And also, I no longer subscribe to all the parenting magazines.

Special thanks to one of my bloggy heroines and my friend-in-real-life Lisa@Take90West. She’s a busy Mom to four and one of the most genuine, sweet people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. I know y’all are gonna love her as much as I do, and I bet most of us can relate fully to one phase or another of parenting that Lisa reflects on in this thoughtful post. Will you help me make her feel welcome by sharing your own thoughts in the comments? Thanks again, Lisa. Girl, I bet you could publish your OWN parenting magazine!

— Megan (FriedOkra)

I had my first child when I was 24 years old. I was a young mother, neurotic about daily baths, baby clothes washed only in Dreft, freshly ironed cloth diapers and glass bottles sterilized in boiling water. And let’s not forget that every person who wanted to hold my precious first born had to WASH THEIR HANDS.

It’s true. I did. I made them all wash their hands.

As that little girl and our family grew, I did too.

The youngest of my four kids is almost five now. She can shower without my help, ready herself to go out in the snow, and buckle her seatbelt all by her lonesome.

I do believe I buckled the seatbelt of my oldest until she was seven years old.

I have come a long way from the mother who ironed burp cloths to the mother who leaves her kid in the same pajamas for two days straight because hey, if we’re not going anywhere, why dirty clean clothes?

You could say I have evolved.

Or relaxed.

Or gotten lazy.

They all seem to be true.

With the change in my parenting style, there has also been a change in my parenting status, or The Place I Fall in the Parenting Pecking Order. You know the one I’m talking about? The one out there in the preschool hallway where all the moms stand and wait for the door to open? That’s the one.

My oldest started preschool when I was 27. I was always one of the youngest moms of the bunch out there in that hallway. Sometimes so much so, that I felt like a bit of an outsider to the experienced moms club.

I would envy the moms with school age kids, those that walked around without a heavy car seat hooked on their arm. They seemed so confident and busy and, well… together.

I dreamed of the day when that would be me.

Quickly, time has caught up with me.

I looked around the hallway at preschool pickup the other day and realized Hello, I’m Old.

I no longer am the nervous mother dropping off her oldest at preschool while trying to wrestle a feisty two year old out of the classroom.

I no longer carry an infant on my hip or in a carrier.

I no longer obsess about the things I once did; the huge birthday party, the most fashionable diaper bag, and the best stroller.

Now, at 35, I am one of the older moms in the bunch. I can stand and chit chat with the other Moms Of School Aged Kids without being interrupted by a crying baby or a wandering toddler. When the MOSAK’s decide after drop off to go for breakfast, I can go, because I don’t have to get a little one home for a nap or a feeding.

I have a little thing I like to call, SOME FREEDOM.

And it’s great.

I also am done with a little thing called HAVING MORE KIDS.

I’m not sure yet if that’s great or not.

I’m still figuring it out.

When I was that young mother dropping my oldest at preschool with little ones in tow, I envied those older mothers and their freedom.

Now I realize, they probably envied me too.

18 Responses to And also, I no longer subscribe to all the parenting magazines.
  1. […] And also, I no longer subscribe to all the parenting magazines. […]

  2. pedaling
    February 23, 2009 | 9:57 am

    i love the way lisa writes.
    she has a way of capturing the truth and thoughts of others into words.

  3. Jen
    February 23, 2009 | 10:22 am

    True. I always felt like I was the mom with the babies/carseat and now I have some freedom. Well, at least a couple of mornings with 1 child who can walk on his/her own and no diapers! But I know what you mean – the grass “seems” to always greener.

  4. cassandra
    February 23, 2009 | 10:36 am

    Really great article! I am still in the heavy carseat attached to my arm stage, as our youngest is 5 months old. But I know that I will miss this time when it’s gone, as hard as it has been at times.

  5. Adventures In Babywearing
    February 23, 2009 | 10:37 am

    I can relate to this SO MUCH. And I didn’t even realize I felt this way, but it explains so much in my head!


  6. Marie Berry
    February 23, 2009 | 11:14 am

    Too True! I was one of thoses moms too. But this year (with a mix of sadness and a great big dose of YIPEE) all of my babies are in Big school. My twins started kindergarted and my son is in 3rd grade – and we are all at the same school and we all stay ALL DAY! And the best part is: THEY LOVE BEING AT SCHOOL TOGETHER. My son is proud of his little sisters and the girls are proud of their BIG brother. Life is good and so is God.

  7. Cary
    February 23, 2009 | 11:21 am

    Fantastic. You are such an awesome writer!

  8. Tonggu Momma
    February 23, 2009 | 1:37 pm

    The Tongginator begins kindergarten next year, yet we continue to wait for our adoption referral (almost three years so far). It’s gonna be a tease — maybe a year with the big kid moms, then back to the car-seat lugging isolation once again. I’m not sure if I’ll feel challenged or blessed by it. I’ll let you know…

  9. Kristen
    February 23, 2009 | 4:35 pm

    I understand completely. I am old, too. So old. I go back and forth between pining for babies, and being SO glad that my last child is almost two. Depends on the day.

    Great post.

  10. Hannah
    February 23, 2009 | 4:55 pm

    I loved this post! Thanks, Lisa.

  11. Queen B
    February 23, 2009 | 6:24 pm

    Well said! I love the freedom. LOVE the freedom. But I loved being young and clueless, too. I think I was a better mom when I was young and clueless…now I’m easily distracted.

  12. Mozi Esmes Mommy
    February 23, 2009 | 8:00 pm

    So true…

  13. The Roost
    February 23, 2009 | 11:21 pm

    Wonderful post Lisa…Isn’t it amazing how fast things change? Wait until that nest is empty….we are talking real freedom! 😉

  14. Kelly
    February 24, 2009 | 2:26 pm

    I’m in both stages (although I have very little freedom at this point) and I envy both.

    Is that possible?

    Great, great post, Lisa. I love the “calling back” posts I’m reading lately. They are so encouraging to me.

  15. Ann G
    February 25, 2009 | 12:37 am

    Your article is definitely coherent! I laughed and I could relate…When my first one was young I was the youngest one in the group. With the gap of my kids being 13 1/2 years, now I’m old enough to be MOM to some of them! It’s a WEIRD feeling that’s for sure.

  16. Vanderbilt Wife
    February 25, 2009 | 6:05 pm

    Wow, I love this post. It’s true. At 26, I am pretty young mom. Some days carrying around the baby in a sling or in the bucket seat wears on you. But it’s such a precious time, too. I don’t want to wish it away.

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