The Mom Years


A clock on a table.Some days feel like they’ve lasted a month, and months feel like they’ve lasted two hours. In Mom Years, time is different from years before kids. “The days are long and the years are short” is a quote we’ve all heard a million times.

Have you heard of girl math? I want to talk about Mom Years. The Mom Years don’t add up quite right in your head, do they? The stages of mom life fluctuate through different time vortexes.

Pregnancy was the jump onto a roller coaster that only lasted minutes. You talk about it for years after, but in reality, even though the end of it was brutal, it was a blink. I’m just about 13 years out from my last pregnancy, in which I was 100% sure I was done after that, and I still know it was the right decision. Why do I now look back on those moments of big-belly life and wish I had done it repeatedly? It was fleeting and radiant.

Toddler life feels like a sweet and sour candy, bitter but delicious. It leaves you feeling happy you had some and glad it’s over because you physically cannot take it anymore. It also leaves you unhappy when the bag is empty and there are no more. It was long and hard but entertaining and precious.

The little kid stage at the end of preschool and the early elementary years are the best! Your kid is happy, as in really happy, and you feel as though you’ve come through the other side of parenting life. The best of the Mom Years have you basking in the sun and thinking life isn’t so bad. You can take back some of your own time. But that time belongs to the Mom Years. 

You lie in bed one blissful night, happy and content, and wake up full of sweat and anxiety. The preteen era arrives and has you wondering if it’s worse than the toddler years. The sweet, happy, and loving child you thought was growing up beautifully has turned on you. Some of these days go on and on, and you wonder if anyone likes you anymore. These Mom Years turn into teen life years, and you hope and pray it’s short and beautiful down the road.

Later teen years, as in life after 16 or so, turn into a mix of the elementary years of joy blended with a new kind of Mom Time, the becoming an adult time. Who said you could suddenly be an adult out in the world and on your own in such a twinkle of time? I stand here with my mouth gapped open as we are on the brink of my first child graduating high school and moving away to college come the fall.

Say what now? All those Mom Years are certainly not adding up correctly in my brain. The math falls short. 

My grandmother was blessed to live into her 90s and always reminisced, even after 50 years, on the days of her children being home. She made me realize how impermanent any stage of life is. We do our best, love hard, and pray that everything works out.

I’ll never figure out Mom Years, but I will forever be grateful for the little souls I’ve witnessed pass through this life with mine.


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