Thursday, March 27, 2014

Motherhood: The Half Empty Nest Syndrome

I have found myself once again, reading a blog post about "Motherhood" and it was such a GREAT post, but when I got the end I was left hanging with this question "What about me?"

I remember those hard years with little ones; believe me I do. I had a 5 year old, 4 year old, 2 year old and a newborn once upon a time. I have these vague memories of living in the trenches with little ones. I call them "vague" because I often found myself in "survival mode", and by God's Grace "survival mode" memories often get erased.

Today, I find myself in a very important phase of motherhood that often goes unnoticed. It is this really funky phase that is REALLY hard. I totally have not been prepared for it. It hurts and yet at the same time there is great JOY in it. My nest is not empty, so nobody seems to care. My nest is just half empty. But, do you know something! Half empty is still really hard!!! I miss my 21 and my 19 year old. My oldest is in Germany for an internship, my 19 year old is living with her friend and is engaged to be married in June!! My 17 year old is graduating from our homeschool this year and I am still homeschooling a 15 year old.

Why Being A Mom Is Enough is a fabulous article about motherhood. In fact, it might the best article ever written because it gets to the core issue and the heart of being a mom. But, when I got to the end, I said "WAIT!!! What about me?" She ended the article like this:

" A mother is the person, the woman, just like you. The woman with little ones in her care that she loves, and sometimes wonders how she loves them because they’re driving her batty, but still she does. She fights, gives, prays, works, and doesn’t give up even when she wants to throw in the towel. 
That’s you. Today. Tomorrow. Yesterday. I say that is enough.  It is more than enough. You are amazing."

WHAT????What about Me? I no longer fit in this category of motherhood. I don't have little ones, boo boos to kiss, kids to tuck in bed, nobody driving me batty. I DONT WANT TO THROW IN THE TOWEL. I am still a mom, but my kids are growing up. Let's face it, I am the mom of 2 adult children.

So, if the author does not mind, I have decided to add one more paragraph. It is intended for the mom who is like me. Please insert just before "That's you. Today. Tomorrow. Yesterday."

.... And after the "tucking in at bedtime" phase is over, once they start to grow wings, the mom is the branch from which they fly. The branch stays and and as the winds blow, she bends in prayer for those grown ones who have found their roost in another tree. They will return to visit, but your branch is now a place of comfort and rest, instead of a place they call "home".

Thursday, March 13, 2014

13 More Mom Truths

Yesterday this article popped off the page and it REALLY caught me. I had to read it!

13 Mom Truths posted on Huffington Post's Blog page. This surely will be either funny or inspirational, but as I read on and on and on, I was greatly disturbed by the fact that this mom obviously only knew some of the truths of motherhood. I mean seriously, she said in number 11: "Sippy cups leak. Toys break. Those things don't matter." 

Ok, so I am at number 11 and she is still talking about mothering a toddler! Really? There are so many more levels of "Mom Truths" than toddlerhood and grade school aged kids! I am still hoping that by number 13 she might have some incling of a "truth" about being the mom of a child who is actually taller than you! But, to no avail, my craving for something about being an older mom was not satisfied. She was spot on with her 13 points, but I suppose the title is what threw me  off guard. I was hoping that the article would include the many layers and seasons of motherhood.


Welcome to my season of gray haired mothering! I decided to continue the "Mom Truth" Saga where she left off. Allow me to list her first 13 before I write my commentary response.

In case you don't want to click on the original article, here are Rachel Martin's excellent young motherhood "13 Mom Truths" in a nutshell: 

1.  Your house is not a reflection of your parenting skills. 
2.  Sometimes you just need to read the same book over and over again.
3. Meltdowns in the store happen. 
4. You will be tired. 
5. Some days will be tedious. Other days normal. Other days challenging. Other days amazing. Motherhood is like a roller-coaster ride of days. 
6. Kids get sick. 
7. Fewer things equal less stress. 
8. You'll make mistakes. 
9. Laundry will never be done. 
10. Get down on their level.
11. Sippy cups leak. Toys break. Those things don't matter.
12. Don't worry about savoring every single moment.
13. There is no supermom. There is only the real mom. 

My motherhood season in response to hers in decending order

13: There may be no supermom. But ONE DAY, you will be SUPER GRANDMA and that day is coming soon!
12. Savor every moment, because they are almost grown up and when they leave, you will miss them so much more than you can imagine!
11. Cars get wrecked, insurance premeiums go up. These things matter, because someone has to pay the bills.
10. Let your teens fail and help them up, but don't rescue them from their consequences. When they are adults, Accept them for who and what they have become even if you don't understand why they make the choices they make. 
9. Laundry will never be done. In fact when they are teens and young adults, you will have more laundry because all their clothes are BIGGER and when they come home from college, the laundry pile is literally an avalanche.
8. You'll still make mistakes and you are actually at risk for making bigger mistakes the older they get.
7. Yep, fewer things still equal less stress.
6. Kids still get sick, and the older you get when you get sick, the longer it takes to get better. But, the good news is, that when you are sick, you don't have to take care of the little ones while you are puking your guts out. You actually get to stay in bed and rest. You have earned this priviledge!
5. Mothering teens is still often like riding a roller coaster, but as they get older, the roller coaster becomes more like a steady train ride as you build your confidence in letting them grow their wings and fly out of the nest.
4.  You will still be tired, because when they are teens they stay out LATE. The side benefit is that now you get to sleep in and since they sleep in too, the house is nice and peacefull till about noon.
3. Meltdowns in the store only happen when you forgot why you went to the store. Your teens have now drained you down to the point of nearly suffering from alzheimers. 
2. Now that you have read those books over and over again. Just toss them in the trash and go get yourself a nice big glass of wine and drink it over and over again.
1. Your house is now a reflection of your teens who did not do their chores!

Now excuse me while I go pamper myself in my quiet house,  enjoy my sassy gray hair and glass of Chardonnay and repeat as often as you want.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


In a house full of people there is almost inevtiably always an appliance running. The purr of the dishwasher, the vroom of the washing machine, the whirring of the clothes dryer; the noise never ceases. Yet, silence, it is what I long for. I love quietness and the still, soft whispers of the wind. As, I sit here reading my book, suddenly, the dishwasher stopped and all became quiet; all, except the tick- tock of the clock. I remember as a child when I would try to fall asleep as a guest in the home of a family who owned a ticking clock. The sound of that "tick" and that "tock" drove me crazy and kept me awake all night tossing and turning, wishing I could smash the clock!

tick-tock, Tick-Tock TIck-TOck, TICk-TOCk, TICK-TOCK...


Slipping away!!

The sounds of time! Oh it seems slow and quiet, but really what is time? Time is always chasing us and yet running ahead of us. The pendulaum swings. How do we catch it and how do we slow it down?

I am 43 now. My oldest is 21 and in Germany, my 19 year old is getting married in 3 months, my 17 year old is graduating in 10 weeks, my 15 year old is going to summer camp for a month in July! How did this happen???? Instead of the tick tock of the cuckoo clock keeping me awake, the worries of motherhood turn round and round in the workings of my mind,

Take my hands Lord!
In the midst of that "tick" and that "tock", they grew up! How does a mom prepare for the kids flying out of the nest? How do we handle this huge and seemingly sudden change from diapers to marriage? Why is it that the hands of the clock stay the same, but the hands of a mother constantly change?

I am not sure, but as I sit and listen to the tick-tock of my clock, I am reminded that my life is ticking away and I have but a short time to remain on this earth. What am I going to do with my next 40 years? I am not sure!! But, I am praying and asking God, "What shall I do now?"

I am waiting in the quiet, while the sounds of time are chasing me down, for the whispers of God to show me what is next.