It's that time of year again! Time for parents and their children to go shopping for new shoes, clothes and school supplies. The children are so excited to wear their new clothes and go back to school and their parents are elated to get back to the school routine.
Every year there are those moms that are a little confused, because this tradition is now over and they wonder, what's next? All their children are grown, graduated and moving on with their own lives. I have heard this stage is called The Empty Nest Syndrome.
The other day I went shopping and saw the store employees rushing to get all the school supplies out and I said to myself," Oh no, I have to get school supplies", followed by a moment of guilt . I was mad at myself for forgetting school was getting ready to start and then I realized those days are over for me.
Needless to say, I am now one of those confused moms wondering, what's next? Like most moms, our lives pretty much revolve around raising our children and putting much of our wants on hold. Then all of a sudden, which SEEMS out of the blue, a pot of cold water called reality is thrown in our face and we realize that our 18 plus year job is over.
I say 'job' because in a way it is. We get paid , in ways only a mom would understand and accept. We know our shift, twenty-four hours a day / seven days a week . We do what the boss ( child ) needs done whether we want to or not. And to top it off we get retirement, unlimited babysitting of those miniature humans we call grandchildren!
I'm not sure if The Empty Nest Syndrome is a correct analogy for this feeling that most moms go through. This summer I watched a bird that made her nest on my front porch. She quietly laid her eggs and waited. Once those eggs hatched, she fearlessly rushed to feed her rather loud, unruly little birds. This momma bird tended to all the needs of her little ones until one day they were all gone.
You see, the momma bird left the nest, too. She didn't stick around and get sad and lonely. Most moms stay in our nest and we do get sad and lonely. We re-feather our nest and look forward to the day when our retirement comes and our grandchildren come to visit.
I have heard this is a great time to do some of the things that I had put on hold while raising my child and I'm sure it is . But right now I'm still in that confused stage just trying to remember what exactly some of those possibilities were that I put on hold all those years ago. And when I do remember one of my grand ideas from my past, they don't seem so grand anymore.
If I was to give this stage in my life a proper name, I would call it, Just One Flew out of this Cuckoos Nest Syndrome.
(Johnson is a community columnist for The Minot Daily?News)