Entering a New Phase

It’s official.

I’m no longer the mother of a toddler. (Not that she’s “toddled” in a very long time.)

My youngest child, my daughter, turned 4 today.

Yes, I had to take a moment just now to blink hard so I could see the screen through my tears.

I’ve always had a difficult time with change/time-passage/moments going too quickly. I have a very clear memory of my 10th birthday when it hit me that I was an entire decade old. (I’ve always had dramatic tendencies.) I cried that I was getting old and that a phase of my life was over. My teacher took me out in the hall, very concerned, and listened as I told her what was upsetting me.

She basically told me to get over it. I don’t remember exact details, but she shared with me how when she was 10, her father died. It was ridiculous of me to be upset over “growing up” when other people have real problems.

She was right.

I also remember the speaker at my brother’s graduation ceremony. He made a big deal about enjoying every single phase of your life. Don’t wish any time away. Be thankful for every stage and what it brings.

It is my goal in life to live each stage to the fullest. Don’t rush to the next one before it’s time. But also don’t drag my heels so that I waste time in the new one.

Even though for the past 8 years my identity has been “the mother of small children,” and it is a little difficult and scary to give that up, I’m determined to enjoy this new stage. I made a conscious effort to enjoy every single moment of the last stage, so I can move ahead now with no regrets.

And there are some great things about the new phase. Although I sometimes miss being their entire world, it’s exciting to see them move into independence.

To keep this post from being completely off-topic, let me share how all of this relates to my home.

I generally attempt to avoid preaching, or giving any advice. I’m just going through my own journey out of slobdom, and hopefully my struggles and victories can encourage you. But today, I want to encourage any of you who are moms of little bitties.

Yes, it’s so much harder to keep your home in order when you have babies and toddlers running around. Some people feel like they become a slob when they hit this phase of life, and for people like me, who were born slobs, it sends things into complete chaos.

But enjoy these moments anyway. Treasure them, because they’ll be gone before you know it. Do what you can to make things better, but never let it take your focus off of your family.

Yes, I do worry that all of my children’s 2 foot tall memories will include clutter all over the floor. But even though that may be the case, I know they’ll also remember being loved, being my top priority. And even though the days did fly by, I didn’t miss a thing.

--Nony

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