Thursday, October 17, 2013

Dear Me: A Mama's Letter For When They've Grown

Dear Me,

It's really here. You knew this day was coming. But, an "I told you so" is never any comfort, is it? Especially from someone so much younger who can't possibly understand how you're feeling.

I've been trying to imagine the heaviness in your heart today. Your last baby just moved away from home, and you're wondering where the years went, and how the time could have slipped by so quickly.

I'm writing to you today because even now, many years earlier, I'm thinking of you.

Can I just tell you that I wish I had your wisdom? You've spent many years loving and parenting these precious children, and I'm so new at this. I'm nine years in, but I feel like I'm flailing a lot of the time, not quite sure what the right choices are, and what choices are really worth mind wrestling over.

Do you remember all the little decisions you had to make to get to this day? I just let the boys eat cookies for breakfast because that's what they really wanted. Surely, that wasn't the wisest of choices.

But, do you remember how it made them laugh?

I'm a bit envious of you, you know. You slept in as late as you wanted today, drank a full cup of hot coffee, and ate breakfast while leisurely leafing through your latest stack of catalogs. Do you remember how early they'd wake you each morning and say, "Mama, I'm hungry. Mama, I wanna play?"

"Mama. Mama. Mama."

There's no time for breakfast here most days; unless you consider late morning, microwaved coffee and stale toast as "breakfast". But, I suppose you'd love to spend a morning in my slippers, pouring out bowls of early morning cereal again and watching them, bare-chested and sleepy-eyed, laugh that raisins look like poop, huh?

Let's call a truce and say we're both a bit envious of each other. Deal?

I know you feel as though the years went by too quickly, because that's what everyone tells me mothers feel when their babies are grown.

But I want you to know that I am doing all I can to savor these young Mommy years, loving these babies, kissing and hugging them, and fighting to cherish every day that I'm blessed to mother them.

I am fighting for that. It is a fight. It is.

But, man, the days can feel so long to me, and meeting so many needs leaves me utterly exhausted at the end of the day. I want to run like the wind and break out of here some days because this is HARD stuff - this motherhood thing. Just giving of myself when I want to give to me.

But, I know, even now, that while the days seem long, the years are speeding by; so, I'm stopping. Today. And, every single day I've got the fight in me.

I'm closing my eyes and soaking it all in.

And, though I can't slow down time or turn it back for you, know that I am living these years as fully as my tired eyes and body will let me. Really, really living them.

And, I'm looking like a crazed Mama with her phone out and ready for photo ops so that on days like today, you can look back and see that your HARD and tiring mothering years were full of colorful life.

Real life. Tough. Long. Tiring. But, it was AWESOME.

I don't have your wisdom, but I am certain of this:

Just as God's grace is the only thing sustaining me as I make my way through squabbles and dishes and dirty diapers, I know that God will continue to pour His grace out onto you as you move into this next season of life.

Keep clinging to Jesus. He loves the little children running buck nekked and full on-wild around the playroom as I type this letter to you. And, just as sure, He is loving you now as you say goodbye to them as they leave home to proclaim His love to a world that desperately needs it. And, to find their way with your love deeply ingrained on their hearts.

You'll always be their Mama.

And, OH, how they still need you.

The Young Mommy You


  1. Sarah, look at Holly's eyes in the picture above then look at your eyes in the picture in your post. Identical! <3 My baby is going to be 9 tomorrow. It does go by way to quickly!

  2. As a mother of a 20, 19, 16, 13, 11, 9, 7,and a 4 year old...I have my feet in both waters. When people whose children are grown and gone talk to me about how they wish they had known how time would pass so quickly, because they would have done this or that differently, it makes me even more thankful for my big family. Having grown ones helps me to appreciate and cherish my little ones even more. I know that they will be gone in a blink- so as my husband always says "No more blinking!"

  3. This brought tears to my eyes. I'm barely one year into this mommy thing... but I already think about how one day, my little bird is going to leave the nest- and then what will I do? This was a great letter. Love seeing both perspectives.

  4. I have never really commented on a blog before but this post had me in tears and made me realize that it's all going to be alright! My two older kids have left home, my daughter just this past August and with only one left at home I am struggling a bit with this "new season" of life. You do still mother them, just in a different way. They will always need their mama's and I am finding that becoming their friend is such an unexpected joy of this season of life! Enjoy each stage and never have regrets!! Knowing that I was the best mom I could be and that I sacrificed my time, energy and sleep for them while I had them makes this stage all the sweeter. God bless you in your mission!

  5. Beautiful!! I'm only 6 months in but have been struck by trying to give all I can during this trying season of life. Thanks for the reassurance and reminder that God has our backs no matter what season we find ourself in. :)

  6. Love this. Totally made me tear up as you put into words all the thoughts in my heart!!! Thanks Sarah :)

  7. Such a timely letter for me to read as my last "baby" 23 years old just moved out of state yesterday!! Yes, there are tears! But there is excitement too. Excitement for my son's new journey and mine as well!! Iloved my many years of parenting my 3 children. The days were long and at times very tiring but it DID go by very quickly!! Enjoy your babies!!