I was reading a thread on the Well Trained Mind forums a few days ago where someone was talking about how she felt like an "old mom". She meant that since her oldest was in college and her youngest was 7, she couldn't relate to the moms with only young kids anymore, and she felt really old. Well, I'm obviously not there right now--I can relate plenty well to new moms and moms with only young kids! But I am still feeling a difference though.
I got an email Monday morning about something we were supposed to have for all our kids Tuesday monring for our elementary co-op. I missed half the kick-off moms' meeting last Tuesday, since I had to run back here and teach biology, so obviously I missed that announcement. We didn't have that supply (1/4 inch binders for all 4 elementary kids) just lying around, so you know what I did? Nothing. Well, I found folders, but I definitely didn't run to a bunch of stores that may or may not have had school supplies left to see if I could track down small binders. I can no longer organize my life around my elementary kids. I used to, though! TNT was the only thing we had going on some weeks, and I could totally plan my life around it! Now it is pretty much one of the last things on my priority list, LOL. I feel old and jaded.
Another thing I've been thinking about is how I have a totally different frame of mind, as far as how I go about dealing with babies and their stuff, than someone who is just having a new baby. I put my babies to sleep on their tummies if they're happier that way (so far all have been, LOL), I use crib bumpers, and you won't be able to pry my drop-side cribs (yes, cribS--we have 2 of them, plus actually a third, if we could just find the hardware!) out of my hands! I don't rear-face until 2 or 12 or 22 or whatever the new recommendation-du-jour is (rear-facing carseats don't fit well in a big van, especially one where 10 or 11 of the seats are filled!), I don't cut up my baby's food into tiny pieces once they get a bunch of teeth (happens before a year for us, LOL), and I don't have a child-proofed house anymore. I guess what you realize, as you go through wave upon wave of "danger! danger!" articles in magazines like "Parenting", is that life is dangerous. And there is always some new recommendation to throw away/stop/burn/whatever something you've always thought of as just fine, or something that you think your child is well-capable of doing. And you can either live in a constant state of fear, wondering if what you are doing is the next hugely avoidable danger, or you can just live your life, making the best decisions you can that take into account the entire family, realizing that you can never mitigate all possible danger and you will likely make yourself insane if you try to. I'm not saying I'm not careful--I think I am. But I don't obsess. There's no time! In fact, I don't even have time to read all those alarmist parenting magazines, so most of the time I'm out of the loop on what I'm supposed to be worried about in the first place! But thinking about all that makes me feel like a fuddy-duddy. Hardly anyone that grows up with Micah or this new baby will have used a crib bumper! Weird!
One last thing I've been thinking about is playdates. I used to live for these. Adult conversation! New playmates and toys for the kids! Now I have to make a conscious effort to schedule a playdate, and to be honest, if it doesn't happen in the summer, it probably isn't going to happen. I just don't have time most weeks to be able to just sit and chat, much as I would LOVE to. (Big exception: talking to first-time moms about labor/childbirth and the newborn stage. I LOVE doing this, and I definitely make time for those conversations!!) Now, I can babysit your kids, especially if they'll just play with my kids, so I can still get my own stuff done! But I'm also not lacking for adult conversation anymore. I have great chats with Nathan and Luke, and even Caleb and Jonathan! I feel like I'm being stretched and challenged mentally with this AP biology. It's just . . . different now, then when I only had littles. Makes me feel old!
So it's definitely odd to be spanning 2 extremes--dealing with high school stuff (I need to register Nathan to take the PSAT in October, and to figure out driver's ed, since he can get his learner's permit after Christmas) and thinking about giving birth and nursing again, while keeping all my other plates spinning. I'm not an old OR a young mom! I'm just a busy mom, LOL.