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Remembering Who I Am Besides Mom

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I am writing this post from my breakfast table. It is quiet. The only thing I hear is a running dryer from the laundry room and the occasional yawn from a four pound Yorkie. That is it. This is extremely… weird. I am certain that normally I have one of the noisiest homes in the neighborhood. Not only do I have four children but they also tend to be… deafening. I like to say we are a spirited family.

Today is a full day of school for all four kids. The first this year. The hubby is at work. I am alone. Except for my dog. I gotta say, the quiet is nice. Odd, but nice.

After I became pregnant with my second baby we decided that I would stay home to care for our children. I had worked for 15 years. It would prove a huge transition. I have now been a stay-at-home-mother for eight years. Wow. Eight years. I had that baby and then two more.

At one time, not so long ago, I was the mother of a kindergartener, a three-year-old, a one-year-old and a new baby. I was not even sure some days if I was tough enough for that challenge. That was a true test of my grit. I will not lie. There were days when I felt like I was barely hanging on by a thread.

Everyone told me to bear with it. That one day it would get easier. Now I know that they were talking about. It’s where I am now. The times when they are still young but more independent. They are not yet teenagers which will be difficult in whole new ways. These are the days that they told me would come.

There is nothing better than a new baby. We all know that. I used to sit and watch mine as they slept. Occasionally sniffing their new baby smells. But from that tiny baby we go through many trying milestones: Sleeping through the night, teething, tantrums and potty training just to name a few. I have survived all of those, four times.

Now I’m transiting to a new phase of life. Next year all four of my children will be in school full-time. This year I still have one home with me a couple of days of the week. I get to have a baby for just a little bit longer. I will relish that. Believe me.

I can’t help but think today is pretty amazing though. I have already crossed everything off my to do list. I have finished three loads of laundry. Three. Now here I sit writing this blog. In theory it should be the best blog post ever because I can actually hear my own thoughts. That is not usually the case.

I wondered if I would feel guilty about this kid free time. Even though I did my years on the brink of insanity. I am a person who likes to fill my time. I like to stay busy. I actually have to schedule time to read or I would never get around to any good books.

I am enjoying my day very much. I am getting things accomplished. I am enjoying the silence. Wednesday maybe I will even go somewhere. Alone. Who knows? For today though I just wanted to soak in the moment.

The school day does have a way of slipping by though and before long it will be time to pick up my preschooler and then my big kids. I will jump straight back into mom mode as though they were never gone. I will listen to stories about their day. I will go through their notebooks looking at work and assignments. I will unpack lunch boxes.

I will help with homework. Ahhh how we parents love homework. I will somehow still manage to cook supper and convince my children that they do, if fact, need baths. By the time second shift is over, and all of the kids are tucked safely into bed, I will be exhausted.

My role as a mother is changing. My kids are growing a little more every day. Where I once read books to my daughter, I will glance into her room later and see her reading in her bed. Where I used to help my oldest son do his coloring sheets, I will help him with his math. Where I used to shoo my third child away at homework time, I will now invite him to join in.

I am trying to memorize every stage of raising my children. Each stage is wonderful in its own way. Each is trying and each is rewarding.

As my kids get a little more independent, I now have a little time to figure out who I am again. I am not just Mom. What do I enjoy doing when I have free time? How can I better myself? How can I better the world? This has turned out to be an exciting time for everyone. The kids have a new school year, full of possibilities and so do I.

We should all strive to be the best mother that we can. But don’t feel guilty for having a little time for yourself. Whether you are a stay-at-home-mother or a working mom. Life is full of changes. For years I was caught up in being Mom to a bunch of little kids with not much time to worry about anything else. I guess it’s time to remember how to be me, at this time in my life.

I am looking forward to this part of my journey.

And I can’t wait to see my kids when they get out of school.

Tonja used to live in the grown up world, but now she has a husband, four kids and a princess dog. She refuses to lose her sanity, or herself. If she’s going to be the mother of four, she’ll do it in great shoes. You can read more about Tonja’s hilarious escapades on her blog. You can also find her Facebook. and Pinterest.

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