I recall walking into weekends with a schedule full of activities. Places to be, things to do, people to see.  The kids had birthday parties, activities, and playdates.  There was grocery shopping to do, laundry piles to get through and before we even had a chance to realize, it was Sunday evening.

Our life was full, and our kids relied on us for everything.

I remember it being exhausting. I remember wishing for a “day of my own” where I could just do what I wanted to do, relax in the tub with a book, grocery shop without little people begging for items not on my list.

Over time, my days opened up a little bit. Our kids got busy, without us. Suddenly their world did not revolve around mom and dad, and we were just additional personalities while they starred in their own show.

I now have time each morning to make the coffee, and enjoy a few cups. Alone. Before any of the kids have even started to wake.  It takes bribery to get the kids to join me at the grocery store and most of the time they are updating me on their plans through text, just so I am in the loop.

There are still piles of laundry, but when I do it, I don’t always recognize the clothing I am washing. I have no idea which hoodie belongs to which child anymore, since they choose their own clothes more often than not.

Family movie nights are a rarity, with the kids usually making plans together before their Dad and I have a chance to join them. Their tastes have changed and they have bonded together as siblings, a unique entity outside of their parents.

Their social life is blooming, and they spend time with friends whose names I don’t always know. Playdates used to be a well thought out activity, with relationships built between parents, and now my kids have a life and personality beyond the walls of our home.

It is too quiet sometimes. And eventually a book and a bath gets boring.  The hubby and I get stuff done now, projects that have been on our list for years. We have time to talk, and catch up, and enough left over to actually sit in silence.

While our family used to be a tree with branches, all of one being, now the kids are stretching their roots and becoming saplings of their own… only tied to us for food, water and shelter.

(Okay, maybe that last bit was a bit dramatic, but somedays it gets a bit lonely.)

The kids are growing up, and as they do so, drifting away.  We are still a close, tight knit family, but their independence is greater than their need.

I think back to those days when I was smothered in children. When I knew every moment of their day. When our lives were so entwined it was difficult to see where one started and the other left off.  When they were a part of me, and I was a part of them.

I remember being at the grocery store, 3 kids by my side, flustered, overwhelmed and having a grandmotherly type look over at me with longing to tell me “This is the best time of your life”.  I shrugged off her comment, telling myself she just didn’t understand. This COULDN’T be the best.

But, she was right.  Being utterly NEEDED, and overwhelmed with the care and love of these children was the best. When my entire world centred around these beings.  When I was so busy I could hardly think, even though I could never seem to get anything DONE in a day, that was the most incredible experience of my life.

I sometimes wish I could be overcome again. I look at other younger mothers, draped in children, exhausted and overwhelmed, and I feel an urge to tell them to just ride the wave, embrace it, and to let them know that this is the best part of their life.

Because someday very soon, they will be asking their kids to wait to turn the movie on. Or inviting them out for lunch just so you can have a chance to catch up.  Soon you won’t be the centre of their universe. . . just a moon to their growing life, a witness to their change.

Enjoy it. Embrace it. Soon they will grow up.  Drown in them, while you can, as there is sometimes more to life than swimming easily through the waves.

(This post originally ran on Three Chickens and a Boat.)


A mom who knew there had to be more than an overwhelming suburban life filled with good jobs and soccer practices, Julie swept her family off onto a small island in BC to start over! Craving a life of fulfillment she blogs about facing fears and courageously going after your dreams! She believes that if you do something, you should do it fully: eat butter, sweat hard and laugh till you pee. Julie’s blog is filled with stories of how her family adapts and continues to strive for a fulfilled life… while enjoying a few perks along the way!


  1. Julie, this is a fantastic post. Sometimes I wish I could go back there too. I also like this stage very much and know, with the frame of mind I have now, I would really struggle to face that stage again. Those early years are precious even with (and perhaps partly because of) all the craziness! And yes, they really were some of the best years.

  2. I needed to read this. Living in those moments daily, often taking them for granted. Thanks for the reminder! ?

  3. So true, mine are both in college now and I miss them terribly.

  4. Thanks for this wonderful post. I’ve been Trying to work from home for so long and meanwhile, my kids and my husband do “smother” me with their attention that I don’t have time to do my things I’d like to catch up on. I do realize I need to refocus because I see how blessed I am that as soon as I wake up. Even before I hit the restroom door, my kids are updating me on their new excitement for the day and as I walk in For a coffee, my husband is talking to me about the new car that came out (he’s obsessed with cars.) I see the beauty and at the same time that’s the reason I insist for the blog thing to kick up so I can be at home much more, yet I feel in the process I’m under appreciating what I will be missing later. I think I have seen the beauty since the beginning and still every once in a while I yearn for a bubble bath. My co workers have suggested that remedy and I’m like “what, i think I only have time for soaking my feet in a bucket with hot water” and I do manage to do that with my daughter in her own bucket sitting next to me chatting up a storm cause she loves to hang out with me while my son’s messing with us because we look so silly and can’t run after him.

    Thanks again for this post. Sometimes this it was we need to hear or read to be able to refocus.

  5. This makes me sad as I wrote a piece about my kids this morning in a negative kind of way. Parenting is so difficult.

  6. “I think back to those days when I was smothered in children. When I knew every moment of their day. When our lives were so entwined it was difficult to see where one started and the other left off. When they were a part of me, and I was a part of them.”

    – I literally cried when I read this section. I love my kids so much I could eat them. And I tell them that! They now look at my funny when I’m peckish. 😉

  7. Beautiful blog but not sure why you would assume that because it was the best time of your life that it must be for all moms? It certainly wasn’t the best time for me, it was overwhelming and beyond exhausting. I prefer now, when they are teenagers with their own lives and activities yet we are still so close.

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