To The Empty-Nested Mama, I See You

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A couple of weeks ago I was shopping with my three month old daughter when we saw an order lady in the curtain aisle standing next to us. 

She glanced our way, tilted her head to the side before shooting a sweet smile. The kind of grin that literally says, “aww how cute!” 

I could tell she wanted to engage in conversation but wasn’t sure if I was open to it. (I’ll blame my resting b**** face for that one). 

We weren’t in any hurry so when I approached her, I bent down just a smidge so she could get a better look at my baby in her carrier. 

She admired her and all the while, told me how beautiful she is. She asked the normal questions. 

“What is her name?” 

“How old?” 

“Is she your first?” 

And after some time, she told me a couple stories of her own children. The messes they made and the little stages they went through. The ones who are now grown with a family of their own.

And the conversation ended how it always does when I stumble across an interaction such as this. 

She smiles and reminds me, “Enjoy this time it goes too fast.” 

We part ways and her face wears an expression of soft, blissful remembrance. Memories of a time that doesn’t seem so far ago. 

A time when her kisses cured all pain and monsters couldn’t get through those strong mommy arms. 

And then it hits me like a ton of bricks, this too soon will be me. 

I will trade in my sticky floors for crisp vacuum lines on my carpet. 

And the loud commotion of life with little ones will slowly fade. 

Until one day, there is silence. 

In the blink of an eye, my kids will be grown, and I will be left with only the memories of the good ol’ days. 

I’m not ready. 

Yes, I still have time. My babies are still babies. But if it goes as fast as everyone says, how will I ever prepare myself? 

To be clear, I don’t think this new era in life is all bad. Not by any means. 

I’m sure a newly found sense of freedom is discovered when sleeping in until 10 on a Saturday and not having to make breakfast for anyone. But I’m sure you also miss little bed heads waking you up before sunlight  and those warm cuddles before bed time. 

On the days I’m drowning, I remember these insightful words you say. I do enjoy this time- every second of it- and I already know it goes all too fast. 

And I promise when I see another woman such as you, I will stop and let her catch a glimpse of the life she misses all too much. 

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