For the past 7 years, spending the holidays with joy and relaxation seemed extinct. When my oldest son was born, he’s first Thanksgiving was spent trying to soothe, feed and diaper change him. He was 3 months old and wanted nothing to do with large groups of people.Since then our holidays have been stressful with everything from preparing to leave our house to making sure our kids weren’t destroying someone else’s house.
Let’s be honest, holidays with children are hard. I fool myself every year. I tell myself how nice it will be to hang with family and eat good food. Reality is… I’m chasing kids and eating cold food.
This year was going to be different though. I wasn’t fooling myself. This year would be nice. My kids are all at a decent age (15, 7, 4, 2). They can entertain themselves and they play nicely together (uh, usually). The most I’d have to do is get their plates ready. I was pumped. I was ready. I was going to enjoy adult conversations, browse the “Black Friday” ads and eat a warm meal with (not after) everyone else.
And guess what... it happened. I had a painless Thanksgiving. My kids were awesome! I was able to do all the stuff I wanted. I had a really nice time.
Later that night when I reflected back, I found myself a little sad. I had a painless Thanksgiving. What the hell was I sad about?!? I was feeling down because my kids are growing older, they don’t need me as much. My mind quickly fast-forwarded and soon enough I had them all graduated, married and starting their own families.
It’s a heartbreaking thought. I don’t want to change diapers forever, but I am having a hard time letting go of the baby stage. I think as a mother most of us have a hard time with this. Motherhood has wired us to be this way. We want to be needed by our children.
As my kids grow I will adjust and love whatever stage of life we go through. But I sure will miss chubby little cheeks snuggling into me and the sound of little giggles echoing through my house on a daily basis.