Mommy Moment: I Don’t Mind

So I need a little mommy moment today.

We are on the countdown at our house.  This is not a countdown I am looking forward to.

It is the countdown until we are empty nesters.  I’m not going to tell you how many days it is because it just makes me sad and anxious.  But it’s not enough!

Tessa will be headed to Utah at the end of June with Cali to enjoy the laid back atmosphere of college life in the summer, take a few classes, live in an apartment with her sister and have a good time.

As excited as I am for them, I am sad for me because I don’t get to go with.

This new phase of life I am facing is making me a tad bit anxious and very sentimental.  I am trying to enjoy every minute of the time I have left.

In fact, I am enjoying it so much there are a lot of things I don’t mind anymore.

I don’t mind that my kitchen looks like this most of the time.

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I don’t mind that my grocery bill has more than doubled as we explore this new world of wheat free, sugar free, dairy free and yeast free eating as we try to help Cali get healthier.  My cupboards are now full of spelt, rye and brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca flour and xanthan gum (what the heck is that!?)

I don’t mind that there seems to be endless piles of shoes. (O.K. – two of those pair are mine!)

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I don’t mind that my dining room has been turned into a messy study hall for those AP exams Tessa is taking this week.

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I don’t mind that my craft room has been taken over by the girl’s projects.

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I don’t mind that there are a lot of unmade beds in my house.

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And clothes on the floor.  I don’t mind.

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I don’t mind because in a few short weeks my kitchen will stay clean a lot more and my grocery bill will be a lot less, there won’t be any one’s shoes to pick up but mine and Jim’s.  The dining room will stay clean and the beds will be made (well, at least most of the time).  And there will be way too much quiet at my house.  And I do mind that!

This afternoon I dropped something off at the home of a young mother.  Her house had kids running in and out and the floors were cluttered with shoes, backpacks, clothes, baseball gear etc.  She apologized for the mess as we stepped over it to get to the door but I didn’t mind and I hope she learns not to mind either.  It means someone lives there and that’s a very good thing!

So I’m just going to enjoy every minute of the noise, the mess and the craziness while I can!

Leigh Anne
Hi – I’m Leigh Anne! I have been a homebased mom for 30 years since my first baby boy was born! I love working with women and helping to inspire them to achieve their goals and dreams while still maintaining motherhood and family as their number one priority. I blog about everything I enjoy – creating treats and meals in my kitchen, spending time in my garden, entertaining and party planning, reading, self improvement and tips and ideas on style and fashion.
Leigh Anne

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Comments

  1. Leslie in STL says

    As the stay at home mother of an 8 year old boy, a 7 year old boy, and a 2 year old girl…all I can do is say THANK YOU!! So many days as I am catching up on the blogs I frequent…I feel so guilty about what a disarray my house is in seeing all the perfect, neat, clean pictures everybody posts. Thank you for reminding us of what and who is important and that it is ok for your home to looked lived in as opposed to a magazine…and that they don’t stay small forever. Thank you for keeping it real and validating this hard working mama. I will be praying for y’all as you transition into this new way of life ~Leslie

  2. Debbie says

    This year I have seen 2 of my children graduate from college. One is still attending with a year left and my youngest is a junior in high school. I get weepy every time I think my baby will be going off to college soon. You have given me a new outlook and inspiration. As my youngest daughter starts her senior year, I will try to make it a year of memories just as you did with Tessa. Muffin Mondays, time well spent with each other are just a few things you’ve inspired me to do. Thank you for changing my mindset from what am I going to do :( to what am I going to do :) Your the best Leigh Anne!

  3. Tammy says

    I wanted to cry just reading this….

    That is So True !! I sometimes wish I could turn back time and have my babies back. My teenagers still have a few years before leaving home – but I know it will be here in the blink of an eye. You just reminded me how much I cherish my boys and to enjoy every moment I have them with me at home. :o) Thank you!

  4. says

    OoooooO! I love this post, but it’s gonna make me cry . . . Kelsie who is on her semester off from BYUI, and JUST returned from doing humanitarian work in Tanzania for 65 days – leaves once more for college and begins nursing school next month . . . Karianne my sweet daughter, who is expecting our first grandbaby, and has been living here with her husband for the last 9 months, will soon be taking her new little family back to Columbus Ohio for her husbands schooling. AND we will once again be empty nesters . . . it’s just toOOo sad to think about . . . excuse me while I go find the tissues . . . again . . .(and the camera to record the craziness :)

    Kristin

  5. says

    I’ve only had one leave the nest. When children are young, it seems like they will never grow up. When they move out, we how the time went so quickly. Thanks for the reminder to cherish the time we have with them.

  6. Jeanine says

    Great attitude. Yes enjoy each moment. Just know this is just the beginning of a new chapter in your life. It gets better and better. I Promise. I have had three leave for college (I cried). Three get married (I cried) But I can not tell you the new joys that have entered my life.

  7. MelanieL says

    Thank you for this “look” into your life. This reminds me to embrace my life with little kids at home and never take it for granted. I wish you all the best during this transition in life!

  8. Marisa says

    Thank you for reminding us what about what is important. My husband and I often discuss what will it be like once our daughter and son are off to college and it is a bit daunting to imagine. So I will just enjoy the craziness and messiness that goes with and 8 year girl and and 4 year old boy!

  9. Heidi says

    Thank you for the reminder. I have 3 children 5 and under and I need to cherish each moment. Even the messy, hard ones! I got all choked up and teary-eyed reading this. May you have comfort and happiness in your new phase of life.

  10. melissa c says

    Ohhhh, thank you for making me take a moment to slow down and appreciate the ‘mess’ in my house! Like your other readers, I too have tears in my eyes. My oldest daughter is only a freshman in hs, but I feel like our time is so limited. I am trying to make every moment count…even let my 12 and 7 year olds give me a baking soda facial on Mother’s Day, because these are the things we will remember, not the clean counters and made beds. Keeping you in my prayers, that these weeks will be full of memories, laughter and the comfort in knowing you are a great mom!

  11. Julie says

    This post made me all teary. My cuties are still at home with me, but I feel time passes SO quickly. You are such a wonderful example of motherhood and have inspired so many fun things in our family. I hope you enjoy this next phase of your life.

  12. Heather says

    another teary eyed, choked up girl here…my kids are just 4 and 2 and it’s craziness here, but i don’t want to count down the time yet either. good luck and i hope this next month is wonderful.

  13. says

    Thank you so much for this. I’m one of those young mothers with four kids aged 8 to 1…it’s hard to remember this while you are in the trenches of motherhood! But Even holding my last baby I see the reality of how quickly they grow. Thank you for the reminder of what really matters. :)

  14. says

    Thank you for this post! I am going to remember this when I am playing with my boys (3yrs & 9mo) instead of cleaning the kitchen or tackling the mountains of laundry. Cherish the time when your children are with you!

  15. Carolyn says

    I know exactly how you feel, but a few years longer! My baby is 25 and my house is VERY quiet. My boys also live far away from us like your family. Thanks for sharing your beautiful thoughts. I feel exactly the same. I wish it was noisier and messier. I miss those days. But I will tell you that grandchildren are the GREATEST treasure of these years. You have that fabulous experience ahead of you. I just got to spend 11 days in Ohio when my new granddaughter was born taking care of her older brother while mom was in the hospital. Cried and cried when I came home last Monday. Good luck with this new adventure in your life!

  16. Caryn Ogle says

    LeighAnne, Thanks for sharing your journey with us. Such a great reminder to slow and and enjoy the ride. I want to make the most of the precious time I have with my children. It goes too fast!

  17. says

    I resonate with your ‘I don’t mind’ appreciation. Our youngest, Daniel, leaves for Montana next month. He took a gap year this past year. So, in many ways, I had a reprieve granted. I’ll be honest, it was very nice to have him linger and work here in town, while he sorted out his direction to go.

    I wrote my thoughts in a post last year about the emptying next. Michael has stayed in Los Angeles for several of his college summers. Those made for some long stretches between times of seeing him. I imagine my thoughts might resonate with you. http://melindalgroth.blogspot.com/2010/05/vacancy.html

  18. says

    Dearest Leigh Ann…

    While I am no where near the empty nest (likely 16 years away)…this post brought tears to my eyes. Even with many more years ahead of living the crazy schedule, dirty house, loud noise life…as each one leaves the nest (#2 will fly off this fall) we lose “life as it once was”. Cherish each & every moment in all it’s messiness.

    Love to you today my friend!

  19. says

    This made me cry! I remember the days when both of my daughters were at BYU. It was hard. It was also hard when my son went on his mission! Really hard! And now my nest is empty- until tomorrow night when my daughter and her three kids will come stay for 2 months!!! Then my other daughter and her son will come for 1 month! I DON’T MIND!!!
    Enjoy your precious moments.

  20. Jan says

    We’ve been empty-nesters now for five years. Your thoughts are exactly the same as mine were and still are. You’ll be fine as the days go on and, like me, you’ll be so excited when they get back home for a few days. I so look forward to those times…the fun, the laughter, the messy kitchens and everything else that goes along with it!

  21. Kris Wolverton says

    But think about the good times ahead for you and your husband! Meals when and where you want them, fun new hobbies you can do together, and the special times to look forward to when the kids do return (and they will)!!! My husband and I have been emptinesters since August 2010 and we have really enjoyed it. And then last night we had two of the three kids home for dinner and it was so fun to laugh with all the interaction. Your life ahead won’t be bad, it will just be different. I hope you find the sweetness in your next season of life.

  22. Mary Kathryn says

    I needed this today. I read Tessa’s post and was going to comment completely differently to hers then I read yours and I got teary eyed. Today has been a rough day. I have a 7, 6, 3, (almost) 2 year old and I am 18 weeks pregnant with baby number 5. I attempted to run errands today and getting home frazzled and feeling like I need a break. As I take my time in my room on the computer and the kids unwind- your post is what I need to be reminded to enjoy all this. Quite frankly I can’t even fathom the idea of my kids being teenagers much less all gone off to college.

    I am the baby in my family and I made a big decision when I was in high school- to graduate early and go to summer term at BYU. I was only 16 when my sister and I drove across country. I have to say I had the best summer of my life!! I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The worse part was having my first birthday away from home. I too had my sister but lived in the dorms and wouldn’t trade that experience for anything either. It was amazing and I returned home in November. It wasn’t all for me but I am glad I experienced it.

    My heart goes out to your little family as there will be a range of emotions the next little while. Live it up and thanks for the reminder of enjoying life.

  23. Angie McArthur says

    Leigh Ann, I bought one of your College Cookbooks for my daughter. I missed the last step so I am not sure how to download the book. Will you please let me know. Thanks you! I am sending my oldest daughter off to BYU for summer semester. I loved your post and have a lot of those same feelings. You are an inspiration and such an example to me.

  24. Melissa says

    That is good to hear because I am in the middle of the insanely messy house, stepping over toys to get to the door and I feel like I am constantly picking up everything. I find myself thinking, “I am ready for the next phase in life.” Your post puts it all in perspective. One thing to cheer you up – eventually grandchildren will come and they will make the same messes!

  25. Cheri says

    Thank you for sharing this. I raised 4 boys and have only one left at home, age 14. Last week I had all of them here, as well as my daughter-in-law and two grand-babies. I don’t even want to finish the cleaning because it reminds me that they are all gone……the house is too quiet!!

  26. Traci says

    I have a 5 year old boy, a 3 year old boy, and my sweet 2 month old baby girl. My house is almost constantly a disaster. There are shoes and toys everywhere. Not to mention all of the dirty clothes. That of course leads to the baskets full of clean clothes that I desperately need to put away. There are days when I think that I can’t wait for them to grow up. And then there are moments like these when I realize that they are growing up way too fast and that all too soon my babies will be gone. Thank you for this reminder to slow down and appreciate what we have while its here.

  27. Susan Iida-Pederson says

    Oh, Leigh Anne, I am so glad to have your beautiful messages coming to me directly – I could miss so much wisdom, inspiration and deliciousness.

    This is a brilliant reminder for ALL relationships … to cherish the mess and the noise and the love, while we still can. When our friend’s wife was gone, he said, “I used to get irritated because her shoes were all over the house and now I’d give anything to have them everywhere.” Makes it easy, as you say, to ‘not mind’ ANY little thing a loved one does.
    Thank you, Leigh Anne! Will be thinking of you during this transition.

  28. Mary in AZ says

    Thank you SO much for this post today! I’m at home with my three boys (age 7, 5 and 1) and I am learning to live more in each moment every day.

  29. Jessica says

    Beautiful post!! Thank you for sharing this today. I am going to try to “not mind” so much either. My girls are 10 and 6, but it is going by so fast.

  30. says

    I cried…cause well, I cry anytime I think of my babies growing up. I cried when I weaned them. I cried when we took the crib down. I just get so teary eyed when I think of how fast they are growing and they are only 3 and 5. I want to enjoy every last single second of their sweet lives. Thanks for the beautiful post!

  31. kelly says

    all of that is so true, i walk by my kids rooms and they are spotless and stay that way, i don’t have wet towels drying on my railings or food to constantly buy but i will tell you this. my son left june of last summer, and my daughter got married in july. it was a rough time with lots of tears. but i got through it and my husband i were doing pretty well. now my son is back home and my husband and i agree he is cramping our style:) we love having him here but it’s just different now. there are so many stages of parenting and somehow they are all the greatest. this one is the hardest transition though. we are going to be grandparents in sept. though and that is exciting!

  32. Steff says

    Well, that tugged the heartstrings a little (a lot)!

    The funny thing is, sometimes the house still looks like that, even though everyone is gone. We must have gremlins…..LOL.

    Thanks for the beautiful post today. Sending hugs!

  33. Loretta says

    We called it “trampoline nest” cause the kids would leave and we would finally get used to the “new normal”, then they would come home and we would have to start all over again. But with time we got used to being without kids (and their friends which we missed too) and really enjoyed being the “two of us” again. You will too, it just takes time. We actually did an “empty nest honeymoon”. It was a lot of fun and gave us something to look forward to after we took both of our sons to college. Transitions are always tough; good for you enjoying all these special moments now.

  34. Merideth says

    I’m a huge fan of yours, LeighAnne, and this is one of your best posts ever. I love the photography. I’m in the throes of the mother of small children years and I think tomorrow I will wander around my house proudly taking photos of the housekeeping disasters at every turn. In a few years I imagine I’ll cherish those memories and wish someone would come home to make a sweet mess. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

  35. jules p says

    Your post made me cry. I am almost right there with you. My youngest is going to be a junior (in high school) and each day or event moment I realize that it is the last. It just makes me so sad. And I will be an empty nester too. Yuck!
    And I agree…all those things you mentioned…they are not as important as I thought that they were!

  36. says

    Our daughter just got home from college yesterday…and our home looked like a bomb went off. I have never been happier…kinda like a pig in potato heaven! I know you will miss her but you will love it when she comes home…mess and all. Xo

  37. elizabeth says

    Thank you! I have a 3 year old, 2 year old and baby- its loud chaos all of the time. Its hard to remember to appreciate it when you are in the thick of it- but I really do love it and even though its a long way off, I am already sad about when it will end! Thank you!!!

  38. says

    I know the feeling…mine will both be leaving for college in July!!! My daughter has been attending a college 70 miles away for the last two years and now she will be transferring about 4 hours away and my son will be going 800 miles away…uggg..I hate to say it out loud! I have enjoyed my children so much, I knew this is what I was working towards but now that it’s here I sure wish I could rewind the clock. My house consists of piles in preparation for their big move into an apartment of their own but I don’t mind …I would keep the piles forever if that would keep them home…but I realize it’s the next step and I am so happy for them and so proud they are venturing out! My mom always told me …”Nothing Ventured…Nothing Gained” . Motherhood is the only profession I know that has Forced Retirement!
    Have a wonderful day and best of luck to your children.

  39. Jacqueline says

    You are my hero…Thank you for being so honest and truthful. I find myself as many of your followers, feeling relieved to know that I’m not the only one feeling this way… thank you for helping me realize what truly matters… our kids.

  40. Jessica Whitlock says

    Wow, all I can say is this is one of those posts that make you stop and see things in perspective. To take a moment to realize what is important. As a homeschooling, stay at home mom of an 8 year old and 2 year old, this really struck a chord in my heart. There always seems to be toys, or school books, or folders, pencil cases, projects, clothes…..you name it, left out all over the house. And the more time goes on, the more I realize that my effort to be “finished” with housework is an impossible one! What a refreshing look at how blessed these times really are. My, how these moments that I have are so VERY precious! Thank you for that reminder! This is my very first visit to your webpage and I very much enjoy the posts, the recipes and the delightful feel that jumps right off the computer screen into my home. Thanks again for the time you put into this, it has been quite a blessing to me today!

    ~Jessica

  41. Cheryl S. says

    Good for you Leigh Anne. I love my house to be clean and orderly but I constantly remind myself that when I am close to leaving this earth and reviewing my life I don’t think “I wish my house was neater or cleaner” nor “I wished I spent MORE hours away from home working” will be on the list…

    Cheryl

  42. Jamie says

    Thank you for reminding me that the mess my 5 little ones can make is ok. I try to not let the mess get to me, and try will try even harder now. It just goes too fast!

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