Middle-Aged Mom Life Is a Real Thing

I try to take my time and really squeeze the joy out of those blessed single person bathroom facilities. I let the water get really warm before I wash my hands like a surgeon about to operate. I reapply lipstick twice. Sometimes I take a minute (or ten) to do some anti-anxiety breathing exercises. I look for a mint in my purse because I can. I give myself a pep talk in the mirror, “Hey Girl, there will be shenanigans you will have to deal with when you get out of here. That’s okay. They are kids. They like to be dumb most of the time. Just smile and wait for your moment to unleash your amazing mom-ness. It always works out alright.” Then I go back and try to be a really great mom.

Thank you, very small local businesses with tiny lavatories, you really are the wind beneath my wings.

This new freedom to leave the kids at home for an hour or two during the day has caused a new reality to set in, though. Someday, I will no longer need any babysitters at all. Not for late night events. Not for overnight trips. Once these kids are all grown up, they will not need any supervision at all. Ever.

I can’t tell you how odd this fact is to me. For years now, many parts of my professional life, and my entire social life have hinged on my ability to get a babysitter. Babysitters aren’t unicorns, exactly, but they are close. I’d compare them to reverse leprechauns. Much like those little Irish fairies, babysitters are very hard to find, and the nice ones are even rarer. Leprechauns give you money though, and babysitters take all your money. (That’s the reverse part.)

I can’t imagine a world in which I don’t have to text three different people to find childcare just so I can go to a planning meeting or have dinner with my husband. I think this is because I haven’t really accepted that my children will actually grow up one day. I mean, I know I won’t be doing their laundry and packing a snack for them at the library twenty years from now, but it feels like I will have to do all this stuff for an eternity. In fact, it feels like I’ve been doing this mom life for an eternity already- folding laundry and doing dishes and picking up dirty underwear and carrying everything they don’t want to carry and listening to endless explanations about things that aren’t even important and pretending to care about new apps and fantasy football stats and American Girl Doll minutiae.

I’m so tired, you guys. But even this season won’t last forever.

Someday I’m going to go to my daughter’s fortieth birthday dinner and tell her that 40 is the new 20, what with that new infrabluish transformative light that makes all the wrinkles go away forever by changing your DNA. (The miracles of science astound in the year 2048!!)

I’ll be 72 by then, which is completely impossible.

Gosh, I wonder who I’ll text when I need a babysitter for that party? I hope she doesn’t charge too much….


This article originally appeared at Burnt Toast.

Carrie Stephens
Carrie Stephens
Carrie Stephens is a pastor’s wife, blogger, wanna-be artist, and mom of 4. She absolutely adores Jesus and His church. Her faith clings to God’s way of taking our small lives and building His vast kingdom in us and through us. Grace, wisdom, and laughter are Carrie’s favorite things to share, especially if there’s coffee involved. She and her family live in Austin, Texas. She blogs at Burnt Toast.

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