Mother's Day Thoughts From Alayne White

Mother’s Day for the 25th year. WOW.

Motherhood is a big change for women. Every single year of being a mom is a year of shifting and adapting to the demands of trying to navigate our love of our new role, with our love of our lives separate from motherhood, our careers, our friendships, and at the same time attempting to figure out who we are as women. 

This may not apply to all moms, but it sure did for me. I loved being a mother, but I also really enjoyed my other roles too.

I feel a bit dated as I write this. Not sure how to even categorize parenting in a world where anything goes. Yet none of it matters as long as who ever is raising a child brings a sense of consciousness to the privilege of having one.

What has been a most delightful experience raising one son, partly in a marriage, partly as a co- parent after divorce, and has thrown me for the biggest loop has been the final move out of my son to his own condo.

I didn’t see it coming. Yes, I did see the natural process of him moving out, the physical aspect of him taking all of his things (and some of mine) and nesting his own self in the beginning of his life.

Twenty five year olds are supposed to be doing what he did in the natural progression of growing up. I understand this. Thankfully, he is close by so I can see him anytime, really.

What I am speaking of is the inside feeling I have of “I am done here.”

Of all of the years of parenting, the finality of this particular last hurrah has given me such a strange sense of internal disarray. I really didn’t see it coming- the way I have felt.

Like What’s next? (Question mark) What’s next! (Exclamation point)  What’s next. (Period)

No one warned me. It was like the best kept secret of mothering. I have been trying to put into words the feelings I have had since my son moved out last September. I remember when he was born thinking that time would never go by fast enough for him to even get to kindergarten and yet, here we are.

I don’t know if it was because I was able to get to be with him for three years of extra time because of Covid, maybe that is what makes the feelings of loss deeper—like a flatness that I can’t seem to shake. Perhaps it is the in between stages too. 

My son is traveling a lot for work, doesn’t have a serious partner yet and many of my friends are starting to become grandmothers, all of this next phase of parenting hasn’t happened. As a mother I am living in the in between phase which I am grateful for. I don’t want to rush it, Michael is only 25 for goodness sake and I like where he has landed.

What continues to surprise me though is how much I am trying to figure out where I have.

mother and son toasting a glass of wine
"I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves." Anna Quindlen

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