When the kids are at school, sometimes the silence echoes off the walls. Usually, I relish in it because I’m able to get more work done. But there are days when the silence aches and I long for the wild days when they were little.

And sometimes I wonder, did I wish those years away? Because they were hard?

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Like when my daughter had the most intense separation anxiety known to humanity. I remember putting her in the highchair and wheeling her to the entrance of the bathroom—so she’d be with me when I peed.

Or when my son was potty training and literally pooped on the family room floor—twice.

How about the stress that would harden in my shoulders when they both desperately needed me at the same time? Their cries would shoot fear through me because I was unsure I’d be able to console them both.

There were days when both kids would refuse to nap, and I received no breaks at all—those days always felt like I was losing the motherhood battle. We’d all end up crying. But did I wish it away?

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The truth is, that yes, there were many moments I wished things were easier. And now, they are. But that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t give anything to walk into that life again—just for a few minutes. I desperately wish there was a time machine so I could go back in time to bottle up their squishiness, console their tears, rock them to sleep, inhale that baby smell, and more.

But now, I have silence. Isn’t that all I ever wished for?

Of course, I know that I didn’t wish it away. I understand that part of motherhood is the ache and emptiness of letting your children catapult themselves into their own independent lives.

The separation anxiety our children once felt as babies, reverses onto the mothers. We’re the ones reaching for them, longing for just one more kiss.

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Only, we never realize this until suddenly they don’t need us every waking minute anymore.

But that silence, it’s always there to remind us.

This post originally appeared on Angela Anagnost-Repke, Writer

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Angela Anagnost-Repke

Angela-Anagnost Repke is a writer dedicated to raising two empathetic children. She hopes that her graduate degrees in English and counseling help her do just that. Angela is known for her dreadful technology skills and her mean Grecian chicken. She has been published in Good Morning AmericaABC News, Scary Mommy, The Good Men Project, and more. Angela has personal and literary essays in Literary MamaThe HerStories Project, the anthology, “Red State Blues” by Belt Publishing, among others. She is currently at-work on the cross-generational memoir, Mothers Lie Follow Angela on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram