The Middle of Motherhood: Embracing and Loving All Stages

Recently, I  was at Target with my youngest as we ran errands. We made our way through the store to gather our items and we found ourselves walking by the baby section. We saw expectant parents registering for items. We saw moms with their infant babies purchasing diapers, wipes, and formula.

My youngest loves babies and loves to point out when she sees one. As we witnessed these parents and babies, a feeling of nostalgia washed over me. I realized then and there that this section of the store does not define my life anymore.

My kids are all potty trained — no longer are we buying diapers and wipes. We are no longer buying baby food. My kids are way too big for the clothes in this section. The days of being in this stage of life feel like . . . yesterday.

I remember thinking the late-night feedings, the nursing, and the early pain from nursing would never end. I remember the blowouts when in public. I remember navigating nap times during the day and the planning that had to take place when we were out so we could get home for a nap. I remember on a car trip planning our route for the best place to stop to coincide with feedings. I remember it all well but, in the blink of an eye, it all ended.

I have been a mom long enough to fully appreciate and realize how fast and fleeting those years have gone. 

This wave of nostalgia got me thinking; what kind of parent am I?

  • Am I the parent of littles anymore? No.
  • Am I the parent of big kids? Not yet.
  • I am the parent of kids kind of in the middle.

I do not know if this is a specific term, but it seems to fit our life. My kids still rely on us as parents for many things:

  • They still have a bedtime routine.
  • We still read books and snuggle at night.
  • Our kids still need and want help picking out their clothes for school.
  • They still (and I love this) want to hold our hands in stores or parking lots.

We are parents of middles. Not too little to have full reliance on us, but still are able to be independent in their play and interaction with friends.

As I write this, I realize we are on the cusp of big kids. We are close to the days when they . . .

  • Just want to go to their rooms.
  • They will want to come home and immediately go outside to a friend’s house.
  • Or grab a snack on the go.
  • They won’t excitedly want to tell us about every detail of their day.
  • They won’t share what made their heart sad that day.
  • They won’t share what amazing things happened at school without a lot of prodding from us.

The thought of this makes me a little sad, but it also gives me great joy and pride to see the growth our kids have made and continue to make. It makes me happy to carry on a full conversation about life. It brings my heart joy to laugh with them about funny things they have experienced or funny jokes they have told. It makes my heart happy when the first person they want when they feel sick is mom.

So, for this stage of life that we are in, I am going to do my best to embrace it.

  • I am going to build the fort.
  • I am going to play board games.
  • I am going to snuggle in at night and lay with them as we read books.
  • I will have the couch picnics and the picnics outside.
  • I will push them on the swings.
  • I will play with dolls even though it seems I never do it right.

I will just be with them. Because as I know, just like the baby stage, these years are fleeting and will go by in the blink of an eye.

I will embrace these years as a middle mom.

I am grateful for the lessons I learned in the early years and I know I will learn more in this stage too. My challenge to you is to embrace and learn to love each stage because it will be done before we know it.

Motherhood is a gift and I plan to hold on tight and enjoy each stage as it comes.

Brenda is an Iowa native who has lived in the Iowa City area since 2005. She is married to her love, Robert, since 2012. Brenda is an elementary teacher by trade. She spent almost nine years as a stay at home parent but is now back in the classroom spending time with her school kids and being a mom to her own kids. She is the mom of three; Gabe (April, 2013) Maggie (April, 2015), and Julianna (September, 2017). Brenda enjoys being active by running and working out. She also enjoys trying new recipes, volunteering, playing board and card games, and being involved in church. Brenda is an elementary teacher and loves cheering on the Cubs, UNI Panthers, and the Iowa Hawkeyes. It is a busy but beautiful life!


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