…the more they really do stay the same. Such as parenting. In my case; single parenting. I have been a single parent longer than I haven’t, so it really is the only way of life I know.
As each child grows up and sets new goals, and reaches new milestones, it seems there is another coming right behind them and I get the re-runs of what the first (or second, or third!) one did, with the next one doing the same exact things, only with their own style and flair.
My fourth daughter will never, EVER be able to get anything past me. Not only have her 3 older sisters done and said it all, I remember I basically did the same things myself to my parents when I was growing up.
They do grow up, and move out, and get jobs, but they are still every bit as important to me, and I do not worry one bit less about them as they go from being my little girl to being an adult.
I would be lying if I said I was not anxious to have my kids grown and out of the house. And I try not to lie. Does that make me a bad mom? I know some who think that it does. But when your entire life revolves around your children; their wants, their needs, their achievements, and their failures, you do start to forget what it was you were supposed to be doing with your life. When you do it as a single parent (a single parent who has children that do not visit their father for more than 5 days over Christmas each year), you do sometimes feel like you are drowning in what everyone else wants and needs.
What were the goals I had when I was their ages? I honestly do not remember anymore.
When was the last day that I did not have to take someone somewhere, pick someone up, or have extra kids in my house? It has been so long, I don’t remember that either.
I know I need to take time for myself, and it is not like I don’t try to do just that. But by the time I get done taking care of the responsibilities I have as a parent, there is no time left for me.
Do I love my girls? More than anything! Do I regret having children? Not for a second. But that does not make me a bad person or mother because I am anxiously awaiting my empty nest 🙂
I also get told all the time that I will look back on this time and regret wishing my girls would grow up. Honestly, they are spaced 13 years apart from oldest to youngest, so mathematically, by the time the youngest one is out of the house, I will be well beyond ready for my empty nest.
My oldest is graduating from college in 3 days; I love her, and she was honestly the best behaved out of my four girls, but that certainly does not mean I wish she was 6 years old again. Or 12, or 15.
Thanks, but no thanks. That’s what memories are for; and I will have a heart full to think about, in my empty nest, all peaceful and quiet.