The following is a guest post from my aunt Margie, who has read and cheered me on through the Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me series, even as her own “babies” are growing up and leaving the nest. A mother doesn’t forget those early days and years, the adjusting to the new, the unknown. Life with an infant is only the beginning of many “new normals.” The lesson here is to get friendly with the adjusting, and prepare to embrace it!
“Hey Mom! I’ve decided to go to summer school. I applied for a job in the residence halls. It will pay me a salary and I get my own room and a meal plan. Plus, my scholarship will pay for summer school. What do you think?”
My daughter turned 21 in May. She was the first-born and I had NO idea how difficult it would be to bring home a newborn while trying to recover from a C-section. I was dealing with emotions that come with having a baby plus the frustration of recovering from surgery. I was an emotional mess and I desperately wanted my life to get back to normal.
I still remember the phone call. It was a very dear friend who simply called to check on me. She lived several hours away and wanted to let me know that she was praying for me and would be coming to visit later in the week. During the conversation, I mentioned my desire for life to return to normal. I still remember her advice as she calmly replied, “Oh, Margie! You need a new normal! “ She was right. The new baby and recovering from surgery was my new normal.
There have been MANY “new normal” experiences since then. The first day of school for each of my children, my parents moving from SE Kansas to a town 10 miles away, sports schedules, returning to grad school to finish my Masters degree, my two oldest graduating from high school, me returning to teaching after being a full-time homemaker for 18 years, and the most recent, my oldest announcing that she was staying on campus for the summer.
The truth is life is full of adjusting to “new normals”. This fall my son moves out to attend college and play baseball for his new school. In four short years my youngest child will graduate high school and leave my husband and me to deal with an empty nest. We simply do not know what lies ahead of us on this journey called life.
You might be wondering just what I said to my daughter during that recent phone conversation. I wanted to scream “No! You are coming home! You will work at the Co-op just like you have for the past several years!” Instead I calmly replied, “Sounds like a great plan! We will miss having you home this summer, but this is a great opportunity for you. I won’t like this change, but I’ll adjust. I will find my new normal!”
What new normal have you had to adjust to recently? Please share tips to ease the transition!