I’m now a mom of a certain age.

I just turned 44. The very next day my youngest daughter turned 7, and despite my attempts to turn back the clock, I could not gird against this inevitable reality.

I used to pray there would be a day when I didn’t have to wipe butts, co-sleep, carry my kiddos, and play Barbie playhouse every day at 6 a.m. Now, I sometimes ask my girls politely if I can carry and hold them as I once did. The Barbie playhouse is gathering dust in the attic.

I used to look on enviously at the moms who had older kids and seemed so relaxed and infinitely more unfettered than I was. Now I look on with melancholy at all the moms who are wearing their babies or happily pushing their toddlers in strollers on a beautiful spring day.

I used to wish away the ennui and stressful toddler days, biding my time ’til the kids’ bedtime when I could finally relax. Now I look longingly out the window waiting for the girls to get home from school, sports, or playdates so I can spend quality time with them.

I used to wonder what their first words would be and what their little personalities would be like. Now I wonder how they will manifest their amazing gifts — that I witness every day — to the world.

I used to feel like a young, nubile, and unstoppable mom-diva. Now I feel like a mom of a “certain” age, with all the physical and emotional vestiges of a worn and torn mommy life.

I used to live in the past when things were easier or the future when I might finally move on to the next phase of my life.

Now I live squarely in the present — taking advantage of each amazing moment with my children at every stage. I relish each parental triumph and failure as beautiful moments that will make up the pastiche and kaleidoscope of memories in my old age.

While I’ve accepted that I can’t slow down, stop, or reverse the clock, I’m so ever grateful that I’ve learned, before it’s too late, to truly harness the present, hang on to it so tight in reverence before letting it go once again, relinquishing it for the next.

My soul sisters — the sweet, amazing mamas of all ages out there. What will you do today to show deference for the present? What can you do today to grasp and appreciate the mundane parts of motherhood as much as the ethereal? The stress as much as the joy? The boredom as much as the busy?  

It’s not too late for you either.

Jenny Berk
Jenny is a crass and pushy (read = sweet) native New Yorker who has always had a penchant for New England, after attending Brandeis for 4 years, but especially so after meeting her husband Barry, who also happened to live in Boston. After marrying, and creating 3 awesome daughters - ages, 11, 8 and 6 - she and her husband moved to Needham and love it there! Jenny is a Certified Eating Psychology Coach, Mindful Eating Instructor and Wellness blogger. She loves writing about how Mom's can navigate and prioritize their health and positive body image after having children. When she's not trying to figure out how the heck to parent a tween, She can be found blogging at the Huffington Post, (healthy living section) and on her site www.jennyedencoaching.com. Heck yes! - mindfulness, kettlebells, body acceptance, yoga, traveling the word and eating decadent and unctuous (vegetarian) food. No way, man! - arthritis at 40, allergies to anything, animal cruelty, waiting in line.