Recently, I have begun to feel old. Not in that "I wear mom jeans" kind of way (God, I hope that never happens), but in the "I feel so much further along than my friends" kind of way. You see, almost all of my childhood friends (and J's for that matter) are childless, and the majority of them are still unmarried. Which puts us about a zillion years beyond them. They still go out after seven (OK who am I kidding? I never went out). They travel. They sleep in. They can leave their houses without worrying if they have enough snacks to keep everyone happy. And me? Well, I can't.
Now don't get me wrong. I love my kids and my life. It just seems weird to me that we are done having children (and are soon to be accident-proof) before anyone else has even started. And that realization is making me wonder about what is next for us.
It used to be obvious. When we were dating, we were supposed to get married next and then we were supposed to have children. But now that we have accomplished that, I'm left questioning what I want to do from here.
Am I supposed to give myself to my children entirely? Or should I be focusing more on me? Do I want to work more? Or less? Or not at all? Am I OK with being defined primarily as someone's mom? Or will it drive me crazy? Really, what do I want out of my life? I swear, at moments I feel like I am 18 again, with my whole life ahead of me and no idea what to do with it.
Perhaps, I am just having an early realization that one day my kids won't need me anymore. Maybe I am just looking ahead 18 years and thinking that 45 is really young to have an empty nest. And when that happens, who will I be?