live in a part of the world where we get four seasons. I love when I wake up early and step outside and the crisp air washes over my face. The dew on the grass is no longer frozen and the sun grazes the grass’s wetness, causing my eyes to squint in its reflection. It’s spring time here. You know that feeling when you can sense the change of seasons? You can see the little clues from day to day. The trees start looking greener. The crisp air turns into cool morning air that will lift as soon as the sun is high. I am one of those that tend to associate memories and moments with nature’s little clues. When the yellow flowers bloom on our ground cover, I am reminded of my grandmothers and great aunts I never got to meet, but I have a touch of them with the flower I dug up from their old house to keep alive in my front yard. When our lilac bush blooms in the spring and its scent carries through our kitchen window, I am taken back to when I was a young girl waking early in the summer, dying to go outside and play.
When spring approached this year and April turned into May, I can’t help but remember my life before I was a mom. I was a teacher before I became a mom who decided to stay home. As anyone who knows a teacher knows, May is a love-hate relationship for us. We love that the year is winding down, but tend to grow old of the tiring behavior students inevitably carry during those last few weeks of school. As a reading teaching, I am not gonna lie. I LOVED April and May. We did some of my favorite units as the end of the year approached and there was LOTS of reading outside.
When I step outside these mornings, I am reminded of the feelings of excitement and giddiness I used to have this time of year. Excitement for the plans I would make for myself for the summer. Excitement while driving to school with the windows down because the cool air was teetering on being warm. The rush you get when you decide that it’s too beautiful outside to stay cooped up indoors. I miss those feelings about teaching. I miss those feelings as an individual that come with summer time. I miss my life before I was a mom.
I miss life before the responsibility weighed heavy on me. I miss life before my schedule had to accommodate this little human’s needs. Apparently naps are important. I miss my life when my husband and I could go out to eat at the drop of a hat. Or we could go see some friends whenever we wanted. I miss being able to binge watch some TV show on Netflix during the summer. I miss being able to cook big, awesome meals for my husband when I was feeling inspired because time was not an issue. I miss traveling to see our families more frequently.
Why is it that when we make big changes in our lives that people think what we did before, we can no longer like or say we miss? I feel like this is even more true as we become parents.
Why do we get this feeling of guilt if we say we miss the life we had before our children? Is it because we are afraid that people will think we regret having kids? Is it because we’re afraid people will think we love our kids less? Why can’t we miss what we used to do, but still enjoy what we’re doing now?
I miss my life before I was a mom. I love my life as a mom. That’s all there is to it.
My responsibilities these days do weigh heavy. But not every day. Not all the time. If I need to be home so my little guy can have a nap that is important to his growth and development, then I can live with that. Naps wont last forever. Besides, I wouldn’t be able to write this if it weren’t for his nap time. Being able to see friends whenever we want has changed. Now we have to plan and schedule a babysitter, but that doesn’t mean my joy left. It just made me more purposeful in my friendships than what I was before. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to binge watch TV anymore, but that’s what early bedtimes are for, right? Right?!
I think as Mother’s Day approaches how this particular holiday has a whole new meaning than it ever has for me. Being a first time mom, (I’m not sure I’ll ever stop calling myself that. There will always be firsts that will cross my path with my first born, right?) Mother’s Day means that I am now connected to this little guy whose butt I wipe, whose tears I wipe, whose face I wipe, all the wiping!– this connection that will never leave me. No matter what seasons I go through, being a mom I will forever be.
Now as May unfolds I have new excitements. Taking Bubby to the pool for the first time. Scheduling an annual cookout with some of our friends. Watching Bubby figure out how to walk. Planning a trip to see our family on Memorial Day weekend. The excitement has changed, but I still have it. I still have the excitement that comes when the seasons change and I will always remember the excitement I had before I was a mom. I still love that feeling as the air changes. And by God, I can still read outside if I want to.
What about you? Do you ever feel this way?
(This post also appears on gloryannaboge.com.)