Remembering When

by Melanie Edwards on January 15, 2010 · 5 comments

in guest-posts,viernes social

Viernes Social at ModernMami.comFor this week’s Viernes Social, instead of a contest, we’re featuring a heartfelt guest post from a local Latina blogger. I appreciate the post she wrote, as it’s nice to hear about motherhood past the preschool or teenage years.

Guest post by Maria Padilla of Orlando Latino. Maria is a journalist who formerly worked at the Orlando Sentinel and the San Juan Star, amongst other papers. She lives in Orlando with her husband and blogs about Latino issues in Orlando and beyond. Find Maria on her blog, Orlando Latino, and connect with her on twitter.

You’re a young mom. Your days are hectic and seemingly short—not enough hours in the day to do all that demands your attention. Today, I will take you to a different land. We will go back to the future, to a day when most of your parenting duties are over.

That is where I stand today: In the middle of a quieter nest that once was filled with carpooling, after-school activities, sleepovers, Girl Scouts and much more. Just like your days are today.

My daughter, an only child, flew off to college three years ago, and that is the day when things went quiet in our home. I won’t call it an empty nest; after all, there are still two people in it. But it is a different nest.

It’s true that you don’t know how much time and attention you devote to your children until they are gone. There is no free time to calculate it beforehand! Not only do your children occupy your physical time, but also mental space. You are always thinking about them. What are they doing? Do you need to take them somewhere? How about pick them up? And so it goes.

Assuming your child is safely tucked in a dorm somewhere and there are no problems on the horizon, your child will need you a whole lot less. You slowly begin to return to the time—a long, long time ago!—when you could think of yourself without feeling, well, selfish.

You can ponder what you like or what you’re going to do, and it’s totally OK. Go ahead, take a long bubble bath. Nobody will interrupt you. Spend Saturday at the movies either alone or with friends. There is no competing event on your calendar. Take up a new sport or hobby. You have the extra time.

Among the biggest pluses of paying your mommy dues is getting to know your hubby all over again, without the pressure of juggling childrearing, working and household duties. Now, you can look at each other and smile. Hold hands. Have a romantic dinner—or two, or three—during which you’ll spend time remembering when.

Remember the wonderful Christmas we spent in Puerto Rico? Remember when (fill your child’s name) “graduated” from kinder? Remember when she sold the most Girl Scout cookies in her troop? Ahh, I remember it well. It was a very important phase of our lives.

To all the young moms still in the important phase of their lives I say, this shall be your future. It is your reward for caring and loving your family, and putting yourself last all these years.

When you’re in the middle of a bad day, feeling tired and at your wit’s end, take out this post. Read it and smile. Your moment for going back to the future will arrive a lot sooner than you think.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 LizzieB January 15, 2010 at 4:11 am

Melanie,
Wow, your post on taking a step back into the future hit me like a ton of bricks! Still wiping the tears from eyes. I just keep thinking about being a new mom and hearing people tell me all the time “…enjoy parenthood, it goes by so quickly.” When you’re sleep deprived and juggling it all it doesn’t make one bit of sense. It sounds sooo ridiculous. But here I am five years later – beginning the Kindergarten admission process for my oldest child and I’m overwhelmed with emotion. I never ever thought I’d say it but five years has flown by. As much as I long for my life of solitude prior to kids the thought of sending them off to college freaks me out. And I know it will be here sooner than I know it. Thanks so much for sharing your own personal journey.

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2 LizzieB January 15, 2010 at 4:41 am

Oooops! I just realized that I typed “Melanie” in my original comment. It should’ve been “Maria.” Sorry about that!

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3 Melanie (ModernMami) January 17, 2010 at 10:43 pm

@LizzieB, Oh my…kindergarten. I have nearly 2 years before that and I’m ALREADY dreading it! Good luck to ya!

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4 Denisse January 15, 2010 at 10:30 am

Wow. I have really dreaded the thought of my kids going away to college and I know how fast time goes by so I try to enjoy my days with my kids (they’re three and one). It is kind of hard because I work outside of the home so at the end of most days I feel time is flying by and I’m not enjoying them as much as I want. But Maria and her article have made me feel like I have something to look forward to when “that time” comes :) Being with my husband and enjoying each other.
Thank you so much!

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5 Melanie (ModernMami) January 17, 2010 at 10:42 pm

@Denisse, I loved that part of her post as well. It was so sweet how she described her current relationship with her husband. It’s definitely something to look forward to.

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