Before our babies are born,
we cannot imagine life with a child.
Once they arrive,
we cannot imagine life without them.
For the past twenty two years,.
I have been a hands on mom.
I gave up my nursing career,
to stay at home when my first child was born
I can remember my husband saying,
that he was slightly embarrassed,
when he told his workmates,
that I was going to stay at home.
He felt that it was not the popular choice,
among the women where he worked.
I immersed myself completely in motherhood,
and went on to have three more children,
and mind two others full time.
Those two little girls,
became the fifth and sixth children in my family.
Days were busy,
and life was all about mothering.
Each day passed in a haze of demands.
Crying, hugs and laughter in equal measure.
The summers were happy days of outdoor fun,
but the winter was long and hard,
confined indoors with so many young children,
especially when you are still in your twenties.
As each child left for school,
My friends delighted in their freedom,
but I longed for the days that had passed.
As I kissed them goodbye,
with their schoolbags in their hands,
I thought that my life was changed forever.
I was wrong.
My babies returned each day at lunchtime.
They sat together at the table,
a noisy bunch of children,
of differing ages,
all demanding of my time.
They played together,
and most of their games,
meant turning my house upside down.
I can see the mess still,
and clearly hear the noise,
of six children having fun.
Time marched on,
and in what seems to have been,
the blink of an eye,
all has changed.
Recently my second child left for college.
He joins my eldest,
and the two little ladies I minded.
The house which was always full,
and echoed the fun of so many children,
is relatively quiet now.
The table where so many sat around,
talking, fighting, spilling drinks,
doing homework and of course eating,
has many empty seats.
The play room is gone,
and the swings hang empty.
I am lucky I know,
to still have two children left at home,
but they are growing up before my eyes.
Even when my older children return,
mine is now a very different house,
of older children’s noises.
I feel like life is racing by.
I knew when my second child headed to college,
that I would miss him greatly.
What I did not appreciate,
was that when he would leave,
life would never be the same again.
Don’t get me wrong,
I am delighted my children are happy,
but I can’t help but miss my busy mothering days.
I miss the noise, the tears and the laughter,
the mess and the lack of personal time.
I miss the smell of a new born,
and little arms raised asking to be lifted.
Tantrums and tears,
shouts of laughter,
games fueled by imagination,
and sitting together,
little ones all clambering,
for a spot on my knee.
I miss my children being children.
I have done my job well,
looked after each child,
and nurtured them through childhood.
However success means,
that now my children are happy and confident.
Ready to leave home without a backward glance.
As I sit in the silence,
of my house without young children,
I have mixed feelings about my success.
I am proud and happy when I look at my children.
Yet I am also filled with regret.
That day I thought would never arrive,
is finally here and I now realize fully,
I can never go back.
Those days are gone.
Life will never be the same again!