Call it what you may

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind, don’t matter and those that matter, don’t mind.”   – Dr. Seuss.

I cannot figure out what to call this age and stage that I find myself in, but because of my work, I am not a fan of labels anyway.

For more than 22 years, I have first and foremost defined myself as a mom, or more aptly Kyle and Laura’s mom. I love that role and it has fulfilled me and consumed me in the best possible way. But now that my children have figuratively (and literally) “flown the coop”, a re-definition is due. Of course, I’m still a “mom”, but the full-time status has been relegated to the past. 

It is the process of moving out of their lives as they move into their own that is proving to be a challenge.  

They are truly capable, truly able to do everything they want to do and I am here if they need help. And yet, it does take a conscious effort to remove myself. To stop having their wellbeing be the first and last thought of my day.

It’s not a matter of missing them. I do, but my heart does not ache every minute. It’s the practicality of moving from focussing on their lives and their wellbeing to….something else. When every decision has been made for more than 22 years with full consideration being given to everyone, it feels oddly selfish to just do things for myself.

The “finished product”, so to speak, is an accomplishment – we did do a great job raising our children. It was not a perfect job, and I didn’t know what I was doing a lot of the time, but they know they are loved and I hope that I instilled in them the knowledge, as was said in The Help, that they are smart, kind and important. 

The greatest compliment they paid me was to ask me how I did it, how I raised them to be good people. I could not answer that because they raised me too. It was a joint effort.

And now, I have to find a new path just as they are finding theirs.

Perhaps if I just keep doing more and seeing the world from this new perspective, life will point me in the right direction.

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10 Replies to “Call it what you may”

  1. You’ve outdone yourself, Paula. A beautiful post. Whatever comes next is going to be just as fantastic as full-time mom and, of course, influenced by that experience. You’ve already taken big steps with your photography and this blog. No doubt you’ll soon find many other ways to share your warmth and super smart thoughts with the world.

    And kudos to you and your sweetie for raising two wonderful persons.

  2. You write and express yourself so beautifully Paula. Thanks so much for sharing….. I can relate to thinking only of others’ well-being – this changes? I’m sure it’s thrilling and sad at the same time when it finally happens (I’m obviously not there yet!).
    I keep checking back to see what you’ve written that will inspire me. Thanks again

  3. Reblogged this on (mom)ents and commented:

    Wow! Two years ago today I wrote this post…..and now, two years later, I’ve found that “new path” – because in just under 5 months, I will (finally) go back to university. Definitely the “right direction”.

      1. yes, ummm. Only after I’d added my comment did I see that you had reblogged that post and given us the update. So double-good for you; that wisdom did guide you, and you are indeed on to the next adventure.

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