The calendar says it is autumn, and that may be, but let’s talk seasons of your life as a Mom. I snapped the pic there on the left this morning as I was putting in my five miles at Normandy Dam. The pic is taken from the edge of the dam. What a view! I come out here regularly, and while the landscape may look the same to my eyes from one day to the next, the seasons are in a constant state of flux, following a design set forth by their Creator. I don’t really notice the gradual change in surroundings here at my favorite walking spot until the change becomes drastic. In the fall, the change certainly is drastically different than summer.
Here is a picture of the lake area I took just about two months ago at the height of summer. Everything is a verdant green except for the sky and the water. Time changes things, albeit without our notice. Often at this time of year you hear exclamations of “How did it get to be fall already?” or “What happened to summer?” Of course there are some who do not like such climactic changes, so they choose to live in a warmer locale perhaps, or maybe even a colder one.
The fact is that seasons change, like it or not, ready or not. Our lives are like that as well. As Moms, especially, we celebrate ~ and often endure with gritted teeth ~ the four seasons of motherhood.
Spring is the season when babies are born and new life springs forth everywhere you look! As a Mom, spring is the beginning of motherhood. The newness of life is such a time of reflection and appreciation for this things called human life as you stare down at your little bundle of baby. Every time you have a new baby, you are in the season of spring.
With spring comes the planting season. Motherhood is all about planting seeds and watching them begin to sprout. In springtime, however, the work seems to go on 24/7. Sleep is a blip on your radar because new life has its own schedule. But as you move through the season of spring, the planting season, the fresh air and sunshine, the hugs and smiles and cuddles, make it all worthwhile.
Summer is the growing season. Summer is the time of pulling weeds and nurturing, watering plants and making sure they get the proper amount of sunshine and shade. Summertime in Motherhood signifies long, sweaty days of hard work. It is the watchful season when we are putting our whole selves into the formation of our children emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally.
But summer is also the time to begin handing over responsibility to our children. Our job is to work ourselves out of a job, right? Yes. Summer should be spent doing that. Once our children become completely independent by the end of the season, the hardest work is done.
Autumn is the harvest season of motherhood. It is the season of finally reaping the benefits and joy of all the training and pruning and watering with our very lifeblood. It is the season of high school graduations and weddings.
Part of harvesting includes saying goodbye as kids go off to college. Autumn is a temperate time to reflect on how far we’ve come as Moms and to celebrate the new paths our offspring will take on their own as young adults. The crisp, nippy evenings flow in with each sunset, and the days seem noticeably shorter.
Winter is the season of the empty nest. It may be the longest season of all, in actuality. For many Moms, winter is a time for discovering who they actually are. It is a time to revel in the merriment of family yet have choices that you didn’t get to make before such as where you will go for dinner since it is just you and your spouse. Before, you went where everyone else wanted to go.
Now it’s your turn to make decisions about your life instead of having the demands of young children make them for you. The sunlight sure shines brilliantly off the snow, but it is cold. Pulling granny duty sure warms up the days (so I’m told). I’m looking forward to helping my daughters get through the summertimes of their lives!
There you have it! The four seasons of motherhood as I see them. The funny thing is that each time you have a new baby, the clock gets moved forward to springtime once again, and you go through the springtime cycle EVEN AS you might be going through the summer cycle with another child or two.
Yes, we Moms go through various seasons simultaneously!
Currently, I am halfway into the fall season with half my babies grown, while still in the summer season with four other babies. I’m heading towards winter. Cool! (get it?)
Where are you in the seasonal spectrum?
No matter where you are today, one thing is for sure: you are imperceptibly moving towards the next season of your life. This too shall pass. Enjoy this day; live today to the fullest. Be faithful in the little things, and may your harvest be plenteous as you reap what you’ve sown in due season.
About the Author
Joanne Calderwood has been called America’s Homeschool Mom. She is an underwhelmed Mom of eight great kids, owner of URtheMOM.com, and an author and columnist. Her new book, The Self-Propelled Advantage: The Parent’s Guide to Raising Independent, Motivated Kids Who Learn with Excellence, enables parents to teach their kids to teach themselves with excellence.