I've been a stay at home mum for 10 years.
February 2006 I was preparing to finish up my office administration role, with four weeks of pregnancy to go. Those days were filled with what feels similar again now - a sense of excitement and expectancy, anticipation. But if I looked closer then like I do now, I know there was underlying fear - I wondered if I was cut out to be a mother. Whether I could give birth, or breastfeed or nurture the tiny human that was growing inside me. I had a million expectations, yet I had no way of truly knowing what it would look like or feel like or be like.
10 years later it ends. My days have completely changed.
I feel a sense of loss and sadness for time I can't re-live, but there is peace in knowing that I've sown what I could in the time that I had.
And motherhood is far from over, it's just taken on a different shape - they can feed and dress themselves, but feeding their minds and spirits, and clothing their hearts is a precious role that still belongs to me.
And last week it was scorchingly hot, and I'd missed them, and I kept them home.
We fell in salty sea, and ate ice-cream and came home to hibernate indoors.
And the next day I needed them to be at school but I both love, and hate the space and the quiet when they're gone.
I've lost some measure to my days, and too many seem too quiet.
But the truth is that I've been so used to rushing, that I have to re-learn how to slow down.
I have to learn a new routine in these unfamiliar days and it's not dependant on snack-times or play times - and the only interruption to my productivity is myself.
I have no way of being able to tell what this season will look like, or feel like, or be like, and I still doubt my ability to walk through it with purpose and intention - but that is my word for the year. Intention.
To be intentional with my time; my saying yes and my saying no.
Intentional about what I invest my heart into, and what relationships will warrant my attention.
Intentional about what I read, intentional in self-care, intentional in eating and exercise, study and service.
So, here's to finding a new rhythm, hearing a new song, discovering a new way.