A few weeks ago, we celebrated the end of an era. At two months shy of five years old, my youngest finally let go of his overnight pull-ups.

A big deal, I know.

We ceremoniously gathered all the remaining pull-ups and said good-bye to them. Wrapped and waiting for the garbage-man to deliver them to their final resting place, Zachary is proud of this acheivement.

But after 22 years and seven children, this final send-off is bitter-sweet.

Where have all my babies gone?

I look around the house and gone are the remnants of babyhood. The cribs and toddler beds have been replaced with bunk beds. Brightly-colored baby toys and coloring books have been replaced with Xbox controllers and game discs. Diapers have been replaced with boxer shorts, and long cuddles with mommy have been replaced by overnights at friends’ houses.

My purse is no longer the black hole of pacifiers, wipes, and toy keys. Instead, I have hand-held games and slips of paper scribbled with other childrens’ phone numbers. While I have gone through the teenage years (my daughter is 22 and my oldest son is 19), I have always had a baby or two that needed to be  cared for.

I’ve finally reached the end of having one more “little” to constantly tend to.

*Sigh*

All those years that I longed for a full nights’ sleep, a few minutes to myself or an uninterrupted meal, I never thought I would miss the baby-years that consumed all of me.

These days, those much coveted minutes have turned into unknown hours as the boys head off to school in another week. Zachary misses the cut-off for kindergarten by a month, so he’ll only be gone half days to preschool. Still, it’s the last year I’ll have any of my children home during the school day.

For a woman who has spent more than a decade as a stay at home mom, the upcoming years are a scary mixture of unknown re-invention. While I’ll always be a mom, for the first time in years I can start thinking about who else I am.

Occupation: stay at home mom won’t be at the top of my life resume. I will be able to add “In addition to being a mother of 5, I am also a….

… Artist, writer, entreprenuer?”

Maybe “YES!” to all three. For now, I think I’ll focus on the littlest little as he bounces through preschool, preparing to be the last “big-boy” of the house.

Eventually “Occupation: Grandma” will take top honors on my life resume.

Has your life as a mother entered a new era? How do you handle the life transitions as your children grow up?  Are you looking forward to adding “Grandma” to your life resume?

This is an original post written for World Moms Blog by Amy Hillis from Ohio, USA. When she’s not keeping up with her boys, she can be found on Facebook and on Twitter @transplantedx3

Photo credit to http://www.flickr.com/photos/25220549@N05/4311803980/This photo has a creative commons attribution license.

Amy Hillis (USA)

Amy is a native Chicagoan that currently resides just outside of Cincinnati, OH. A city girl, through and through, she’s still adjusting to small town life. Amy has a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art with a minor in French from Elmhurst College. She was working on her Master’s degree at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, when she became pregnant with her 3rd child. Although this angel boy was only here for a very short time – he left quite a legacy. Nathaniel was born with a rare genetic disorder called Citrullinemia. Amy and her husband, James, went on to have 4 more boys, 3 of whom were also born with Citrullinemia. In January 2011, her youngest son, David passed away from complications of a liver transplant performed to 'cure' the Citrullinemia. Now a stay-home mom of 5, she started blogging in October 2010, while David was still in the hospital. Two of her other sons have had successful liver transplants to cure their genetic disorders. Her 2 older children still live in Chicago. When not hanging out with her kids, she spends her ‘me’ time writing, sewing, reading & walking. Amy also spends a generous amount of time online. She can be found on Twitter @transplantedx3. On Facebook and on her Website <a href="http://mytearstainedlife.com"My Tear-Stained Life

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