Tomorrow my son will turn 3. My life has changed tremendously since getting pregnant with my my little guy.
A little over 4 years ago, I was a single mom, with one daughter...a different kind of mom.
I balanced things such as school, work, and motherhood, and somehow still managed a social life. I had been raising my daughter with the help of my family, for 5 years. I embraced being a young, single mother...I loved it. I loved being the "boss"....and knew that whatever I thought was in her best interest, was the path that we would take. One on one time was our normal daily conversations, riding in the car or bath time, it wasn't something that was sought after, it was just there.
I met James over the holidays in 2008. I was ready for a serious relationship, but I had no idea how serious we were about to get.
I still remember telling my friends that he was a widower with 3 little girls, and their jaws hitting the floor. I had a "back up" plan for our first date, a party that a friend had invited me to, but we got along so well - with the help of a few "adult beverages"- that I invited him to the party with me.
The next few months flew by, we introduced the children, faster than I ever imagined I would be doing so. All the girls got along, and it felt like every second we were all spending time as a "family".
When we found out that I was pregnant, we officially merged as one family.
It was my first time living on my own, away from my parents.
It was my daughters first real big change in 5 years.
The first year was so hard. I missed the parent I used to be. I wasn't the "boss" anymore, it wasn't just what I thought was right, it was what "we" thought was right. My "young" daughter was now the oldest of 4 girls, and I had a difficult time grasping why they weren't all on the same page. I had grown each year and learned to adapt to my daughters age, now I also had a 2,3, and 4 year old to adapt to.
Being pregnant was harder than the first time, and with 4 kids in tow, it was beyond exhausting.
When my son was born, he was that missing piece of pie...he completed us.
The next year was even harder than the first, the baby got all of my attention, I had to protect him from the others...there were so many hands that wanted to touch, tickle and hold him. He was (and still is) a very loved little boy.
We moved two more times from the time I got pregnant until my son was 2, the girls switched schools, and we went through a lot as a family.
I used to feel really bad, like I had lost who I used to be...so many things were changing, including me.
In this last year, I have realized that while things have changed, it hasn't been a bad thing. I have grown, and as my family grows we all change.
My one on one time with my first daughter, may not be as frequent, but it is still there, and cherished more than before. I am a stay at home mom now, and though there are days that I wish I could go somewhere and interact with other adults, and have a reason to put on real clothes, I know that I am very lucky to be home with my children.
My priorities have changed, I am a different mom. I have lost some of who I used to be, but have gained so much more along the way.
The upcoming birthday of my son has shed so much light on my life now. I still cannot believe I have 5 children. My attention is shifting from the "baby" to my school aged children, and as each child goes through a different phase, so will I.
I feel like my feet are finally planted, I am not spending so much time trying to plant my roots, and I can finally grow into who I am supposed to be.
So while I am sad to see my son grow another year, become less of a baby and more of a child, I am so excited for his future, my future and my families future.
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