#MomLife: Am I running out of time?

Steph and Cade spent New Year's Eve in downtown Three Rivers last year (and last week). Needless to say, fun times were had.

Ever feel like you are just running out of time with your kids? I’ve been feeling more and more like this, like I just can’t get enough time with Cadence before she leaves home and starts her adult life. 

Time is moving too quickly and I feel like I’m in slow motion just watching it pass me by. Sure, Cadence just turned 15 in September, so I still have a few more years left, but those years will be here in no time and she will graduate high school and move onto big changes. 

Lately I find myself just going to her bedroom and sitting on her bed while she is doing her makeup or watching TV or talking to her friends on FaceTime. I just want to be in the same room as her, and it makes me laugh because I remember not too long ago I was wishing she would leave me alone long enough to use the bathroom by myself. 

But reality has set in that I don’t have much time left before she leaves home, and her bedroom will no longer be filled with KPop songs blaring from Alexa or sounds of laughter when she is hanging out with her friends. 

Motherhood is an interesting time. One minute you have a baby who completely relies on you to meet their needs and take care of them. They grow into toddlers who still rely on you but are gaining some independence whether you like it or not. Then comes adolescence. They are able to leave you long enough to spend the day at school where they start forming relationships, and learning how to be in the outside world without mom always being there. Once they turn into tweens you start to wish they would check their attitudes at the door. 

Teenagers are complicated because they are old enough to hold conversations with you, and hangout and go places with you like you are friends but you also have to remember that you are the parent and not necessarily their friend.  

We are in the teenager stage and I just don’t know how to handle things anymore. I just want to spend every single moment with her so that I don’t miss anything but I realize that spending every moment with her is not realistic, and probably kind of weird. I just get filled with sadness and anxiety over the thought that in a few short years she will be leaving the nest, so to speak. I mean seriously though, it’s a part of life when you become a parent to raise your children to become responsible and kind children to eventually leave the house and become responsible and kind adults. So why is this bothering me so much? 

My entire identity is wrapped up in these kids. What will I do when they both move out and start their own paths? Who will I be? Where will that leave Leif and I in the big picture? I mean let’s be real, I’m kind of a control freak so I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that as life goes on things that I was once able to control become things that are out of my control. How will I cope? 

Letting go is seriously hard. I struggle to convince myself that I am not a helicopter mom, and allow my kids to have more independence. But I still like the fact that I can control where they are at all times, and who they are with and what they are doing. But that will not be there much longer and I will have to come to terms with it.  

There comes a time in life where you have to just pull up your big girl pants and keep going, and that is what I am choosing to do from this point on. Instead of sitting on Cadence’s bed in sadness waiting for her to turn 18 and leave the house, I am choosing to embrace the situation at hand, and enjoy every moment she gives me. At this point I call it a win that she likes me enough to want to spend time with me. So I’m not going to take this time for granted any longer. I’m going to enjoy the moments we have together, and put every memory in my brain so that I will hopefully never forget them. 

So Cadence, I’m here to let you know that I am not done “bugging” you while you are trying to get some peace and quiet in your room. I will be there whenever you want to spend time with me. I’m hopeful you will be there whenever I want to spend time with you as well, and just remember that even when you are old enough to leave me and start your adult life, I expect you to return home as often as possible, and just know that there may be times when I come and hang out in your room in silence.

I am just taking in those memories, not being weird. I promise. 

Steph Hightree is a hot mess mom who is fueled by stress and too much caffeine. She is a Three Rivers native who talks about the good, the bad, and well, everything else about parenthood.

Any views or opinions expressed in “#MomLife” are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Watershed Voice staff or its board of directors.