Dear Moms, This Next Stage of Life? It’s still hard.

Anyone else remember this EPIC blog from 2 years ago? I remember reading it for the first time while nursing my son in the wee hours of the morning and thinking. Holy cow. Someone FINALLY GETS IT. I also remember thinking, I can’t wait for this to just get easier.

It turns out that next stage of life? It’s still hard.

You’re purging the baby toys, piles of gear, ditching diapers and saying goodbye to the baby phase. You’re realizing just how quickly they grow up. You’ll never feel the kick of tiny feet in your belly again or wear those sexy elastic waist maternity pants. It happened so quickly.

Your kids are nearing the age where you have “the talk”. Not just that talk, but the talks about protecting their own bodies, setting boundaries, standing up for themselves, and bullying. How the poor choices of adults can hurt many. The beautiful innocence of infant and toddlerhood is fading.

You’re watching your parents and other relatives that were imperative to your childhood slowly turn grey and beginning to have hard discussions on options during the aging process. Some of us have already lost parents and felt the painful mourning process of saying goodbye.

You’re finding yourself again. Your options are opening up as children enter school, become more independent and self-sufficient. Do you go back to school? Do you change careers? What in the world do you even like to do anymore?

It’s make or break for your marriage as you are waking up from the cloud of exhaustion and climbing career ladders. You may be feeling overlooked and unloved in the hustle. You are struggling to find “we” in the midst of life. Don’t give up. If you’re gonna fight, fight for each other.

Some of your closest friends have become strangers during the strain of real adulting. It’s proof that some things don’t stand the test of growth and time. It hurts to know that saying goodbye to toxic relationships is sometimes necessary to be able to show up for the people that truly need you.

Even with the bad, there’s better. Your kids are having real conversations and have the same beautiful curiosity about the world. They are developing personalities, finding passions and hobbies of their own. Your marriage isn’t too far gone to save (date night+sexy time nearly always=better marriage). As time goes you are beginning to value depth, realness and personal connections that you didn’t before. You are stronger inside. You are more confident in decision making and in your own abilities. You are making life count, I hope.

Life isn’t getting any easier, but it sure is beautiful and worth the challenge.

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