Monday, February 07, 2011

My Own Little Mid-Life Crisis

I was talking to a good friend of mine the other day and she said to me, "You know, you hear a lot about being a mom in those toddler years when you have kids.  People give you plenty of advice about how to get through having little kids around but no one ever talks about what to do when your kids are leaving home."

And I completely agree.  I have one more year with our family being all together--where we're all around the dinner table laughing and quoting movies and I have to tell someone to eat their peppers and someone else to use their napkin and someone else to chew with their mouth closed.  I remember thinking that the years where they were in high chairs and I was constantly cutting up their meat or cleaning up spilled milk would last for eternity but in reality I've got more years of life without children than with children.

Do I sound nostalgic?  Maybe even a bit overly sentimental?

I appreciate all the emails and questions and concerns about where I have been lately and I guess the easiest explanation is that I'm going through an enormous midlife crisis.  Not really a crisis where I'm looking for a sports car and a trophy spouse--wouldn't that just shake things up?--just a point where I've been sitting and thinking and wondering what in the world I'm going to do with my life for the next 20 years.

Maybe I'll back up . . . Andrew and I are of a similar temperament where we are driven, focused, goal-oriented, organized, get-things-done-right-now kind of people.  We married at 22, had kids within 2 years, got through law school, paid off the loans, got into a house, pumped out a few more kids and never took our eyes off the goal because that was what responsible people did and it served us well, more or less.  I'm glad we got through school without lingering and I'm glad we had our children young.

But now I've been a mom for over 17 years and I'm facing the hard fact that my intensive mothering days are drawing to a close.  I have one more year of Grace at home and in seven years all the kids will have left.  Even now I drop the kids off at school at eight o'clock then have six more hours of staring at my already clean and organized house wondering, "Okay . . . now what??"

I spent so much time looking ahead and thinking about getting things done and done quickly that I've suddenly been pulled to a stop and feel a bit lost.  All those years when I looked ahead and thought, "Wow, won't it be nice when the kids are older and Andrew and I have lots of time together? Won't that be nice? Won't I be sooooo happy?" Well here I am, my kids in school most of the day and my husband is charging ahead with still another 20 years of productivity and career goals ahead of him and I need to decide how I'm going to fill my time.

I suppose I could go back to school and that has a certain appeal but seriously--I've been to enough school to know that sitting in a classroom and watching a teacher is both expensive and dependent on how good the teacher is. And do I really need another degree so I can prove to everyone else that I'm smart? I could get the same information from our library and the internet if more education is what I really wanted. So what do I want? I haven't a clue.

I could get a job--that's what other women do--but it seems so pointless. It certainly isn't as important as my job as a wife and mother.  There is no job I could find that I would love as much as the job I've had and if I've learned anything after 14 months of unemployment I've learned how little stuff I need to be content so the money isn't a temptation.

I could focus on hobbies: painting, writing, blogging, knitting, whatever.  Okay, sure. But again, I don't need success in a hobby to prove to myself that I'm good at something or that my life has meaning though at least having a job or a hobby would be productive.  I want to be a producer, not merely a consumer.

I could do volunteer work and that has an appeal but it would depend on what kind of volunteering it was.  Hanging out at the kids' school seems pretty pointless--there are already many capable, paid professionals in charge and plenty of extraneous parents hanging around as it is.  If I volunteered somewhere it would have to be something that really helped those who were in need.  The Peace Corps?

So here I sit, wondering what to do and laughing at myself for all those years of hurrying and looking ahead in naivete, thinking that life would just be perfect once I had time to myself.  I have all the time to myself that I could want and now I want something else: goals.  Where are all the books and manuals on how to get through your 40's and 50's?  I've seen millions of books with advice on how to get you through those take-off years of work and school and early parenting but everyone is strangely silent on what to do once you've reached cruising altitude.  I just can't sit back for the next 20 years on auto-pilot. 

64 comments:

Reno said...

I hear you. I have one year and 2.5 months (who's counting?) before my youngest heads out on a mission. Thankfully I have grandchildren nearby cause I don't think that being all by myself is all it's cracked up to be.

Jennifer said...

I can't answer your question because I'm still in the cutting up meat and swiping up milk stage of life.

But I can say thank you for making me pause for a moment to realize that when I reach your stage, I'll wonder why I was in such a hurry to get out of my my current stage.

Janel said...

I appreciate that. Completely. I'm in the same boat.

I spent sooooOOoOoOooOoO much time wondering how I was going to survive the toddler years and then BOOM! The oldest is about to leave the nest - only I have 2 years until the first one graduates.

For me, I'm turning back to the mentoring I've always done and loved. I'm also launching a business I've always wanted to do, only I'm starting small. In 10 years, I'll be able to do full time what I'm only able to do in my spare time now.

Goals are good. It's good to remember who you were and then forge ahead. Good luck! : )

Randa Clay said...

Such an interesting post Michelle. I'm still in the little kids stage, but I've often wondered what I'll do when they're out of the house. Will I still be sitting around puttering at the computer, designing web sites in 16 years...?
Thanks for the perspective from the other side.

Stacy said...

I don't know the answer to your question since I'm in the stage of my life where there are all those books, but if you ask my opinion, no my plea, write a book about how to make it through the mid-life years. That way when I get there, I'll have some sort of guide.

Megan (FriedOkra) said...

Oh WOW. (Hug.)

I can imagine that must be tough, and scary, and sad. But also liberating (maybe not at once, but as you ease further into it?) and promising, too, right? I'm thinking that you, of all people, will find your way, and take on the next stage of your life beautifully and productively, and in a way those of us who are still at home with tiny children can look toward for inspiration as we grow into this new place you're finding yourself. So YOU can write that book, Michelle, and we'll all be the first ones in line to buy it! (See! There's one thing you can do!)

I hope you keep writing through this process. I've always liked reading your more personal thoughts and insights - they're among my favorite of your posts.

Hang in there! You're going to rock your 40s and 50s. :)

janeywan said...

Kids don't ever really leave home. You'll be surprised how busy they keep you even when they are gone. Some even come back!

Not to worry about your mid-life crisis, you'll be fine.

Headless Mom said...

Good idea, Stacy!

I've had one leave already, and 9 years until my youngest leaves, so I'm firmly planted in the middle of your discussion. My husband and I think it's hugely important for me to be in the home while they are children. However, as they are getting older and need less hands-on supervision I am already starting to ask those questions. Currently, writing and blogging is filling that void, but like Randa said, will that still be an option or fulfilling when they're all in college? I'm not sure.

Headless Mom said...

Oh! I forgot to mention.... in December I got purple streaks in my hair. My husband keeps telling people that it is my mid-life-crisis!

coffeemom said...

YOu might be surprised at how busy life keeps you, even w/ kids leaving the nest. I have two in college, one graduating college even this may! Already!! And moving into his own new life and adventures to be sure. But even so, these big kids still need much of you: your time and thoughts and prayers and consideration. Even as you step aside for their new independence and ability.
I'm also still in the littles and middles phase too, that's life w/ a big family. But as I said, I have found that life, LIFE, steps in to fill that void. Don't worry about that future, live today. The future will take care of itself.
Relish this special time w/ your new awareness!!

Scribbit said...

Thanks for the thoughts and suggestions and advice--my sister asks when I'll finish the book I started (it's about 80% done) and I want to do that but my motives have changed. If I were to be honest, for so long I wrote to be famous, because I had to have an outlet or to prove I could do something beyond wiping noses and cleaning up dishes but I'm so much more secure in who I am now that that's not necessary. I write because I like it but I don't feel it's as necessary for me as it used to be. So I'll finish it but I haven't had as much interest in it lately. I imagine that will change though.

And if purple hair streaks are the woman's mid life crisis I think that men are lucky. Hair dye is so much more family-friendly than a new wife and a sports car :)

Scribbit said...

But I have wanted a new hair cut . . .

Jennifer said...

I've had purple hair streaks since last summer! They are fun and I love them!!!

TJ said...

you know, i've always thought that when i got to the point you're at, i would start spending a lot of time at the local food bank, or battered woman's shelter, or a soup kitchen. and not just a few hours a week, spend an entire day there. and if i did get a job, it would be with a non profit. or i would volunteer to go overseas to help others have a better life. i don't know. but the possibilities are endless. find something that speaks to your heart. you'll find it.

Jen Rouse said...

I'm still in the meat-cutting stage, but having them all potty-trained now, and most likely all in school in two more years, is causing me to look ahead and ponder as well. While my kids' schools could certainly use more volunteers (huge crisis in K-12 education funding in Oregon right now!) I'm not sure that's what I want to devote my life to.

What about some kind of mentoring role? Through your church perhaps? Or with a group that works with teen moms? I think young moms (whether their role came about planned or unplanned) could benefit so much from someone who has been there, done that--and not years and years ago, either, but relatively recently. My mom always said it had been so long since my sister and I were little, she didn't remember too much of what having a baby was like! From reading your blog, I think you would have so many useful insights on shopping, planning and cooking meals, and parenting, that would be so helpful to young women.

An Ordinary Mom said...

I needed to read this today. Thanks!

Kathy G said...

You know how you think you'll have so much time when all the kids are in preschool? If not then, surely when they're in school all day, or when they go to high school and you're not as active in their lives anymore? My youngest moved out of the house more than two years ago, and I don't know where all my time goes to.

I'm confident you'll have the same thing happen to you.

Shoebox Princess said...

I went to work when kids started leaving because it was financially necessary. It would be nice to have a choice about what I was going to do once kids left, but whining about it won't make the situation change. I like having the kids leave because it means I finally get to see how they turned out. I do miss the hugs of little ones, but I do not miss the mess and the crying. I would not like to wish for their progression to cease just so I could have a few more years of little ones. Besides, grandkids are much more fun I hear. But I don't mind if grandkids take a while to come.

Mom24 said...

Oh I definitely hear you, but in my case I became a mother at 18, had 4 children over the next 18 years, and now my youngest is 8, my oldest is 26, and I don't have a clue what I want to do next. Fortunately, my youngest two are still little enough I have time, but it is daunting to think about.

Flea said...

I'm in the same boat. Seventeen year old daughter and the youngest is 13. I've recently gone back to work part time and am enjoying it. I highly recommend hopping around with part time jobs or volunteer positions to find your passion. I was very surprised to find that I love working with little kids - again. It's what I did before I had children. But I went through a couple of other positions before falling into this one. It just seemed too easy, y'know?

Anonymous said...

volunteer...either with your church or through the many worthy community services.. Alaska has so many diverse needs that I feel you will find your niche if you only look.

Anonymous said...

Hmm... I am in the exact same boat as you are! I appreciate your post as I thought I was the only one sort of floating around looking for a next chapter!

Teresa Hirst said...

It's an odd place we find ourselves and I don't seem to fit into my own persona anymore, either.

Mandy said...

Well, there you go. You should write a book on what to do when you go through your 40's and 50's.

Alice Wills Gold said...

Funny before reading this post I thought it weird that you didn't have more than one coming up on my reader. That tells you how organized I am.

Thank you for successfully freaking me out. I have never thought that far ahead and now I realize that I ONLY have 30 years left to live.

It's so funny how I would love to have a blog like yours and you would love to have your children 11, 9, 7, and 18 mos again.

I'm still in survival mode. I don't have the luxury of thinking about what I want to do.

I think you should try to appreciate that luxury and live in the moment.

At least do that for rest of us who are now afraid our lives aren't productive enough.

Everyone has their abrahamic test. Maybe this one is yours?

I can hopefully say that I won't feel the same at your age because I have already had my test in the past 7 years we called law school with 3 kids and failing at a law practice and being broke among other things.

I am in a rambling mood tonight.

There is one thing I know about you and that is that you are SMART and you are GOOD. For these reason, I am totally confident you are gonna figure this out.

Denise said...

I have no words of advice, just want to see how you survive this so we behind you know what to do.

What's in your heart? What thrills you? Throw yourself into that for a bit.

LibraryGirl62 said...

so weird! I have just been thinking this same thing! My oldest is a senior and my youngest is ajunior and it is all happening too fast! I have been thinking we need to start a web presence for gals like us...a consortium for the middle years...think about it and let me know...seriously!

Scribbit said...

I should probably make sure I'm clear that I don't mourn my children's childhoods. I mean I did enjoy them when they were small though I wasn't as patient at times as I should have been but there's a time for everything and I wouldn't go back just to have something to do. I enjoy them an awful lot now and I will miss them horribly when they're gone but then life has to move on doesn't it?

I appreciate the confidence you have that I'll figure it all out though. I feel guilty for being so lucky as to have the luxury of this interesting dilemma.

Stephanie said...

Michelle,
By the time the youngest is gone there may be grandchildren around, and that will throw another dimension into everything won't it? I guess we're only a few years behind you in the whole family change process, but it is hard for me to imagine being at that point.

I have no doubt that you'll find something fulling and meaningful to occupy your time. Your far too talented and smart to do otherwise. You don't have to have it all figured out right now.

Amelia said...

I was wondering where you were and a bit worried at your silence. Thank you for sharing this with us. Where you are seems sooo far away (mine are 4 and 6). I can't even imagine 6 hours to myself and the house is already clean! Thanks for the reminders of how quickly these years pass and how much we will miss them!

claire said...

I'm going to cry! I'm in my 40s, but my son is only 3. I know that these are the best years of my life, and I think I'll be needing a huge supply of Valium when I face the empty nest syndrome.

True Identity said...

Well, I'm glad you are back, and let me say that I am now in the hurrying up stage of my life when I keep trying to catch up with everything. I work part time and raise 2 daughters one almost 5 and 1 that just turned 10. My goals include blogging and traveling all over the world doing charity. And I must say that my first goal of being a blogger has become true just because of you and your kindle book Blogging in Pink. Thanks to your advice I have been able to start my blog and I see how I'm getting there. So hang in there, don't sweat it, your path will become clear before you know it.

Ami here said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with all of us Michelle. I was also worried that something had happened to you. Glad to hear from you again and surprised that your blog speaks to my heart. I have had a difficult year now that all three of my kids are in school. I stay at home, alone with my thoughts...which often stray to the negative. I want to hold onto this time with my kids (6,11 & 12 years old) and know I can't. I have tried volunteering at the school & found too many parents there already helping out (and then I feel more of a bother than a helper.) I don't want to go back to school either, although my husband thinks I should (this from a man with 2 bachelors and 2 masters.) I have two bachelor degrees, but have never officially used them since I have been a stay-at-home mom for over 12 years. Jumping into the work force seems foreign and frightening. I want to be doing a better job at living life to the fullest, but haven't figured out how. For now I am plugging along working on photo albums and family history...recording life as it moves on. Take care & best wishes

Patricia L said...

I was wondering where you were but thought maybe you were just doing some hibernating. :) This post is a nice reminder to me that there will be a day when all 4 kids don't need me at once & all I'm wishing for is a moment of quiet. When my oldest was a baby, my husband and I decided that we'd get a 2 seater BMW when we were 40. I guess we didn't think ahead and realize that there might be more kids... guess that 2 seater will have to wait awhile longer.

jan in nagasaki said...

i was going to say..

same. boat.

and i see 3 other people already did.

so now i will say.

one. day. at. a. time.

and i will just keep on keeping on.

Annie said...

I got the job....to only find out that I miss being home...no easy answers on this one.

fruitfulwords said...

Glad to hear from you today. I hoped everything was "okay."

I am 53 and an empty-nester. Life is not what I thought it would be at this age with no kiddos or husband around.

I don't think you'll be on auto-pilot for 20 years as it doesn't seem to be in your character to be that way.

You'll figure it out like you have everything else. You might not be so single-mindedly focused on one thing like you have been.

And I bet you blog about it so that the rest of us can learn, grow, and love along with you. :)

Melanie Nelson said...

Michelle, what about teaching? You would be great at it. I've started doing local social media and blogging classes and I've found that a lot of people are interested. Tulsa is a fairly late-adopting city, but they are finally getting on board. I think you'd love interacting with people, continuing to learn, then sharing that knowledge. Just throwing it out there.

Slightly Askew Studios said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edward Family said...

I'm reading this while remembering I spent 8 am to 3 pm yesterday sitting on my couch watching stupid TV 90% of the time. This is the first year all 3 of my kids are in school and I'm still trying to find meaning in my day.

I envy your already clean and organized house... I always have THAT to do. =]

Slightly Askew Studios said...

That is exactly where I am at. Last child is 16. I have my soap business but I can't help but think that I should be doing something else as well. Even though I am very much a "live in the now" type of person I am spending a lot of time wondering what is coming next. Am I doing what I should be doing?

Anonymous said...

I am there also. My oldest is a freshman at UAA this year and my baby is now 15 and does not need me at all (well except to drive her to all her social engagements). What should I do? How do I spend my time? I have no hobbies but realize I need to find some. I work but it is just a job and weekends are boring. There is only so much tv you can watch or surfing the internet you can do. I am mid 40's and still trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up and how to have a rich interesting life. Iam glad to know I am not the only one with decisions to make.

VanderbiltWife said...

I will preface this with--I am 28 and in the very small children phase. Rocking a 7-week-old in the sling as I type and this morning have been pulling my hair out over the inability to get ANYTHING done with two children.

A few years ago I got my mom Second Calling by Dale Hanson Bourke. It deals with what you're talking about from a Christian perspective. I actually read it for work and loved it a lot myself. I hope she read it. I know you're a reader so maybe it'd be worth a read for you, too. :)

Jessie

Katie Rose said...

Since I am only a few years into motherhood this is a poignant reminder for me to enjoy this chapter of life but to keep in mind as I do that there are other chapters ahead where being Mom will be a less prominent facet of my character.

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

I work a full time job, plus am a mom (to a single child), and a wife. And yet, I find myself thinking similar type thoughts. I mean, my daughter is in High School, and it is just a matter of time before she's off and gone. I don't spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to fill my day, but I do wonder what changes will come along when I no longer have to worry about lunches and homework and scouts and field trips, and the cleaning and laundry and cooking that a child brings into the picture. How will my life be the same? How will it be different? In this current economic time, what moves can I do to control what my life will be like? I can't really quit my job in search of a better one, because good jobs are few and far between right now. But of course, I can always keep my eyes open. Now, if only I could figure out what a better job might look like to me, I might have a better chance of finding one...

gretchen from lifenut said...

Write the book you just described:

"Where are all the books and manuals on how to get through your 40's and 50's? I've seen millions of books with advice on how to get you through those take-off years of work and school and early parenting but everyone is strangely silent on what to do once you've reached cruising altitude."

I'm in a strange position in that next year, I'll have kids ranging from high school to infant. I'm still wiping people and things, but I've also got to start thinking of launching people, too. And that's more daunting than anything I've done to this point...

Yes! Write the book. I need it far more than a book about breastfeeding or disciplining a preschooler.

Trixie said...

Thank you for sharing. All new seasons in life present their own unique challenges. It's something new we've never done before. You will find your way.

You gave several suggesstions and ideas in your post, but it doesn't sound like you are really excited about any of them. I'm so sorry about the 'blah' feelings.
I hope you find something you are passionate about that will be "your new thing". Whatever it is you will do a great job!

I in no way am trying to tell you to keep writing, okay, yeah, I guess I am :)

I so enjoy your writing. Even if you have times where you wonder what on earth you could write about and why people would read it, please know that you touch people with your writing. Real live people on the other side of the screen, perhaps the other side of the world. You make us laugh,appreciate the natural beauty of our world, and pause to reflect on our own lives.

best,
Trixie

planetnomad said...

I can relate. Although my kids still keep me plenty busy, I do have hours when they are gone. I don't really have an excuse to be behind on laundry (and in fact am not behind on laundry).
I suspect, though, that you will find a purpose to daily life (not talking about grand Purpose of Life here; just the reason to get out of bed on this particular morning). Maybe you'll work, or write more, or mentor young moms, or teach English to refugees. I bet it will just come about and you'll realize it one day. :)
Possibly you will write a book about this very thing! After all, there's a market for it ;)

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy your blog and I think writing a book or teaching are good ideas for you. It is funny that you posted on this topic because it is something that I have been thinking about lately...I went to college and grad school and worked for a long time before getting married and having children. I was home full-time for six years but now I work part time. I have a profession that I enjoy and it is very flexible. I actually work out of a home office. I am grateful that I have this profession and that I was able to get right back into it. I look around at all of my other stay at home mother friends and a lot of them do not have a career to get back into when their children are older. Their whole lives were focused on getting married and being a stay at home mother. Being only a housewife/stay at home mother would never have been enough for me. I followed my mother's example. She worked, then had five kids and went to grad school at night, was home for 12 years total, but then went back to work part time. She was really fulfilled by her part time professional career as a college professor. Many of her friends did not have job skills after their years at home. It was not easy for them to get jobs. And honestly, you never know if/when you will lose your spouse. I think every woman should be able to support herself and her children financially if need be.

Anonymous said...

My friend is 45 and just had her ninth child. Maybe in some religious cultures people are still engaged in child-rearing in the middle-age years so there are few books to address the empty nest emptiness.

The Eyres have written about how to have a productive life post children.

Anonymous said...

By the time your youngest leaves home, you will probably have a couple of grandchildren who will keep you busy.

Olivia said...

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Lucy (aka rharper) said...

At least you had more than two kids with I did. And with only two, you get through very fast. When I worked it was great and I still miss going to work. But I also finally love being able to do whatever I want to do, and going wherever I want to go. I don't know. I don't have any answers. I have my own legal pad full of questions that I want answered when I after I'm dead. Some things are great; some things just plain hurt.

Life! *pffffft*

laura lee said...

i've resorted to taking pictures of kermit the frog and asking strangers to pose with him. odd? yes. .. it's great entertainment nonetheless.

Deb - Mom of 3 Girls said...

I'm not to the empty nest point yet, but I have realized that things are changing for me now too - my youngest will start kindergarten this fall and suddenly all 3 of them seem so much more independent. I'm out of the diapers and toddler stages and I know they still need me (mostly as a chauffeur, lol), but in different ways now. It's odd - you get so focused on having babies and little ones because that's what you have at first and for several years in a row if you have more than one child. But once the youngest gets past all of that, I'm finding I sort of miss it in some ways, although I never thought I would.

I second the idea that you should write a book so that all of the rest of us have a guide when we get to that point! Good luck with your decision-making, no matter what you end up doing!

Scribbit said...

Let's catch up here:

Stephanie: You're right of course, though I do tend to think that if you've been able to pull it off then you won't have as much to do as you think. My parents are still around and present in the kids' lives but they aren't parenting the way they used to. They don't need to and shouldn't be too involved so it's a different stage I think.

Annie: I take comfort in finding you asking the same questions at least.

Slightly Askew: Though do you know that every time I used your soaps I was happy :) I was using what must have been the Oatmeal Milk and Honey bar (I took off the wrapper and threw it away before paying attention and only remember the word "honey") and thought it was the best smelling thing I'd ever used on my body. It made the whole bathroom smell fabulous and I keep thinking I need to buy some more.

So you have one fine soap business I would say. But sounds like you're wondering the same things I am and I keep thinking I need to get busy and find some answers. THose I've been so lazy about it all.

Vanderbilt: Thanks so much for the recommendation--maybe that would help. Faith and religion have been a huge help with it all as it does give you purpose and meaning though as luck would have it at church I was recently rotated out of helping out with the teen girls. I'd been doing that for 4 years and loving it but it was time to give someone else a chance so I was put out to pasture and it's added to that lost feeling I've had. I need to find another way to serve.

Lucy: I have a friend who had problems that required her to have children with IVF. They ended up with triplets, then one, then twins within 5 years because they wanted a big family and knew her time for child bearing was limited. I always thought though that while some people thought that having that many small kids was crazy and too hard to deal with I wondered if she wouldn't find that having them all leave home in a relatively short burst of synchronizing would ultimately be harder on her. I don't envy her that. After having such a full house then having them all off at school in one burst it would be hard.

~Seth and Nancy~ said...

thank you for your honesty and posting this! i have an almost 2 year-old and constantly struggle with the "it will get better when" mentality. i have to keep reminding myself to be CONTENT where God has placed me...learn lessons from it and ENJOY!!
thank you!

Angela said...

I'm in the process of reading a book about this very subject, The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir by Katrina Kenison. I'm middle aged, but have kids in elementary school.It's interesting to think ahead & also to treasure this time I have with my kids.

tumbleweedsandtwisters said...

Thanks so much for your post. I've been going through those same feelings as I'm about to have teenagers!! I did read a quote from somewhere though that said, "Who you are is more important than what you do." For me that has helped me keep things in perspective.

Anonymous said...

It's a mistake to assume all the kids will leave home for good after they turn 18. One has no way of knowing what the future holds. I think the mistake comes when we look ahead and think we do. Kids come back...sometimes it takes them several good-byes before the final one arrives.

bigguysmama said...

My oldest daughter will be turning 20 this year. I'm more than a bit freaked out about it. When she graduated 2 yrs ago I hit a major depression, which I'm not used to. My youngest son is 7, but I feel like I'm out of the baby years and am onto a new phase of life which I wasn't expecting to have reached so unexpectedly!! You will get thru it, but it's definitely a change.


~Mimi

Lisa said...

My oldest is graduating this spring. And with only two children, the last will be done in 4 years. I am totally with you on this. I worked most of their lives (although from home) and I finally quit about 3 years ago. I am glad I did, but I am so lost as to what will happen next. I really am done in the field I was in, and am having a really hard time finding something else that I am passionate about. I do volunteer work that I like, but there is only so much of that. I am very busy in my church calling, but that too will most likely change. I saw someone said the Eyre's have a book....I will go check it out. This is a constant worry for me. Thanks for sharing. :)

Anonymous said...

My mother decided to learn to play an orchestral instrument at 48. She loves it, it keeps her busy and her creative juices flowing.

Stephanie said...

Thank you for this honest post, Michelle.

I am still in the baby/toddler stage, but it's so interesting and important to "look ahead" at the future. I feel like you just gave me a gift by reminding me of that truth.

I'm curious. Now that you stand on the brink of a new season of life, do you wish that you had focused some time on business or hobbies when your children were little? Or are you glad you just treasured those moments as a family?

stephanie@metropolitanmama.net