New year. New routines. Uncharted territory. For as long as I’ve been a mother, I’ve been pretty consistent in that I get pregnant shortly after my baby turns one, evenly spacing my kids apart by about two years… rinse and repeat. Here we are at nearly two years since my last baby was born, but this time without another growing inside of me. It’s been a wild 8+ years of my body changing back and forth, hormones all over the place, babies and toddlers everywhere I look. The baby stage is now behind us and it feels like we’re stepping into a season that’s no longer survival mode. The fog of sleeplessness is slowly lifting. My body is (almost) my own again.
Confession: I used to be really nervous about the in-between years; the ones after toddlerhood and before adulthood. All of my experience as a nanny was with young children. I felt confident in it and truly loved it, even when it was hard. But kids? Like actual kids that aren’t babies? CLUELESS. No idea what I’m supposed to do with a bunch of those. 😂 I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again, but if there’s anything I’ve learned over the last several years it’s that I actually know less than I thought- in every season and in all areas of life. My children are all so different from one another, requiring different parenting approaches, and constantly humbling me. Society has strong and conflicting opinions about *how* to raise them, so I know I certainly won’t avoid judgement from onlookers at any given time. Realizing that I’m definitely going to get a lot wrong and that we’re learning as we go is actually so freeing!
Instead of being sad that the sweetness of babies and toddlers are slipping behind us, I’m finding that I’m so EXCITED for this new season. We get to have more *real* conversations with our kids, travel with them (we already do that a little, but it’ll be less stressful going forward 😅), we get to nurture the foundation of friendship with them as we slowly give them more independence and responsibility. We get to see their personalities and interests gain more depth and support them as they figure out their God given gifts and identity.
My prayer for this year is that as we step into a new phase without diapers and high chairs and nursing bras, is that it will be year that we simply catch our breath. An exhale. A pause. A slow down before the loops and turns of the quickly coming teenage years. Routines that make sense for our family. Laser focus on what truly matters- God. Family. People.
This will be my third time leaning back into writing on this blog. I started it when I was engaged, then again as a brand new mom and first time homeowner. Both were exciting new seasons, and I’m so excited for this next one. Feel free to tag along. 😊