My family and I have called Colorado Springs home for 5 1/2 years–longer than I’ve lived anywhere my entire adult life. In many ways, I’ve settled in well. After a good deal of searching, we finally found a church that feels like home, and I have new friends here as well as the dearest of friends I’ve known for a long time. My family has been able to put down roots that have time to dig a little deeper and spread a little wider.
But you know what? In spite of all that, it’s been a lonelier than usual season for me.
After pondering this, I think this is due in large part to my kids’ ages and stages. I’ve discovered that with two children in the bullseye of teen years and one just kissing distance from 13, I’m not as likely to hang around with other mom friends as I used to be.
10 years ago I would have thought having 3 kids in school meant easy lunch dates to catch up with friends, but the realities of working a job while scheduling things like grocery shopping, doctor’s appointments, and moderate exercise means my time isn’t nearly the banquet of freedom I thought it would be. Many of my local friends are doing the same thing I am–working in and outside the home as well as managing the scheduling Tetris that is a reality with big kids. So it’s very, very difficult to regularly meet together, pray together, and support one another as we have in the past.
What I’ve found true for me is that the older my kids get, the easier it is for me to feel isolated.
Not only that, but now is the time when kiddos start to pull away. Of course this is good and right and something that is as it should be, and I’m happy my kids are becoming more autonomous young people. I genuinely enjoy the gifts this brings, gifts like regular date nights with my husband without worrying about a babysitter. Still, the reality of it all sometimes feels like a 1-2 punch to the ol’ mama heart.
So, if you’re a mom of teens and feel a bit isolated yourself, just know I get you.
Not only that, I know how difficult it is to be a mama of teens–how hard it is to give freedom when there’s no guarantees on how that thing is going to turn out. I know the failure of flipping my everlovin’ mind over something my kids said instead of listening to their hearts. I know what it is to stare at the clock knowing full well there isn’t much time left to give them all I want to give.
It can all be so heavy.
But I also know that we moms of bigs and littles alike have a Savior who fills our pothole gaps and is what we aren’t. He is real power, real help, and real comfort. And he’s ours.
If you’re a mama of big kids or teens and would like more encouragement, join me right here at (in)courage.
And if you’re looking for a great read that offers hope and encouragement to moms with kids of any age in any stage, I highly, highly recommend Kristen Welch’s latest book Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World. A 5 star book full of practical wisdom that is as good as sitting down with Kristen herself. I devoured this one and will be revisiting it time and again.