I hadn't been to visit the Segullah blog for a long time. This is what I found. I love it!
A few years back, when my three kids were nine, seven and four, I hit one of those turning points. A demarcation. I lived in Minnesota at the time, in a school district where summers were looooong, and I remember sitting at my computer one hot July day, looking out the window at my kids running around on the lawn, completely independent. They no longer needed me to tie their shoes or wipe their bottoms, rock them to sleep or buckle their seat belts. In many ways, it was a time to celebrate my own independence. Finally, I had some air to breathe, a little corner of quiet. Sleep. Oh, the sleep! It was everything I’d been yearning for.
Yet I felt unsettled, unmoored by my impending freedom. For the better part of the previous decade, I’d been a mom of little kids. Sure, I’d done other things while they were small, but in many ways the tying and wiping and rocking and buckling were the actions that defined my days. Defined my life. The future was yawning (and I was well rested), which begged the question:
So what was I gonna do now??
What I did was get pregnant again. Halfway through my third child’s kindergarten year, we welcomed our caboose—our fourth and final child—whom my husband called our “hobby baby.” He’s been darling and fun (and crazy and exhausting). But this post isn’t about babies. It’s about choices. It’s about that time in your life when you stand on the dividing line from one phase to the next and find yourself wondering who (whom??) the heck you are supposed to be.
Perhaps it’s my age—I’m thirty six—but I feel like recently I’ve had an abundance of conversations with women my age about how to handle the next phase. The “kids are all in school . . . now what?” conversation. And inevitably, in almost every conversation, somebody says this:
“I want to (fill in the blank) but I’m afraid . . .”
I want to go back to work, but I’m afraid the other stay-at-home moms will judge me.