Empty-nesting is liberating, for sure. I sleep, eat, and play whenever and wherever I want (most of the time). I don’t even have a pet.
My kids are young adults and one of them even has kids of her own. They need very little from me at this point — occasional work or parenting advice, a recipe, an address, or some tidbit of family health history.
But this past week I got an opportunity to be the full-on mom again, and I quite liked it.
I played Play Dough with my granddaughter and catch with my grandson. I cut up fruit for their breakfast and even changed a diaper. Like riding a bike, you never forget how.
My younger daughter had a group of friends out for the weekend and I took their breakfast orders and made a bagel run.
And, just like in the “old days” of motherhood, I juggled my mothering with work, finishing three major projects within deadlines.
The big difference between now and then is that I’m able to enjoy it more. I worry less about screwing-up. I usually manage my stress better.
I don’t miss the early morning wake-up times, the diaper-changing, and the crying. But I do miss serving meals for groups of kids and listening to their conversations. I miss the bedtime hugs and kisses.
Today I return to my adult life. I will mentor rather than mother. I’ll bring an extra cup of coffee for a co-worker. I’ll even get up super-early when I hear a cry. But it’s more likely to be a client “cry” via e-mail asking for something for an urgent deadline.
All are gratifying, but the title of Mom is one that lasts forever.