I am in between Young Adulthood and Motherhood.
Newlywed is a very fun place to be.
I love to reflect on my past-- my Young Adult years were awesome! I wonder sometimes if I'm ready to move on, from the 'young and free' to the 'mother-me.' I am in between right now, so it seems like a good place from which to reflect on both, thus this post was born:
Seasons of a Woman's Life
I puzzled about ‘womanhood’ for a long time, probably the time when I was very in between. When does womanhood start? I’m still not sure, but I’ve started this post at young adulthood- I was 17.
Young Adulthood (6 years): I had an incredibly wonderful young adult/university life. I was FULL of energy, always striving for balance, ready to take on the world and any or every challenge or adventure. I had a lot of firsts: first time living away from home. First time holding a boy’s hand. First kiss. First real experiences with cooking. First time abroad traveling. First time living with roommates. First boyfriend. I made wonderful memories, and have journals and photo albums full of them. I was always on the move. I didn’t stay in one place of abode or school for long. That was perfect for me. I met so many people, I was touched and shaped by them all, and grew in my understanding of people and the world.
My mission was a part of the young adult years. It has a chapter all its own, though. I remember first realizing that I should serve a mission. And then embracing it. Opening my call was such an exciting/bewildering experience. Being called to Taiwan was a special experience, because my Aunt Marcy had served there too. Many challenges came my way, many of them my own personal devils. I had to learn to slow down. I had to learn to let others lead and be in control of my life sometimes, especially God. I had to learn to accept others, not try to change them or their culture. I learned how to plan and prepare. I memorized SO much information—Chinese alone was months full of memorizing, then the scriptures, lessons, and quotes. Here again, my life met and was touched by many many people, more cultures, and new ideas. I came very close to my God, as a missionary. I felt the presence of angels, helping, supporting, and encouraging me. I had some very precious experiences, some which were holy, and of great importance to me as an individual. I came to understand a bit more where I stood before God, what he expected of me, and dreams I have longed to fulfill for the entirety of my existence.
Young Married and Young Adult mixed together in my courtship and first year of marriage, as my husband and I travelled to and lived in France for a year, along with many other university-age students. We had internships to teach in the French school system, and were fortunate enough to be placed in neighboring areas, making living together possible. Some couples were not so fortunate. Teaching was only a means to an end, however, and our whole purpose in being was to LIVE in France. What an immensely dreamy, romantic, and culturally-divine experience. I was in heaven.
Newlywed: Upon returning to North America, we settled in Edmonton, and “real life” began. I was a wife, he a husband. He went to work. I kept house and worked as I could. When I became a permanent resident of Canada I got more full-time positions, but I tried to be home enough to make it a clean and happy environment. Making a clean and happy home where my Mr. Right would want to be was paramount to me. I treasured our evenings together. “Full time work is a bain,” thought I, “when all we want to do is while away the hours together.” Despite this, we were living a wonderful life. We continued to dream and scheme. We looked into ways to create passive income in order to retire early. I looked into many work-from-home jobs. We chose to pursue real-estate investing. We have yet to see where that takes us, but we hope for it to allow early retirement, mobility as desired to visit family and the world, and the ability to be available for the Lord, whenever and wherever he needs us.
First Child and Baby Years: On the eve of parenthood/motherhood… I am so full of mixed emotions.
“To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”
(Old Testament | Ecclesiastes 3:1)
There is a time to be round with child- for some that spans 20 years, for others, only a few. My time is coming, yet I mourn the past. I wouldn’t redo the past though; my young adult years were vibrant, and perfect. Now on to motherhood I go. I am grateful for this year I’ve had to live upstairs from a young family with a 1-2 year old. It has reminded me of the great love, light, laughter and joy a baby is. It has also reminded me that it is a full-time job, yet within that full time job I can still create, dream, and do things for myself. I envision a great first pregnancy. I’ll still work and have fun at all the things we always do, along with planning for the new arrival. The first few months we’ll take it slow—recuperate, learn, connect, survive, and adore! I don’t know if I’ll go back to a salon after having baby, but I will go back to real estate investing. Perhaps, though, I will go back to the salon and do my 10-week class in May/June. Baby would have to go to a sitter for those weeks, which isn’t ideal, but it would throw me back into the world, which I think would be beneficial. The next babies will come along, and baby/toddler years will be in full swing. At least that’s how I imagine it. Maybe it won’t happen that way. From what I’ve observed so far, the first 8 years, kids are all yours. The second eight years they are trying to fit into the world, and you become more of a mentor and a coach. The third eight years, they’re adult and your relationship becomes more of a mutual one. I want to have a ball with those first eight years. We’ll go on adventures galore, explore the world and everything in it. I want to be there, and be involved.