It seems like it was just the other day that my journey of motherhood began. It is difficult to believe that my oldest child just turned 16! As apregnant-244662_1280-2 mother who is pregnant with her seventh child, the years have gone by quickly and yet many moments have dragged on. As a dear friend wisely surmised, “The days are long but the years are short.” I have climbed many mountains, many lessons have been learned for my husband, my children, and myself and yet it isn’t over, soon will be “restarting” with this little one.

I think back when I first began my journey as a mother in my twenties. This was a time of reading up on how to parent, of reflecting and anticipating what I wanted from life, and of much silence. When the baby arrived, the silence was quickly filled with the constant sound of newborn crying. I would turn on NPR for companionship during the day. I felt so isolated; only a few of my peers were also mothers. I longed for more good Christian/Catholic friends to share my life experiences with, and thankfully, I this companionship in my thirties.

In my thirties, I have been blessed with many memories of play-dates at the park, preschool programs, school activities, and family centered events. I have enjoyed seeing my children mature in their gift areas and overcome their own challenges. My thirties were time of establishing my “personal voice” and figuring out how to allot my time and talents. I was able to evaluate what causes were near to my heart and how I could best serve others. Truly, its hard to believe that decade is almost over.

Now as I embark in my forties, I have come to realize that what I used to want because it was “cool” is no longer relevant. Some wants just don’t apply to me anymore. Instead, I want to live for others, to breathe for God, and have a single desire for my heart to grow in the ability to love the will of God. For I have discovered that if I can love God’s will in my life then I can overcome the tremendous obstacle that causes so may of us women to struggle; to love what God gives us and to having faith during the difficult times.

This year, I’m embarking on my fortieth birthday, pregnant with my seventh child and preparing for a new decade in my life. I am determined to once again be athletic and rebound from this pregnancy with new energy for life, and yet, the goal in my forties will also be to not run my race in vain, but rather, to do all tasks to glorify God.

So what have I learned in these last 16 years?

I have learned that your husband needs to be your best friend. While your children are like gems that shine their own light, which gives forth much joy, they cannot outshine the will of God and the brightness of the marriage. When we have strong marriages, everything runs smoothly.

I hope to not “divide and conquer” through my parenting in my forties, but instead, to cherish and experience more memories with my husband. This concept includes sharing in the responsibility of parenting. To divide the parenting tasks is a danger zone if you do it for too long.

My fortieth birthday will not be the one I envisioned a few years ago, for I will be eight months pregnant. I’m sure I’ll have the same heartburn that has plagued me during my six other pregnancies (to the point where eating is challenging), difficulty breathing from the weight of my large babies, and limited movement, no morning jogs for me. And yet, I am resolved to move forward in this new journey of life and seek to do the will of God, serving with love in my heart, and ready to climb new mountains.

As I blow out my candles, I will be thinking of my birth, the birth of this little one still to come and the births of my 6 other children. My prayer is that I am wise and thoughtful in my 40’s and never forget the gift of being able to parent over 3 decades.

May God bless and help the mothers who are still having children over three decades of their life!

Copyright 2015 Emily Jaminet.

Photo by Tasha (2015) via Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain.