My youngest child no longer fits in the little seat on the grocery cart. Technically, she’s still thin enough to sit comfortably, but her legs are getting so long that they continually whack mine as I navigate through the produce section. Additionally, I’m pretty sure if I continue to lift her up into that seat I will give myself a hernia sooner than later.
So for the first time in ten years, I have no children riding in the grocery cart.
I feel as if my whole identity is changing. I’m no longer the mom who is just trying to survive the day surrounded by toddlers and babies. I’m no longer the mom dealing with teething and terrible twos and temper tantrums. I’m not even the mom of a preschooler anymore.
I’m the mother of elementary school-aged children.
Which is not a bad thing. In fact, it can be pretty awesome. As the mom of older kids, I no longer have to be the first person awake to insure the safety of all living things inside the home. As a mom of older kids, I now have minions to help me in my never ending quest of ridding the house of dirt and clutter. As the mom of older kids, I no longer have to translate what my offspring is trying to communicate through crying, babbling, or toddlerese. We all speak the King’s English here (or at least Hoosier English, which may or may not be quite the same thing.)
But change, even good change, is hard. I’m not the person and the mother that I used to be. I don’t fit, anymore, into the mold I made for myself when I started this whole motherhood journey. Time has passed, doors have shut, and things have changed.
I have to make a new mold, a new image of myself as a mother. I have to get used to my new identity.
Regardless of what my new identity is, I know for sure it will include these three.