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There are many times in our lives when we find ourselves preparing for a new season. Are you getting ready for a move? A job change? Going back to work? Having a new baby? Starting to homeschool or transitioning out of homeschooling?
My life has been a series of changes. Each time a change happened I had to adjust to a new normal. When my children were born, a new family was created. A new home required new habits. Homeschooling altered our lifestyle. I’ve become adept at embracing change. Every week I grow more aware that my years of mothering are coming to an end. I find myself thinking about what I will do to prepare for this new season.
One afternoon, I spent some time reflecting on a set of questions. These questions have helped me develop a plan for entering this new season with minimal anxiety and stress.
Do I have hobbies or passions that I regularly enjoy?
I consider my children to be my greatest passion. However, one day my house will be empty, and I will seek something to fill the void. I enjoy scrapbooking, traveling, photography, and blogging. These skills could potentially be used for a job in the future. My heart wants to do something to help other people in another country. That will be up to the Father to decide.
Do my relationships with friends and family bring me joy?
I have decided to develop some friendships that do not revolve around my children or homeschooling. Our mutual interests include scrapbooking, crafting, studying the Bible, and hiking. Yes, a few are mothers like me, however, our friendship is not based upon our current calling of motherhood. I still enjoy spending time with my mother and my siblings. I make an effort to take time away from my children to maintain these relationships that I will need in the future.
Is my relationship with my spouse a priority?
This relationship has become a priority. One day I realized that, once the years of mothering are over, it will be just him and me. Alone. What will this new phase in our lives look like? What will we do together? Will we even like each other? With a lot of prayer and hard work, we’ve made the changes that will keep our relationship alive long after the years of parenting. My husband is becoming my best friend.
Is my identity rooted in my children?
This is the heart of my reflection. Is my identity from being a mother–especially a homeschooling mother? Or is my identity a woman who happens to be mothering? I have witnessed moms fall into deep depression when their children leave home. They talk about feeling lost. It seems to me that the Father never intended for me to wrap my identity solely around being a mother. I should nurture, guide, protect and love my children, but I CANNOT base my identity solely on my children.
What about you? Momma, I encourage you to reflect upon these questions no matter where you are in your parenting. Search your heart. Make the changes necessary to ensure a transition without extra heartache. It’s time to prepare for a new season in your life.