When you are a mother….

“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.” – Sophia Loren

This quote struck a chord with me as I have spent much of the past 22 years of my life “thinking twice”. (I think it’s what Oprah might call an “Ah-ha moment”.)

This has been one of the most significant shifts in my life over the past year – with grown children, you don’t need to think twice, or at least not often. And yet, I continue to struggle with that change. It explains the feeling of loss that new empty nesters express – you have lived your life for and with your children. And sometimes, overnight, a vacuum is created. Some people love it while others take some time to adjust.  

I don’t regret or resent the time spent raising my children, putting them on a level field with my needs, or even putting their needs ahead of mine. There are times I wish I had developed greater outside interests, pursued other opportunities, but I know in my heart that being with my children always did and always would trump any other activity or opportunity.

I know, beyond a doubt, that my children want me to think about myself first and foremost now. And yet, there are many times that they need some help and I am pleased to have the opportunity to return to familiar territory.

So, as we head into Mother’s Day 2012, I realize I am growing into this new life. Slowly but surely.