Usually when I do a pairing for Brain, Child Magazine, it is a squaring off on a hot topic, it is a “debate.” This week’s essays are a little something different. Lisa Heffernan and I are both facing empty nests of sorts. My last children are starting nursery school, which feels to me like a welcomed respite from the long days of parenting a young family. Lisa’s last child is leaving for college, which feels to her like the sad reality that the years of raising kids are short. We are looking at the stages of motherhood through two sides of the prism of time.
Lauren writes: The thing about early motherhood is that it comes with a maddeningly low dose of perspective. Parents with older children can tell you to savor every moment, onlookers can assure you “this too will pass.” But however cognizant you are of these platitudes, their essential truth, they are aren’t strong enough to pull you from the morass, just as you are spiraling down.
Lisa writes: I chide myself for feelings of sadness at this transition, for the wistfulness I feel about the beautiful boys that have been replaced by a wonderful teen and two young adults. Life offers us this exchange and in times of sadness I tell myself that, if it has gone well, gratitude is the appropriate response.
You can read the rest of the piece here.