Thoughts From a Middle-Aged Mom

“You know your children are growing up when they stop asking you where they came from and refuse to tell you where they’re going.”
― P.J. O’Rourke

It’s been 9 ½ years since I became a mother. This year I turn 40, and it just so happens that the kiddos are in New York with their grandparents this week. Admittedly it’s been odd to create our own schedules… leave the house when we choose to… not have to account for another life form besides the dog.

It got me thinking about the way I’ve looked at motherhood over these years and the kind of mother I’ve been. In exchange for reading these pieces of wisdom, I promise to re-read this in five more years to see if it still stands.

  • I feel like this is the number one lesson children teach us. It’s kind of a like a piggy bank that we keep filling and they keep draining. And when I operate on less sleep, or have too many deadlines, it drains even faster. I don’t think I’m a master of patience by any stretch of the imagination. But I think becoming a mother has forced me to think about someone else’s needs above my own. So it means that I have to “adult” more than I would normally. That’s not a bad thing. It’s just not an easy thing.
  • I come from a long line of family who possess the annoying trait of bearing grudges. Children will inevitably make mistakes. Parents will make mistakes. It is a daily goal to teach them that communication needs to happen for relationships to flourish. They cannot shut family out even when things are hard. The baby and toddler years bear their own struggles. But forgiveness is something they will either take with them throughout their lives, or learn to leave relationships behind when they are difficult. And if life has taught me anything, it’s that relationships are difficult.
  • My own personal health. On a long run today, I struggled to run through the heat. As a busy mom of almost 40, I don’t always have the time that I once had devoted to fitness. That means when I pick up again, it’s like starting all over again. This means I get tired faster. It means I’m more aware than ever of my quality of sleep. It means I can’t bounce back from sickness all the time, or I may not always have the energy for the kids that they need from me. Parenting at this age means making constant choices that will afford us more time with our children. That means more rest. It means a better balance from work. It means that exercise isn’t just for us anymore-it becomes crucial in order to keep up with them.

There is a laundry list of other lessons I’ve learned. I’ll leave it at that for now. But whether you’re an expecting parent, a new parent, or a seasoned parent, I hope that you can reflect on your own journey in a positive way. Strengths… shortcomings… they are all a part of the complicated puzzle of parenthood. Where do you think the pieces will land along the way?




About Maia Rodriguez

"Military Mom" Maia Rodriguez was born in Cleveland, Ohio, but that was about twenty homes ago. After graduating from Syracuse University with a BFA in Musical Theater, she traveled just about everywhere in the country, lived in a green turtle-like tent for 6 months, toured and slept in the back of her van and even worked in Japan for a year. Then she met her husband who tamed her (ha!) and they embarked together on the adventure of parenthood in southern California where she worked as a professional pirate. Now, two children later, the family currently resides in VIrginia, where she sings for the US Navy as a vocalist. When she’s not mothering, she’s writing music for "Evernight," singing and writing for the Baby Bullet Blog.

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