Karolien – There's Life After Kids

#Mauritius - Doing The Expat Thing
Life after kids – Love Yourself

Life after kids – Love Yourself

I dragged myself out of bed this morning to go for a walk as I’m daily reminded that summer is around the corner and I’ve got a few more kilo’s to shed before buying a new swimming cozzie. Seeing all the tourists on the beach is adding to the angst as one can feel summer approaching fast! I honestly don’t know where this year went, the one moment it was March and now we’re almost in October.

I’m never sorry once I’m out and about but the problem is the get up and go. Some mornings my get up and go feels like it’s gotten up and left the building. I’m sure I can’t be the only one feeling this way and that at least a few of you can relate. I’m mostly NOT a morning person. I prefer to wake up slowly with a cup of tea followed by a cup of coffee and then I can start focusing on the world around me.

Often I wake up with the best of intentions with those intentions to just disappear into thin air as the realities of the day ascends. Having said that I have days that I can be as productive as anyone else. Just depending on the mood and the weather I dare say!

I recently realized that ‘Life after kids’ and living on an island where I’m currently not gainfully employed, means that I literally and figuratively have NOTHING to get up for in the morning. Hubby’s not here for two weeks at a time. The kids are off doing their own thing, no need for mom to get up and so stuff for them. This was a major ’empty nest to come’ epiphany.

So that made me think; what do I get up for? What reason do I have to leave the comfort of my bed? Why get up and push myself to go walking or sightseeing or arranging coffee meetups? And although I enjoy cooking and baking, I’m by no means the homey mom that cooks and bakes and cleans the whole day. We have no outside help to clean the house but we do a major clean once a week and thereafter just keep things as neat as we can on a daily basis.

Discussing my epiphany with a friend the other day she immediately thought it was something that depressed me hence the discussion. I had to think for a moment because in all honesty I can understand why she thought that because it most certainly can be a depressing thought I suppose.

Having said that I am thanking my lucky stars that it’s not in my DNA to spend the whole day in bed. I cannot even sleep late! I enjoy a lie-in on a weekend but I certainly cannot see myself spending my days lazing around in my bed or even in front of the TV! Well, unless it’s winter and we slouch on the couch to do a NetFlix marathon.

To the X-man’s frustration I’m not a huge TV fan, I enjoy a program or two in the evenings of the current series we’re watching or perhaps a movie or two on weekends but other than that the TV will just gather dust in my presence.

I won’t lie and proclaim to start of every day being a good example of keeping fit and going for walks or to the gym religiously because I’m a procrastinator of note at the best of times and going to the gym is NOT my thing. Unless having a few glasses of wine over the weekend counts as exercise I’m a bit lazy to say the least. However I will admit that if I don’t get up and find things to make my days fun and interesting, then YES, I will get depressed.

Going from being a full-time solo-parenting mom, half-day teacher with a hectic life to full-time housewife in ten to zero seconds flat was hard in the beginning. All throughout life one’s kids keeps you busy and life takes up every spare second. I can still remember the times that I couldn’t even go to the toilet in peace or sleep through the night. I remember the days that my anxiety levels went through the roof because I couldn’t get to everything. Days spent crying because I was tired and needed a break. Wanting to hide from everyone because I just had enough.

Miraculously those days are over, 19 years of it has been and gone. My kids are grown up, my days of worrying about them by far not over but they are doing their own thing. My days are empty and calling to be filled with new adventures and new experiences. I can sit quietly with my coffee in the morning enjoying my quiet time, planning my day and asking myself, ‘what do I feel like doing today’.

I still have responsibilities. I still cook, I still clean, I still help hubby and the kids where I can, I still shop, I am still here when they need me but I have the luxury of doing what I feel like doing most days, when I want to do it, how I want to do it and with whom.

It was by no means an easy journey. Raising kids are hard. Raising them alone is even harder. I was a solo-parent and thank heavens not a single-parent. Hubby was in the background but couldn’t be home as someone had to earn the bread and butter. My job was raising the kids, a job that I took very seriously. There were plenty of times when I wasn’t coping, days that I longed for them to grow up not realizing how quickly the time would go and I would be sitting here telling you the tale.

But such is life. We always want what we can’t have and we always look back and wish for what were and for days gone by. To the mommas that are still in that space, feeling like you’re not coping, feeling like you’re not breathing, the craziness of it all stealing your joy; know this. There will be a day like this, a day that you will look back and think; ‘Where did the time go?’ You will sit like I am now sitting, enjoying a coffee and thinking back. It will be your day, your time to do with as you please. And you will long for what was. So enjoy every moment now and savor what is to come. Because often it comes too quickly and often we’re not ready.

Some days I think I’m ready for this life after kids and others I just want to keep them with me for one more day, one more month, one more year. I get up and I look at the empty day in front of me and for a split-second I wish they were still small and still filled my day with caring for them. I blink and the image is gone and I look at my day wondering what wonderful new memories I can pack into today.

An empty nest should not mean an empty life! Love yourself or learn to do so. This is your time to shine. Make the most of it! ❤️

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