Happy New Year … and decade! It’s unbelievable how swiftly ten years, yes, TEN YEARS has passed. Something about closing one chapter to open another makes me utterly nostalgic. Luckily, Facebook has been there to remind me (let’s not talk about the college parties), how much my life (and stomach) has changed over these last ten years. My then-boyfriend and I, living a care-free, child-free life has digitally transformed into a full (did I say FULL?) one with two kiddos and a nearly ten-year-old marriage. Looking through these photos highlights the variety of experiences and life changes that the past decade unleashed. Different yet formative, and undoubtedly, precisely what I needed to be who I am today, including my ultimate life-changing moment–motherhood.
This identity of ‘MOM’ is one that I’ve had the privilege of owning for over half the decade. These five years have taught me so many lessons, bringing me sheer joy, but also leading me into valleys of sorrow; that ‘end-of-day’ adrenaline where I feel like superwoman, while within the same week, frustratingly stretched beyond my limits. I’m learning who to invite alongside me on this journey and where to set my boundaries. Motherhood has taught me what it means to remain flexible to new experiences while also taming me into a structured routine. It draws me out of my self-centeredness, but at the same moment encourages me to savor those lone moments of “me time” that once were so plentiful.
Motherhood has forced me to embrace that this responsibility can wield a spectrum of emotion that generates memories—both good and bad.
While I overthink, as my mom-brain often does, I can’t help but ponder and anticipate the memories to come in these next ten years. It’ll be 2030, and I’ll be *cough* forty-something with *bigger cough* 15 and 10-year old sons.
Who will I be as a mother? What will I have learned? What memories will this next decade bring?
Unlike my usual new year’s manifesto to rid or purge, I’d like to cherish my path to motherhood by packing away keepsakes–all physical yet, remarkably symbolic. To figuratively tuck these items into a capsule to be opened in 2030 will commemorate my first decade as a mother.
So travel to 2030 with me to see what I’d like to open:
A Sock: Simple, right? Probably weird, but for me folding socks and finding that DARN SINGLE sock, whether big or small, reminds me to slow down and truly relish their age. Symbolically, it reminds me of the essential job which was bestowed upon me in 2014. I am a leader in my children’s lives, aligning their steps as well as mine to the next milestone. Ultimately, those (now) little socks will also remind me of the sweet essence of childhood that will have faded by the time 2030 arrives.
Insulin pump: This one is VERY personal. It is the physical representation of a disease that has shaped my entire life–motherhood and all. My oldest was diagnosed at the tender age of 2 with Type 1 Diabetes and for the past three years, I’ve prayed, obsessively researched, cried and championed over this disease. Seeing this pump in a box would mean it is a thing of the past and he’s regained the normalcy that every child deserves.
That one “pre-kids” picture: This picture would not be just ANY picture, but THE picture. The ‘see, I was a hottie at one time’ picture. Not to make me sad or insecure about my current body, but as a prideful awareness of the “me” before kids, as well as a keepsake to store away. I have lived that life and been that person. Youth is an ideal that is so fleeting, but I see it as a sign of being at peace with my present body and proud of the things that it has done and will continue to do as a mother (ahem, my two c-sections and I are looking at you 5K).
A printed screenshot of this blog post: A reminder that I put myself out there and tackled a goal I have had for many years. A reminder that I laid the foundation for something I had been dreaming of but was too scared to do. A reminder to my boys that creative outlets are just as crucial as traditional and professional pathways; to dive in headfirst and not to be afraid to take risks.
A bottle of champagne: A literal cheers to making it through another decade with lessons learned, greater confidence, more answers, and another ten years seemingly unscathed as a mother. Clearly, I’ll be an expert by then with a tidy house and well-behaved children.
So with that, I challenge you to think of the keepsakes you’d like to open and relish as a mother. What would you like to remember? What is meaningful to you in this motherhood journey?
Write it down, pack it away and look forward to the adventure. Mamas, here’s to 2030 and all this next decade has to offer us!