Back to school is an interesting time for mothers. Some celebrate, such as my friend whose kids have a very … explosive sibling relationship. Going back to school may have saved at least one of their lives.
Some stand in shock, such as my friend who helped her eldest put on makeup before her first day of high school. Some, such as another dear friend, must drive their child halfway across the country and leave them in the company of strangers. And others, like most of us, are watching the years fly by with a sense of bewilderment.
So, what do to? No matter what stage you are in, there is a vacuum left behind when a child hits a new phase of life. Each day means more independent children. I feel as though yesterday life was an endless sea of diapers, and now I’m a taxi cab and short-order cook.
This year, for back to school, I arranged to meet with several friends after we dropped the kids off for their first day. About 15 of us showed up. As we laughed and talked, my friends started discussing what they were going to do next.
Having company and hearing everyone’s plans was key to my emotional recovery.
Some of my friends are pursuing more education, some are taking up new hobbies, and others had a list of things to accomplish today. As I reflected over my own state of being, I realized my goals and plans keep me motivated. Yes, I want to be a mom first, but having other goals keeps my mind active and makes me a more rounded person. Plus, it got me over the “Now what?” hump after I watched my daughter skip into school to start her own new adventure.
What about y’all?
Jennifer Dyer has an M.S. in Communications Disorders, which served her well in her professional career as a speech-language pathologist. Never did she imagine that her education and career were God’s way of preparing her to be a mom to her own daughter with autism. Today, she enjoys reaching out to other families who face similar diagnoses. As a cancer survivor, carpet-cleaning veteran, and originator of the “Messy House Ministry,” Jennifer feels blessed to share joy, peace, and humor with others facing life’s challenges. She is mom to two beautiful daughters and is thankful to be raising them, serving other families with unique needs, and using her gift of writing and speaking to minister to others. Jennifer is also the author of a youth fiction book series and is trusting God with His timing on publication. Jennifer has been a mom for 11 years. She and Brandon have been married for 13 years.