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Entering this new stage of motherhood

I believe I’m more in tune with the “lasts” of my daughter because she’s our baby. I’m realizing this shift in my role of being a Momma and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it.

This week my younger two children and I road tripped to New Jersey to visit with and celebrate my oldest son’s 17th birthday. I was already on an emotional roller coaster because SEVENTEEN?!? How’d we get here so soon? Senior year, college decisions and facial hair. It’s just too much.

Stages of motherhood - my baby is no longer a baby

Related Article: Five Ways to Make Blended Parenting Work

It’s been a weekend jam-packed with activities. My younger two were excited to see how their big brother spent his time away from them. I sat watching them quickly connect with the cousins they’d heard stories of or spoken to via Face Time when talking to Big Brother.

This morning when I woke up in our hotel room ALONE in my bed – it hit me like a ton of bricks. My baby girl had not snuck in my bed once this last week for cuddles.

The more I reflected on the week I realized she had been giving me signs throughout our trip. She had splashed happily in the pool with the other children and forgot about her fear of water. Y’all. She let me hold a toddler and didn’t come to let her presence be known as MY BABY once.

Stages of motherhood - they are allowing me to just BE and enjoy one anothers companionship

How’d I miss this?

As I lay here in this comfortable hotel bed with no feet in uncomfortable places typing this out on my iPhone I’m torn and conflicted. It is really nice to have all this space to make myself, but for the first time in 17 years I’m not having to share space with one of my children at least 97% of the time. I’m realizing how much comfort it’s given ME – not just them. I have been a mother almost my entire adult life. My oldest son was born two months after my 21st birthday. Before he was born, I was a full-time caretaker to my oldest godchildren when their mother struggled with severe postpartum depression. I am not fully sure how to function without some little person needing and or demanding my time and attention.

Stages of motherhood - my children are learning to depend and support one another before coming to me for assistance

I realize now why I have memories of my Momma watching me sleep as a teenager or giving extra goodnight hugs and kisses when she thought I was fast asleep. Excuse me as I go take a page out of her book.

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