At the age of 41, I was a mother of two pre-teen daughters, both in middle school. As most moms of children over ten will tell you, I had experienced the sweet taste of freedom! I saw the “Light at the end of the Tunnel.”
My girls were finally old enough to be home by themselves. If I happened to be caught at the register at Target or the grocery store at school release time, no worries.
My stress over managing the afternoon clock that always seemed to slip away from me from 1-2:30 was slightly reduced.
I would arrive home to find them eating a snack while working on their homework with the dogs already let out.
Nothing is on fire, everything is in order unless you count the book bags, coats and sneakers strewn about the entryway, and I usually didn’t. They are good kids. Ah, life was good.
It’s always been about the simple things. And that tunnel was getting shorter and brighter each day.
I was an entrepreneur, with my own work from home business I had been running since before either of my girls were born. I could see myself working on hitting those big girl goals I had set for myself that year (and the year before that and the year before that, wait, I digress).
No, I thought to myself. This year was going to be it! Finally, the timing was right. Well, God has a funny way of turning us around on what we think we know, and life took an interesting turn for our family. See, I thought I had things figured out.
I thought I saw the light at the end of the tunnel
Light at the End of the Tunnel. Who came up with that phrase? When you stop to think about it, it is a terrible analogy to compare your life with.
What I didn’t realize was that there was no reason for me to see my life as a tunnel to start with.
I didn’t have to live in that dark, dank, closed-in environment in my mind, and God knew it.
He was truly going to set me free.
Up until then, the freedom that I knew was so precious to me, the ability to go off to the library and peruse about the books at my leisure, to go get my hair done, and all the other things we think we need to have some me-time.
While it can be important for every mom’s sanity, should it be our ultimate goal? It depends on your personality.
I would say I am pretty balanced between introvert and extrovert. I enjoy people, enjoy being around them, and have no problem engaging in conversations and friendship building.
Yet at the same time, I am also perfectly content being alone with my thoughts, particularly when I go into learning mode.
There are times when I can be shy, but more times where I think respectfully of others.
Well, I relished the alone time, the working time, the date nights with my husband, and the time to volunteer at church.
My children are precious to me too
That light I saw at the end of the tunnel, the one I associated with freedom, was precious to me.
My children were precious to me, too.
Before I go on, let me explain that my darling daughters are funny, bright, talented, interested in many things, and enjoyable to be around.
However, they also come with their fair share of needs, dare I say, ‘special needs.’
Yes, their health needs require more doctor visits and daily attention than the average ‘healthy’ child. Its part of the reason being an entrepreneur has been critical to our families livelihood.
When they entered school, it became clear to me how much we needed them to go to a different environment for learning time. Not just for my sanity and well-being, but theirs as well.
Little did I know my source of light was going to change.
On a cool day in January, after a week of feeling off and exceptionally tired, it dawned on me that our family dynamic, our lifestyle, and our daily routine, was to change forever.
Much to the surprise of both me and my husband, and after 11 years since my last pregnancy, I would be giving birth to another human being.
We would be growing our family. My husband and I (and our kids) would be starting over with babies and diapers and everything.
Starting Over? That’s a Shock
Shock doesn’t begin to describe it. Starting over. Back to the start of the tunnel?
No. That tunnel’s confinement was shattered.
Thanks to God’s grace, my mind was shifted. We were released out into the warm glow of a bright life.
By God’s grace, our son was born eight months later (He couldn’t wait to come into our world), and our family was forever changed.
Yes, we started over and I will tell you our light has never been brighter.
P.S. Are you a woman raising teenagers and a baby or toddler or about to? Do you feel like you are alone with no one to relate to you? Would you like to meet other moms surviving teens and tots? 🙂 Join our LaboyJoyCommuninty on FB or sign up for our weekly newsletter below. And please share with a friend or two. I am so happy you are here with us.
Chandra is the chocolate-chip loving mother of 2 teenage girls who started over again with a baby boy in her 40’s! She is the author of The Mom’s Playbook to Conquering Softball Season. She gives other moms the tools they need to prepare their daughters for real life. Her content is centered on helping girls grow up to be well-rounded, equipped, expressive, confident, intelligent, capable, kind and independent.