how can moms find time for themselves?A mother’s pockets –and what’s inside them — tell such a story. Whether they carry pacifiers, toy soldiers, flash cards, crayons or Goldfish crackers, everything a mom carries in her pockets describes herself and her situation.

These days, what’s in my pockets is changing — and so am I.

When my kids were first born, I carried little things: the aforementioned binkie, Kleenex, extra bibs, some teething rings. Everything had a purpose — and everything had drool on it.

As my children grew, the contents inside changed to meet their needs. Then, there were endless baggies of crackers, fruit snacks and pretzels. Small playthings were the norm: little dollies, action figures and whatever else I’d need to distract them. Shopping for groceries was impossible without these shiny things.

These days, I have extra pencils, wads of paper, crayons, flash cards, permission slips that need my signature (like, yesterday). And always Kleenex. With two kids in school, there are a lot of colds and runny noses.

With my pockets always full, I am starting to shop around for a new purse, hand bag or backpack. I plan on adding my own educational needs to those pockets (3-by-5 cards, my favorite Rollerball pens that glide so well, small notebooks to write down notes, my thoughts, assignments). So I think it’s time to change from the diaper bag to the book bag.

It’s a sign of the times — the children don’t need as much help, so I need to carry different supplies. They are off to school, so I’m getting a little of my time back. Suddenly, I’m a person, not just a mom. (Trust me, it’s a slow process; I’m learning to adjust to it!) They are learning every day, so I’d like to learn something new as well.

This Thursday, I’m taking a class. Granted, it’s a one-day affair at the local town hall through community education. I won’t get any class credit for it. And the teacher is hardly a bespectacled professor with leather patches on his worn-out jacket. It probably will be some local guy, hoping to teach a few moms like myself a thing or two about his personal passions (in this case, Michigan history). But it’s a start.

How do you carry everything you need on a daily basis? No pocket is large enough for how big my life has become. And diapers are a thing of the past. I’m thinking that is a good thing. Tell us about it in the comments below!

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