Monday, January 25, 2010

Empty Nest/Womb Syndrome....

I have been working on this post for awhile and tonight I had to finish it.  I hope the title makes sense once you read this post.

Does the desire to have a baby ever go away?  I know this doesn't apply to every woman but baby loving women like myself feel this way.  Everyone keeps asking me if we are"DONE"... yes we are. Which actually makes me sad... not because I want more kids... because 4 is a lot, a perfect even number.  It makes me sad knowing that this part of my life is over...  makes me feel old.  I love babies, love being pregnant (except when you asked me at the end)  actually love giving birth even though  it hurt like HE double L, baby showers, tiny clothes, baby food, diapers, breast feeding, it is all so wonderful and magical, joyful, innocent, and makes you feel wonderful.

I don't even mind changing diapers.. I know that it is such a short part of their life.  I guess I am just one of the lucky ones... easy pregnancy..(gain too much weight only bad part), easy labors, easy and natural breast feeding, and just generally enjoy the whole baby stage. Not saying it isn't hard because it is!

I've said it before.... I am treasuring every moment of miss Scarlette's existence. Not that I did not enjoy and treasure the first, second and third kidos but..... What you don't realize with your first is that it all goes so fast... yes, every one tells you... but you are so excited about the next new thing they are going to do you forget to savor every moment.  Because before you know it your baby will be teenager...sniff sniff.  I basically have 5.5 years left until gab is an adult, which is crazy and sad.  Yes, she will always be my baby but it will be different. 

Tonight, I was reading a magazine and there was an article that had tears welling up in my eyes... had the kids not been sitting next to me I would have cried.  It really resonated with me.  It was talking about parenting teenagers and how hard it is.  Here is a quote from the article: The boy and the mom were on a walk with their dog and the dog was fetching sticks over and over again and the mom told the teen-aged son" its her instinct, she's programed to fetch."  The son asked"what are you programed for mom?"  "Nurturing" the mom said.  (This is the part that killed me)  The son said"Well, you can nurture me a little while longer, but then, you know, I'll be gone."   The other part of the article that killed me was that she was talking about how she had always defined herself as a "mother of boys" and how she will be losing this part of her life, the part of being a mother to growing children. This was an article in family circle, it was an excerpt from this book.. The gift of an ordinary day by: Katrin A Kenison.

As I was sitting at the table reading this article, the girls were chasing Graham around and there was screaming and giggling, Scarlette was on my lap giving me huge open mouth slobbery kisses and I thought..... remember this moment, the chaos, the happiness... these sweet little people (who I sometimes want to kill)  will not be here with me forever.  Who cares that there are dishes all over the counter and sink, that there are hot wheels from one end of the house to the other and that my house is not perfectly decorated and I don't have every material thing my heart desires.... I have these four little people.

Yes, I still have two very little babies, but I have two older girls that I have spent more time raising then I have left with them.  Am I being overly sentimental?  Or just realizing how important these special years/moments are together. 

Tonight was a big milestone for my oldest child- this I am sure she would be mortified that I am writing about, but it is a big deal for me too.  She has taken the lovely(not so much) step into woman hood.  I remember what a big deal it was when I finally started, partly because I was THE LAST of my friends to start and partly because it is such a big deal.  I literally called all of my friends and let them know I had finally started.  Gabby said to me "I don't like this"  I said " it is part of being a girl... an important part... it is what allows you to have babies."  I'm pretty sure she was thinking...whatever mom. But someday when she is ready to have her own babies and stop having babies she will hopefully remember that conversation and realize that it my be uncomfortable, yucky, painful and all around miserable.... but it is also a gift.

I was at the OB for my annual the other day and he asked about birth control and I said that I do not want to take the pill forever.  So he asked me what my plan was and I said for my husband  to get surgery. So the Dr. says( new Dr. to me and he is probably 70)"well, if he chickens out I have an in office sterilization process I can do on you."  Fortunately I am a nice person otherwise I might have thrown something at him, instead I said" uh NO, he will not chicken out, I have done all the hard stuff all ready."  This is what I was also thinking... I will not have surgery of any kind... I can not give up my fertility.  My family is reading this and getting scared...  not having  any more babies family...   Just don't want to give that part of me up...  so hard to explain. 

I was watching a rerun of Tool Time and it was the episode where Jill(the mom) had a hysterectomy and totally freaked out after.  She called her self an old dried up shell and thought that her husband and no man for that matter would find her attractive now.  I had watched this episode when it ran the first time and didn't think anything of it.... this time I was thinking... I understand.

My sister took three of my four kids over night two weekends ago and Chad happened to be gone, it was so weird and lonely with out them. I know how empty nesters feel.  I know it will be gradual and I know that Chad and I love being together and there are a lot of things we want to see and do, and that someday we will get to be grandparents, possibly before all my little ones have left the nest.  It will be bitter sweet.

I will have to come back and read this post often... especially during these next few hard teenage years.


Michele said...

Oh Jenn...I so agree with you. My kids are grown and still living with me, but I know that will end very soon. At least with Cassie living with me, I have my grandson close and can see him every day. I so miss the days when they were little and so full of wonder...


Shara said...

This is a sweet and thoughtful post, Jen. My son is 14 and I cannot beleive my time with him has been so fast. He will always be "mine" of course. But, he is growing up and needs me less. I still need him though! I think I could have been one of those people that had 12 kids - I like being a MOM! Enjoy your babies (and teens!)

Jason and Brianne Kjar said...

Thank you for writing this post. i know that we have never met and have only talked through weight loss Wednesdays, but reading your post made me realize how important it is to cherish every moment with our children. My boys are very young still but time passes so quickly. It's always a nice reminder to place priorities correctly. Thanks again

Heidi said...

What a sweet post, Jen! I don't think there's anything wrong with feeling sadness that a part of your life that you've loved very much is passing. I believe strongly that our highest calling as women is to nurture and to be mothers. Not that it is the only thing we're good at, or our only purpose in life--just the most important one.

qltmom9 said...

LOL, Oh, I feel like I SOOOO know you! You made my heart thrill that someone could SO understand me. I have 9 children. Ages, 21, 19, 17, 15, 13, 11, 8, 6, and my baby is now 4yo. The baby promises to stay my sweet. Your post sure makes me glad to be a woman.
Thank you. OH...I mailed my FQs today.
Lucy (in IN)

Heidi said...

As I watch my sister parent her teenagers, I am confident that each stage has its benefits. She and her husband actually have time for each other again; she is really enjoying her work outside the home again; and she and her kids have more adult-like relationships, which is cool. And now she gets to babysit my baby! Remember, there are always grandchildren!