The last couple of months have seemed like a long string of big milestones in our house. Zach turned 1! Started walking! We stopped needing both formula and bottles! I’ve donated some baby toys we won’t need again! Last Monday, I had a Lady Procedure that will ensure, once and for all, no more babies in our house!
Since I was 27, I’ve spent what feels like ALL of my time growing and birthing babies or thinking about growing and birthing babies. We had a very brief stretch of time with no diapers when Maggie was 3 1/2, just before Audrey was born, but it was so short and uncertain that I can’t even count it. My body has been through the wringer in the last 7 years. Four pregnancies, a miscarriage, 9 total months of breastfeeding (doesn’t seem like a lot for 3 kids but I did my best!), 150 total pounds gained and lost, a broken foot, a trip to the ER in an ambulance, and now I have broken abs… it’s been quite a ride.
I also turned 35 in April. A nice, round-ish number (if you’re counting by 5s) with which to divide my life: pre-babies/post-babies. And now that we’re looking ahead to the Next Phase for our family, I’m a bit at a loss. The stretch of years when you have small people in your house can be SO all-consuming and the days are so LONG (but the years are so SHORT, how is that POSSIBLE?) and when you’re in it, you barely look up or stop to take a breath. So I’m kind of like: NOW WHAT? Also I’m admittedly a little excited to leave behind the ridiculousness of newborn baby-hood because that crap is NUTS. Amazing and fun in its own ways but I am not my best self during those months. Toddlerhood and beyond are my favorites and when I feel like I’m MYSELF the most.
That’s what I’m excited about: feeling like MYSELF again. The Old Me with some extra saggy skin and slightly (okay more than slightly) more tired and a few more gray hairs, but me. When I feel like myself, I feel like I’m a better mom. The first six months with Zachary last year, I absolutely did not feel like me at all. Physically, mentally, emotionally, I was kind of a mess. I felt like I was a terrible mom to the girls sometimes. I know THEY probably didn’t know that in my head I was IRRITATED WITH ALL OF THEIR DEMANDS and my nerves were SHOT and hopefully the door-slamming and yelling didn’t scar them too much (I’m ashamed to admit it, but I’m a door-slammer when I’m tired and cranky.) I’ve been slowing coming out of the baby-haze fog and I am READY. I am ready to raise big kids and hear them tell jokes and listen to their stories and watch them grown into amazing people.
But I’m also ready to do some things for ME.
So. LOOKING FORWARD! I’m 35. I’ve got 5 years before I turn 40. It’s LOOMING, but not necessarily in a dark and scary way. I really feel like my best days are ahead! I do. And I have some goals, some things I’d like to do. For myself, with myself alone, with our family, etc. I don’t know how many of these I’ll cross off by the time I hit that magical number (I do have three children, after all. Let’s be realistic.) but it will sure be fun to try.
- Learn to sew. Like, with a sewing machine for real.
- Find a church we love
- Sing with a group, on a stage, in front of an audience. Haven’t done this since high school. I miss it.
- Run a 5k. Maybe a 10k.
- Plan and take a 15th anniversary trip with Dan in 2017. Our 10th anniversary trip was fantastic. (It will also be our 21st year together. A BIG YEAR. It deserves some celebration!)
- Take music lessons- guitar, piano, SOMETHING.
- Finish our basement
- Add a patio area to the house
- Learn to knit or crochet
- Take a pottery class again. I did this in college and just after we got married and loved it.
- Watch Gone With The Wind (I’ve never seen it)
- Build our family tree and see how far back I can go
- Learn to ski or ice skate
- Go on a mission trip somewhere. I did this in high school. I need to do it again.
- Visit the Grand Canyon with the kids
- Sing karaoke (I sang Good-bye Earl once.)
(Also, if you have any suggestions or things to add, please do! I’m constantly thinking of new things for my list- little and big- and I’d love to know what would be on your list!)
(Also also: I need a title for this list. ‘Things To Do Before I’m 40′ is boring and lame. Help me!)