My “baby” is starting kindergarten. I knew it was inevitable, but the reality of it always comes as a shock. Where have the last five years gone?
As with all of my children, I am filled with regrets. There is a list in my mind of all the things I “meant” to do, wanted to do – and then never did. I spent too much time trying to keep a clean house among the chaos and not enough time playing. There always seemed to be work to do. I regret not enjoying each moment more.
I have been fortunate enough to be a farmwife and stay-at-home mom to our five children for 13 years. That has been my daily job, my purpose – my life. I have been there to see all of their “firsts,” mend their scrapes, enjoy their successes and watch them grow. My house has never been silent, as little voices and footsteps filled the rooms. My days were full with their activities and I always had a helper with me. I loved this time – it’s who I am.
But now I look at my empty house and wonder what my daily purpose is. No little person will “help” me make cookies, or chatter to me as I work. I won’t hear the sound of “Little Bear” in the background or trip over a herd of “My Little Ponies.” There will be many times where I will say, “I wish the kids were here for this.” When I go into the grocery store, the clerk is sure to say, “No little helpers today?”
Starting school is an exciting time, and I wouldn’t stop my children from growing or hinder their progress. I know I will learn to enjoy this stage of motherhood also. Perhaps my house will finally stay cleaner, my yard better kept, and the laundry caught up. Maybe I’ll get a chance to tackle those projects that were put off until “someday” or find the time to do things that I always wanted to do but never had time. I can still care for my children’s needs – but in a different way. I can be their support from home, attend their school functions, help them with their homework and provide a welcome environment for them to come home to. Quite possibly, the time apart will be refreshing and help me to be a better mother when they are home.
And of course there will be the times when my husband comes in to say, “I need your help to move cows right away!” and I know I won’t be bored. I’ll probably be busier than ever! After all, I’m still a mother AND a farmer’s wife. –Tanya Unrau writes from