I’m in at least a couple of groups with moms around my age, moms whose kids are nearing the end of high school or are graduated and going beyond. Moms whose primary focus for many years has been their children, moms whose sense of purpose has been completely tied to the kids.
With the kids growing up and not being home much (or moved out), lots of these moms are feeling lost. They use that word. Some use the word depressed. They don’t know what to do with their lives now; they feel like they’re somehow no longer useful. Their sense of purpose no longer has the means to be fulfilled.
While my kids have been a primary focus for me—heck, I homeschooled them, didn’t I?—I don't feel lost. I was already thinking some years ago about what will come after they graduated. I was already thinking about my *next* purpose.
Sure, it feels very strange to have the house completely to myself for a good chunk of the day and to not homeschool, and I also know I’m going to hate it when the first one moves out (all while being delighted for said child), but I don’t feel a loss of a sense of purpose. My purpose with them is changing. And I have more than just them as my sense of purpose.
While I think we can have a fundamental core sense of purpose to our lives, like helping others (which momming is ALL about, right?), we mustn’t forget, mamas, that while our kids may be our purpose, they’re not our only one. We need to, at some point, start thinking about what else there is to us so that when this very strong sense of purpose can no longer be fulfilled like it was, we have another sense of purpose to guide us on our way.
You stay-at-home moms, especially you homeschooling moms, I’m talking mainly to you. Whatever the age of your children, all of a sudden, they’ll be turning 18 and you’ll wonder where all the time went. The change in having your days focused on them to having an empty house can be a bit of a shock. Make sure you start exploring before then the larger purpose that you have.