The Empty Feeling When My Youngest and Last Baby Goes to School
It seems like just yesterday, my youngest and last baby was born, and now she just started preschool. She is more than ready and actually loves going to school, but for me, I feel an empty feeling, almost a loss. Yes, I enjoy the few hours to myself but I miss my sidekick. When I drop her off she runs in happily, and waves goodbye, which I am very relieved about. I would rather that than tears and me forcing her to go, but it still makes me sad she doesn’t need me anymore.
When I ask her how school was, she always replies with “it was the best mommy, I did it without you!” Wow! That hits me hard. While I am happy we raised a happy, confident and brave little girl, it also makes my momma heart ache a little. I am not needed as much anymore. When our babies are born, they rely on us completely to survive. They NEED us. As they get older, that need isn’t as great. Slowly, they become self sufficient, slowly they are able to take care of their basic needs, slowly they “do things without us.”
As parents, that is our main goal: to raise our kids to one day become happy, healthy adults. But the progression of that is not always easy on my heart. I have realized one reason my baby going to preschool is so hard for me is because I am out of that life stage of having babies. I have no more toddlers, I officially am a mom of kids. While that comes with its perks, its has definitely been a transition for me. As moms, it is ok to mourn the life of days past, even when the current days are great. We need to allow ourselves to grieve, if you will, all the stages we have gone through and our children have grown through. It’s ok to feel sad.
Today, when I picked my daughter up from school, she ran to me so fast, hugged me tightly around my neck and said “I missed you today mommy! I really needed you today at recess to help with my helmet, but then I figured it out myself!” That’s what I needed to hear: that even when she is growing and needing me less, she still thinks about me for help first.
As moms, we are constantly talking about the independence we get for ourselves as our kids get older, but we don’t often allow ourselves to talk about the sadness that comes with that independence as well. These feelings that moms experience need to be talked about. We should be able express a sadness of our kids growing up, even when they are happy, healthy and life is great. To the moms experiencing these feelings and emotions, I SEE YOU, I HEAR YOU, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!