All of my eggs…

eggs in one basket

I have the best conversations with my friends. And a lot of them happen when I am on the elliptical. This is good for several reasons. First, I can schedule these chats ahead of time, as in “Hey , I’ll be on the elliptical at 9, want to chat me up?” Second, and most importantly, it takes my mind off of the God awful activity that it is my goal to do 40 minutes a day, four times a week. Talking to a bestie helps me to shift my focus from *NOT DYING* to solving all of the world’s problems – as long as we can wrap it all up before my cool down.

ANYWHO- the other day I had one of those great conversations, this time about being the Mom of a teenager. This particular friend and I were sharing stories about being a bit lonely in our homemaker roles. We shared feelings about how we feel that our postion has been downsized, and we are not ready for it, nor happy about it. This Mothering gig is a confusing one, we spend over a decade on these babes teaching them to be self sufficient. Then, they want to go out into the real world and be independent. The nerve.

I know, I know, we are still necessary- vital, I would even say- for a smooth running household. A home that contains a well fed and clothed family still provides “chores” for it’s Mama, even if the children are over 10 years of age. But, it’s different. At least it feels different. There are days when I literally feel like the hired help- although I don’t ever collect a paycheck. There are days when the only time I hear “Mom” said with any urgency is when “Have you seen my red shirt?!” or “Can you give me a ride?” is the question. It’s almost as if  the work that I do is important, but not me. Not every day, but sometimes. Sounds pretty pathetic when it’s written down, but it’s the truth – and I’m guessing that I am not alone in this thought process.

Back in the day, I was their world. I decided their menu, their schedule and picked their outfits – and most of their friends, for that matter! They played and wanted me to join them. They cried and wanted me to comfort them. They had a great experience and needed to tell me all about it – admittedly, I am still needed for this {THANK GOD!}. I was more than a chef/driver/laundry doer. I was a companion. I wasn’t AN option, I was the ONLY option. I guess that is what I miss the most. The little hands reaching for my cheeks as I read to them. The little feet following me everywhere… except to the bathroom. That was gross and awkward.

I was warned by many to not “put all of my eggs into one basket”. In other words, I couldn’t expect for my husband and family to be the only things in my life to bring me joy. I completely understand this logic, but I also know that for 20 years now, being a Wifey has made me very happy. And the 17+ years of parenting has also left me quite fulfilled (and exasperated, exhausted and utterly dazed at times). I refuse to take those eggs out of my basket. I have, instead, started adding more eggs… writing more, speaking engagements, teaching religious education, a weekly Bible study, TAKING NAPS. I have more time now that my children can bathe, dress and feed themselves. Time that was once allocated to their care and safety can now be spent reading a book (that has nothing to do with parenting!).

I know that God has things planned in a certain order, as in written in Ecclesiastes  3:1 “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens”. It was necessary for me to first be the nose-wiping, meal-making, booboo-kissing Mom in order  for them to trust the homework-helping, friendship-fixing, college-selecting Mom that I am today. There is joy and pain in every season, but God is also in each season, which means I can handle it and even {maybe} thrive in it. I pray the very same for you, as well. So – if you still wish to chat about it, I’ll be on the elliptical tomorrow at 8 AM – give me a call!

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