I was just thinking back over my life the other day and realised that having and raising little children has been the best stage of my life so far. Sure, it can be overwhelming sometimes. It can be exhausting. It can be frustrating. It can be challenging. It can be heart-wrenching. But I would not have things any other way. I love my life, and the chaos that can ensue around here! I love the fact that I am responsible for raising these little people and teaching them to be good human beings. I love that, at this age, they are so formative and that I can have such an important role in helping 'shape' them (I hesitate to say 'mould' as I think children will take their own path in life and all we can do is guide them along the way - ultimately they will be what they will be!)
I struggled when I was growing up. To be accepted. To be confident in myself. I didn't like the person I was. Having kids has changed all of that. All of a sudden I have these little people that I am responsible for. I need to be brave and I need to be confident for them. It's truly amazing how much courage you have when you have to stand up for your own kids! They have taught me that I'm a pretty ok person just the way I am and they love me unconditionally. Which in turn has given me confidence. I love that my body has grown and nurtured my children and I am so proud of what it is! Having children has also made me a much more social person. I have always struggled meeting and talking to new people but suddenly I share a common experience with so many other people. We all share the same fears and frustrations. I have met and made so many new friends that I never would have expected to in the past.
It's so beautiful seeing my kids at this stage in their life. I'm amazed at how quickly they grow and change. How one second they are just little babies and then the next they are their own little people with such strong personalities. I love seeing all three of my kids interacting with each other. Hearing Jacob and Esme have 'serious' discussions about all the really important things in life (like what the 'fox' in our backyard has been responsible for doing!), watching the two kids making Gideon laugh as they run around, screaming. I love that, even though the tantrums can be so full on, Jacob will turn around and say that he 'loves Mummy and Daddy'. Usually every day!
I feel a little sad when I think about this stage of my life finishing. Of never being pregnant again and experiencing the miracle of a new life. Of seeing my first (or last!) child off to school. I wonder exactly what I'll do with all my spare time when that happens (yeah, yeah, I know I won't really have trouble filling that in!) This year Jacob starts school and I feel a bit like it's the end of an era. I will not have all my kids at home with me ever again (unless I do decide to homeschool in the end!) I think I will be *that* Mum in the corner shedding a quiet tear!
So, all you other Mums that have been there and done that - please reassure me that there is light at the end of the tunnel. That the next stages in life are just as enjoyable! (I think I really do know that...it's just hard to let go of this stage!)