Last week, something monumental happened: I dropped all four of my children off at school for the first time ever.
Sitting in the parking lot after I had walked my 3-year-old into her very first day of preschool, I felt like I was in shock. Granted, I was only gaining a whole four hours of freedom every week with her preschool program, but after 10 years as a stay-at-home mom, there was a glimmer of the end in sight.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I haven’t enjoyed the baby, toddler and preschool years. They’ve been great to the extent that babies and toddlers and working from home can be great (Read: Not always great but with a lot of really great moments.) But just like the air turning with that distinctive undercurrent bearing the promise of fall, I felt the stirrings of my future swirling around me.
For the first time in 10 years I was facing a future without a baby—and that realization was a little painful to me.
The truth is, I should have had a baby this year. I miscarried last summer and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever dealt with, and understandably, it’s shaped a lot of how I currently live my life.
As fall hit, I found myself feeling very restless and itching for a new project. I contemplated going back to school and confessed my feelings to my husband that I was struggling with not having that “newness” that would have arrived with a new baby. It was around that time that I just happened to come across an article that gave advice to moms in my situation, moms who are struggling with redefining themselves as they move past the baby stage.