“My favorite thing in this world is being a mom,” I would tell my kids often and quite frankly, to anyone who would listen.
And the fact was, I really meant that. Out of everything and anything in this world, and I mean everything, I loved being a mom. I swore I was born to Mother.
So when the day was looming that my youngest was leaving for college, I knew my life, as I knew it, was over. I mean completely over. What was I without my children? I was going to hibernate for the rest of my days.
For me it was a little more dramatic than the average mom moment of seeing your last child off the college. I was a mom for two cycles.
I was a classic teenage pregnancy story. I was just 17 years old when I became a mom. At the time, I was just happy I didn’t have to go to college. College wasn’t something I set out to accomplish because I was a terrible student. I couldn’t wait to get out of that place.
So when I was due to have a baby the week before graduation, no one would expect anything more of me.
The funny thing was, holding that little girl in my arms was one of those moments where everything changed without ever planning it. The world looked and felt different. I was now responsible for this little baby who needed me. She became my inspiration to go to college. I even graduated at the top of my class.
Fast-forward 16 years later when my daughter was about to graduate high school, and my husband and I welcomed not one but two children, a year apart.
There I was, starting the mom thing all over again. But I welcomed it. I was ready to mom again to now three children, a teenager and two little babies.
Do you see why I thought I was born to Mother? I mothered little ones for over 35 years.
The day dreadfully came when I had to drive to Washington, D.C. to drop my last baby off at college.
I came home and cried. Then cried a little more. Then I cried some more.
I couldn’t sleep for weeks. I refused to sleep in my bed. I closed my eyes in between the tears while sitting on the sofa all night long, every night for weeks. It was almost as if I was waiting for them to come walking in the front door.
Until one day, I was exhausted from not sleeping. I forced myself up the stairs so I could sleep in my comfy bed that had been empty and missing me for weeks.
When I woke up the next morning, it was one of those moments, again, where everything changed without even planning it. The world looked and felt different.
For starters, my house, more specifically my kitchen, was in the exact same condition it was when I went to sleep—Sparkling Clean. There were no kids here to wreck my house after I spent the entire night tidying up. Happiness ran through my veins.
My food tasted a little bit better. I was able to cook what I wanted, when I wanted it. I could sit down and stay seated through the entire meal from beginning to end with no interruptions. I never realized how amazing food could taste. My tummy was screaming satisfaction.
Laundry wasn’t piling up. I did a load of washing once a week just for me. I began to look forward to laundry nights.
I played my favorite music on the radio all day, all night. I was able to sing and dance around the house like I was starring in my own concert. Music fills life with so much joy. Music really does make the world go round.
The happier I felt with all the little things I was feeling and experiencing, I began to see I was so much more than a Mother.
This empty nester thing had me discovering all the amazing things that I was. I was empty nesting like a boss.
I am a Professional.
I am really good at my job. Not just good but at the top of my game. No last minute call out for a sick child at home. No leaving early for emergency doctor appointments. No teacher conference calls in the middle of my work day. I am able to shine through my knowledge and experience to bring my solid skill set each and every day. All those fabulous things I wrote about myself on my resume weren’t just words on paper to impress a potential employer. I am all of those things plus more.
I am a Friend.
I can now listen on the phone for hours, without cutting the call short, to be there when a friend needs me the most. I can do brunch on a Sunday afternoon without scheduling conflicts. And I can do a last minute late night dinner and drinks with no looming early alarm set the next morning.
I am an Artist.
Writing wasn’t just something I did in between driving the kids to practices or sitting at the doctor’s office. I had a passion, craft, and ability to transport my actions and words onto paper. I was creating something beautiful that people could connect with, find inspiration in, and shine happiness into the world.
I am an Entrepreneur.
My alone time has pushed me to do something I never would have dreamt of. I’m starting my own clothing line. I never(?) in my life would have had the courage or strength to dream big and jump.
I am a Partner.
I not only can openly engage in enjoying quality time with my lover, but I can actively explore my sexy side without keeping quiet or sneaking around when the kids are out of the house or sleeping. I’m bringing back afternoon loving and shower sex whenever I want.
I am a Woman.
I am able to give myself the love and care I lacked all those years when I was giving pieces of myself to others. I can now keep a hair appointment instead of pushing it because someone needs a trip to the mall for project supplies. I don’t have to skip the gym because someone has SATs early on a Saturday morning. I have time to put attention to my daily beauty routine and feel good about my appearance instead of having only a few minutes to throw on sweats, sometimes not even brushing my hair.
Now when I look in the mirror, I don’t see a tired mom anymore. I see a beautiful, smart, and powerful woman who is living her best life.
So I wasn’t born to only Mother. I was born for so much more.
I am a professional. I am a friend. I am an artist. I am an entrepreneur. I am a lover. And I am a woman.