Older Mother, Older Kids Now

Mirin made this great circlet for the upcoming Mayfair out of grape vine, yarn and the golden velvety calyxes that are falling from the Magnolia grandiflora blossoms.

My 30th birthday last week has brought up all sorts of thoughts of change.  The truth is, I am no longer a young mama with young children.  I am an older mama with older kids now!

The experience of being a young mama with little kids has been totally different for me than being in my late 20’s with big kids and a toddler.  Of course it is nice now that people are no longer so judgmental.  I remember the looks of condescension on the faces of old high school and middle school acquaintances that I would run into around town.

 “Oh,” they would say, looking at either a chubby baby, a grungy toddler, or my pregnant belly.  “Well, I guess you’re busy just being a mom, then.”
They were all still in college and the recession hadn’t hit yet. 

I enjoyed being a young mama.  I enjoyed my pregnancies so much more.  At 28, I was a grumpy pregnant lady.  My back hurt and I felt old and creaky.  My relationship with my baby has been different.  I was so much closer to my own childhood, I think I identified much more with my babies when I was 20 and 23.  I bonded differently with them somehow. 

I was thinking about this a lot earlier this week.  We have a neighbor with three home schooled children all slightly younger than my kids.  She often has stopped by while we’re in the middle of some beautiful and well-thought out Main Lesson that my children quickly abandon to go visit with her boys.  I usually just sigh and put everything away.  Once they are outside like that, there’s not much hope of getting them in and having them focus on anything, so I just let it go and head outside to supervise.  The boys are very rough and wild, and they like to “sword fight” with Mirin, so I feel like I need to be out there to keep someone from losing an eye.

A few days ago we went on a little walk while I was letting our winter wool soak, and we walked past their house and the boys were in the front yard.  My kids were thrilled and I let them go over and say hello.  Their mom chatted with me for a few minutes, and then asked us to leave because her baby was napping and she wanted to do other things.  I told her I understood (I do) and we left right away, but I couldn’t help feeling a little surprised, because we always welcome them even though they drop by inconveniently all the time.  Maybe I’m just a wimp about sticking up for our needs, but I do think friends should be welcomed.  

Then I realized, she’s older than me, and I’m having such a hard time with managing baby/home school/healthy meals my family will actually eat/laundry/farm/finances/dairy cultures/big kids fighting and I must be at least a decade younger.  I bet it’s even harder for her.  I really can’t imagine being ten years older and doing all this, I really can’t.

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