Melancholic Sentamentality Syndrome

I know I'm not the only mom of grown children who suffers from this syndrome I just made up.

It can hit at different times of the year.  Usually brought on by a change in seasons or change in circumstances, such as children leaving, summer beginning, school starting, weddings, new babies born to anyone, birthdays, graduations, etc.  Oh, and looking at scrapbooks, old photos, or God forbid home videos.

Deep yearning for the past-just one day of having them all babies again.

Doubt over wondering if I spent that time appreciating or fully soaking up the stage of life of having littles ones with very few outside obligations- being able to cultivate that "bubble".   Did I spend too much time thinking it would get easier one day instead of harder in different ways? 

A fear of starting to really feel the loss and sadness and knowing that if you start crying and really processing it all, you'll never stop the grief and tears, so better to just take a deep breath and live in the present.

Crazy lady desires like holding babies in grocery stores that aren't yours, dreaming of baskets of babies left on your doorstep, or wanting to pick up and squeeze every chubby little toddler that walks by.  "That" lady who wants to tell the mom of young ones to just slow down and appreciate the days at home, and not make the days rush by filled with activities.

Remember that we all learn by doing, in the moment, day by day, and we'd all do things differently throughout our life looking back.

Deeply deeply appreciate the choices we made to have me stay home and be HERE every day, through it all.  Deep gratitude.

Acknowledge that it always is easy to see the cuteness, and not the sleepless nights and inner tension of being at the beck and call of needy little guys all the time.

And most important-one day I will be saying the same thing about THESE days right now.


  1. I still do have little ones at home, though not exactly babies. Good friends of ours who have struggled with infertility just took home 8 month old twin girls for adoption yesterday and I've never wanted to kidnap babies so badly! I just want a do-over really. A chance to know that hindsight is 20 20 and do it all again with perspective!

  2. My 7 year old was asking for another brother just yesterday. He is one of five boys - although he briefly thought about having a sister, but quickly changed his mind. I told him that I was done having babies. I'll be 46 next month and the thought of being done is so weird to me. I love babies, but I did love the fact that he wanted another sibling. It makes me feel like I'm doing something right and that they love our crazy family. I also told him it's his job to have lots of babies for me to hold someday. Although he again said no girls.

    1. I have a friend that had a beautiful healthy baby girl this year at the age of 48! Never say never and those children are wonderful gifts from God. Especially for the siblings.

  3. This resonates...everyone says oh if I could do it over again now, I would be a better, more patient mom, but I think back in the throes of toddler tantrums, juggling kids and life, lack of sleep, I would probably make the same mistakes? As much as I wish for the days of reading picture books at bedtime, tucking them all in by 8 pm, the simplicity of a snack or a walk to reset moods, library visits, etc., It's fun to see the older ones come into their own...each stage is so unique even if I do often suffer from "MSS". Hoping grandkids will be the cure eventually!! (But not too soon haha)

  4. Yes to all of this! My first "baby" just graduated from High School and I'm feeling all the feelings! I find it bittersweet looking back at old photos. I am so very, very grateful for having the option to be home with my children for their childhood, and grateful that I can still continue to do so even as they are growing and spreading their wings. I have always appreciated your perspective and encouragement through these SAHM years. I also think that whether we have the option to stay home with them or to work outside the home, its cherishing the simple, daily moments that create the most precious memories.

  5. I'm in the middle of it all. I am happy to see my two adult daughters thriving and surviving, and happy when they come home from college or time off work. I am however, sad when they leave. I have gotten used to my oldest not coming home as much because her works doesn't allow her too take too much time off. I still have a teen and a 9.5 year old still at home and you better believe I am living in the moment each freaking day with them! Although I yearn for the days when life was easier with the girls being little, and Noah being a baby. Living in North Carolina with no smartphones, and cheaper cost of living, I am grateful to be living where I am where my last two kids are exposed to various culture, life, the world. It's been a blessing and at the age of 47 have learned to embrace this point in my life with grace, and appreciation. thank you for sharing your thoughts because it totally makes sense. We all have our melancholy moments!! xo

  6. This is totally me! I have two boys - one graduating high school in a week and one entering high school in the fall. I am so lucky to have these two and excited for the adventures my older one will have in college in the fall. But I would give anything for a day with them back at age 5.

    We tell the younger one that his older brother had 4.5 years with our full attention (since he was the oldest) and now its younger brother's turn!

    It is hard, though, coming upon the end of an era, knowing we are behind the small kid stage. I think I miss the 3-4-5-6ish ages the most!

  7. I, too, suffer from Melancholic Sentimentality Syndrome. I'm so glad you put a name to it! My oldest is going to be a senior in high school this year - I don't know where the years go! I lament over the countless hours I wasted worrying about silliness. Of course, at the time, I didn't think it was silly! I am praying that I can fully enjoy this last year of her home with us. Thanks so much for putting words to my feelings. xoxo

  8. loved this and really appreciate & admire your honesty, humility, wisdom and gratitude.

  9. I do remember in the early years of your blog that you'd go through this every time your kids had a birthday. It stuck in my mind because birthdays never made me sad. I am an empty nester now though.....my kids are the age of your oldest two...….and oh how I yearn for the earlier days. And have many of the same thoughts you mentioned.