By Heather Keenan

As I threw away the last “binks” in our house over the weekend I was hit with the realization that there are no more babies in my house, and that if things go as planned, there will not be anymore babies for my family, period.

Why am I not crying? Don’t other moms cry? Don’t they save those last pacifiers and baby toys in a box somewhere, just to hide in the closet and smell them when they are pining over no longer having a baby in the house? Why am I ready to jump for joy? Oh no, I am a monster!!!

No, no I am not. I am a mother of three, who for the past seven years, has given up everything for her offspring. Over the past seven years it has not occurred to me one time to put myself first. I am tired and I am more than ready for the next phase of this carnival ride known as parenting. I am ready to be able to confidently hire a babysitter and go out. I am ready to be able to return to work without feeling guilty that someone else is rocking my baby to sleep. I am ready to get a part of ME back!

Now before you start brainstorming your comments about how I am out of my mind, that being a mother is always a selfless job, no matter the kids’ ages, please understand that I know that. I know that, and I am not suggesting that now that they are all able to brush their own teeth I am ready for them to pack up and fly the nest. I am, however, ready to sit back and let them make their own waffles, while all being out of diapers, not using binks or sippy cups.

Sure, there is a part of me that is nervous to be traveling into this unknown territory of motherhood. Of course there will be times where I miss holding their perfect little bodies and rocking them for hours on end, but I am ready. I am ready and excited for this new phase in our lives. I am looking forward to starting to be able to look at my children as people and have actual conversations with them that will enable me to learn what type of humans they are becoming.

I will miss my babies. Lucky for me, they will always be my babies. I will miss them like I miss my early twenties. It was a wild ride, but all good things must come to an end in order to make space for the amazing times to come. Life is fluid, and while I completely understand the moms out there that don’t celebrate the baby/toddler/preschool years ending, I hope they can read this and understand the flip side to their view. It doesn’t make me a monster not to cry, and it doesn’t make them weak to cry. We are all different and awesome. So whichever side you are on, you are doing it right! Team Mom!!

Now, when do they start making the coffee?!