I always use the word bitter sweet when describing how it feels when your kids leave for college (or the military, or a real job where they have their own home and now longer live in yours or wherever.)
Bittersweet. I love being a mom, I loved raising my kids. Were they perfect? Oh heck no! Were there challenging times? Oh heck yeah! But I still loved it. It was my identity for so long, I even have shirts that say “Jackson’s mom” and Katie’s Mom” on the back (from the numerous sports teams over the years.). I’ve been room mom, team mom, carpool mom…. you name it, I was involved with it. And somehow along the way, that became my identity. That was my PURPOSE .
Now don’t get me wrong, I was still “wife”, “school secretary”, “friend”, “aunt”, “Godmother”, and so many other things, but my PURPOSE was mom. And my kids were INVOLVED, they were busy extracurricularly, so therefore so was I. Some weeks during the high school years we weren’t at home one night of the week. You learn how to organize quick or on-the-road meals, you learn to accept that parts of your house are where you “dump this and grab that”, your home is never showcase-like, your car has anything and everything you would ever need at anytime and that’s all okay! I was always happy that whatever we were doing because the great majority of the time my family was doing it together!
Bittersweet. So once that summer after high school graduation hits, that’s its, game over, thank you for playing! Okay I’m being a little dramatic, but things really do change. When they fly the nest, they spread their wings and go on all kinds of adventures. It’s so exciting for them, and that was our goal, its what we were trying to accomplish all along so there’s so much pride! (The sweet parts of the bittersweet)
Bittersweet. But now what is my PURPOSE? (The bitter part of the bittersweet). I miss my “old life”, I miss my kids, I miss the daily excitement and the grind! But it’s also the sweet part of bittersweet because I now had the opportunity to find a new PURPOSE, to do things for me, to rediscover me. And also to rediscover my husband and my marriage. Definitely also the sweet. There were a few stumbles out of the block, but we’ve learned and we’ve grown and I continue to love my life and love discovering new ways to live my life!