I clearly remember when I was 14 years old and my mom saying.."I can't wait till you have kids of your own someday, then you will understand!" (And it was like that... except with a giant exclamation point.)
I have begun to understand her pain in the last few years. The clock is ticking and I walk on egg shells every day of my life. I officially have 3 teenagers in the house right now and a younger one in training. Those of you who can feel my pain and grasp my concept, I am giving you a cyber hug right now..:).
I used to dwell in a sleep deprived state mixed with the temper tantrums of toddlers, no naps, and squabbles of sibling fights. What foods to feed the baby, is this a good stroller, what kind of shampoo to use?does it have too many chemicals?, and "please stop! running with scissors."
At the time these were stressful --(until now).... I didn't know what it would be like when they began to grow up. I now look back at their younger years as the most fondest beautiful memories. The time when I (actually) knew something and could teach them. When they wanted their mommy and snuggled up next to me when they felt sad. They were portable and we all lived out fairy tales together and went on adventures daily.
These days I am lucky if I can gather them up at once in the same car.
I am realistic and I realize that children grow up. That this time in their life is human nature to slowly peel away from their parents, so they can be self sufficient when they find themselves alone and out in the world.
Its just been a bit hard that's all. They live here with me yet I miss them everyday. They are surrounded by school, work, driving, going to college, choices, social dynamics, embarrassed easily and confused and stressed about the world around them.
I can't protect them from everything, though I really want to and may sometimes try.
The mother bear in me is (again) sleep deprived with worry.
In which that's another memory I have of my mother saying, "Once you have a child you are always their mother and you will never stop worrying even when they are all grown up."
I used to think that baby and toddler time was the hardest part of being a mother, now I know --at least for me, this is not true. It was so easy compared to the every day angst I go through now. Long gone are the easy days of redirection and time outs (except for the occasional time outs I give myself for my sanity) Only another parent of teens can understand these statements truly.
So if you see me and I seem distant, I am not trying to avoid you. I am just trying to keep myself together for the next turn of events that may come my way.