Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Job of Finding Yourself

Lately my mind has been in overdrive over so many different things. Some subjects I'm willing to discuss and share and others not so much. I feel like my life is slowly starting to change into something other than what it has been for the last 10 - 15 years. I am sure that many other mothers are going through this as well. The past 24 years I have primarily been a mom and wife, with a few different outside of the home jobs occasionally mixed in. Our oldest moved out over two years ago, bought himself a house and pretty much lives his new life. I know that is the way it is supposed to work, but it is still hard letting go and not being a part of his daily life. If I'm real honest sometimes not even part of his weekly life. Soon my teenage daughter will follow in that same path. Maybe off to college, maybe moving out to live with friends and work, maybe even finding that one true love that she will marry and start a family. All of these things are great but also kind of terrifying to me. Parts of me dread the day when I no longer have a child to homeschool or live under our roof, seeking guidance from me, etc. I am almost afraid of saying these things out loud. Other parents seem to navigate these waters with little trouble, but I have nearly a 16 year old and I am already dreading the coming days of another child's lack of need for my input or care. Don't get me wrong - I know my children love me and will always be there for me, but it is different as they grow up.

As a parent heading toward a completely empty nest that is on the cusp of having to redefine what my whole purpose in life is - well, quite frankly it is giving me great pause. Who am I kidding, more like making me want to jump out of my own skin. This Christmas break from homeschooling, Cooperative, and tutoring has given me a slight glimpse into what that world may look like for me - it isn't pretty folks! I didn't like it. What am I going to do with my life? With all that time on hands every day. It brings me back to being a senior in high school and everyone asking "What do you want to do with your life?" "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Only now I am having to answer all these questions at the ripe old age of 48. I'm hoping and praying that God will give me some kind of guidance as to what direction my life needs to go so that when the empty nest does arrive, I will be prepared and able to cope. Maybe I'm just having a mid-life crisis. If so, I would like it to go away now and never come back! Is this what getting older feels like? Am I over thinking all of this too much? Who am I after I am no longer a child raising mother? These are questions I will definitely need to answer in the years to come. The one calming thought that keeps entering my mind is that millions of mothers have gone on this same adventure before me and gone through the same feelings as I and came through it in the end.

2 comments:

Amy Knecht said...

I feel your pain. Hannah will be starting college in Fall. I will be alone for the first time in over 23 years. I am working weekends at a nursing home that fills a huge void and helps pay the college loans. I pray that God gives you the direction you need. Love you.

Ruth Dixon said...

We have 4 between us (my husband and I-his, mine and ours). The oldest is 27 and a new mom, the youngest will be 19 in a couple weeks and went off to college 6 hours away in September. I was lucky enough last July to obtain a dream job as a 4-H program assistant, so I'm always around kids that I have known for years. Its hard though, because my husband and I got married with 3 kids, so we've never been alone. It's hard to admit that I'm struggling to find common ground with him. It's been interesting to say the least. Find something that you have always wanted to try, or start doing something that you used to love. It will be okay!