You guys, I know it’s Christmas and all, but I have personally discovered a new issue this season, which is far from festive: “Redundant Chauffeur-Mom Syndrome”. Have you heard of it? Maybe you suffer from it yourself or maybe you know someone who’s been there… or maybe you even wish it would come to you swiftly! The thing is, my time as a chauffeur to my three darling kids has finally come to an end. Twenty-four years of being the family chauffeur. POOF!
My youngest passed his driving test and I’m now officially redundant, at least in the chauffeuring department. Honestly, there’s a mix of emotions from elation after driving around my city in circles for years on end (let’s hear it for the mommy-van!) to obscure panic (what will I do with all my spare pockets of time?) Okay, the time thing is a non-issue because I’m a writer and I never have “spare time” as I can always be writing or reading, but you get my drift.
The definition of “redundant” is “no longer needed or useful; superfluous”. I’m not loving that, friends. It’s a mighty strange “superfluous” feeling as we shift from being constantly-needed-mommy to somewhat-needy-mom (“Sweetie, are you sure I can’t drive you to your music lesson? It’s not a problem. I don’t mind. I’d like to really. Please?”) My poor youngest one is going to get the brunt of my neediness until he escapes to University! Ha! Perhaps for you it’s the transition of sending little Zach to school, finishing nursing baby Chloe, or letting your teen daughter Chelsea go on her first date. Change, progression, alteration—it freaks us out. But when we get down to the nitty-gritty, it’s all about SEASONS, isn’t it?
There’s a season for being a soccer mom, diaper-changing mom, nursing mom, doctor mom, chef mom, mall mom, homework mom, tear-wiping mom, nose-wiping mom, baking mom, shopping mom, advice-giving mom, artsy mom, sporty mom, and yes—chauffeur mom. Lots of chauffeur mom.
If you are in the midst of motherhood and currently spend countless hours in your vehicle ferrying your littles to sports and clubs and lessons galore wondering when the driving will ever end, I feel your frustration. But this too shall pass. Faster than you can possibly imagine…
Every single season matters. Every season we learn and grow, just as we see our own kids learn and grow. There’s an obvious transformation that happens as our children become young adults—but there’s one that happens in our hearts, too, dear parent:
We start to see the bigger picture. We get to take a step back, just like back in the day when we took a step back from our teetering child on their first big bike without training wheels. Yeah, those training wheels are replaced with steering wheels as they reverse out the driveway and into the great big world, but it’s okay. It’s time. We might be redundant as their chauffeur, but we will never be redundant as their mom. Ever. And we get to choose whether we wallow in yesteryear or embrace the changes with joy and thanksgiving:
“Joy is a function of gratitude, and gratitude is a function of perspective. You only begin to change your life when you begin to change the way you see.” (Ann Voskamp)
So THIS season, this festive season as we grasp the tail-end of another year, I choose joy and I choose to give thanks. Of course, I’m grateful to God for the gift of His Son—especially at Christmas, and I’m going to try to keep that front and center as best I can. But I’m also incredibly thankful for the privilege of driving my children around for so many years (relatively unscathed, not counting that accident with the drunk painter!) and for the joy in seeing them all mature and grow into fantastic young adults. I’m going to allow myself a proud momma moment. And a grateful daughter moment—deep gratitude to my Heavenly Father, who knows all and sees all and is in control of ALL my seasons.
Yours, too, my friend.
Whatever season you are in right now.
Blessings from a joyful , thankful redundant chauffeur-mom,
Linking up with some fabulous encouragers! Check them out: