“Child Crying And Lying On Grass” by imagery majestic via freedigitalphotos.net
I guess I should practice what I preach...
But over this past year, it’s been tough. I’ve not enjoyed parenting as much as I used to.
The kids are growing up. They also have their own new set of challenges, which are hard to handle at times. They’re all older- two teens and a preteen YIKES!
Now, I am a bank, taxi, grocer, doctor, laundry expert --advice only-- because I don’t do kids’ laundry anymore… well, you get it. No different than I was when they were small but they really don’t need Mommy hardly as much as they used to.
1. The parent who cannot WAIT til their kids go back to school in the fall
2. The parent who gripes about having kids in general
3. The parent who just can’t stand watching her kids grow up
I’ve always been tolerant of the tough stuff, and accepting of the maturing stages they need to go through; celebrating every moment that they become independent. I’ve never cried “Stay little!” or “Would you stop, you’re growing up too fast!”. I was always afraid that was too selfish. My heart breaks for sure, but I gave them a life so that they could grow up and live it.
Ummm, but now, it’s time for me to take my own advice, because, this past year, parenting has stunk! I can’t even tell you how bad that feels. But, it’s almost like the more I say it the more I am comfortable with it. Ugh. I wanted these three babies. So why would I now, just begin to hate this job?
All my 18 years of being a mom, I've never wished away diaper days, sleepless nights (okay maybe a few of those) or 50-Questions. It’s a part of it all, and I knew it was going to go fast. But, at times I look around and I think, man, that’s all there is now? It’s not like it used to be when they were small.
I’ve been trying to think positive, and it helped me recall writing a column years ago, back in my home state when my kids were still really little. It was about stages (the unkindly ones) that kids go through. It was about how to love them through the tough times (the ones you want to scream at - like when they throw awesome terrible-two-tantrums). In my case it was terrible every age tantrum with my MC (middle child). I remember writing how we should savor every second (even in the bad times) and never wish them away, because it doesn’t last forever.
I attended a lot of graduation parties this summer, and as I walked around the room looking at all of the photos of the grad as a child pinned to a string the entire length of the room by little mini clothes pins, I melted (and lost my breath). All of her childhood memories (and I’m sure her parent’s too) were strung here in moments: her at Halloween, her on the couch with her siblings, her at high school, a football game and even in the tub (I’m pretty sure I have all of the same type of photographs of my little -now big- ones).
It went by fast….
Today, no matter how old your child is, take the time- stop, shut everything off (even your busy brain, calendar mind and irritated mood) and sit down with your child and look them in the eyes, hold their hands, talk to them or play with them, because this is it. This day is the first (and last) day that they will be this age…and today, looking back will only seem like a moment.
Enjoy it. Whether it’s blown out diapers, teething, huge tantrums, fussy bedtimes, constant no’s (from you OR them), issues with eating veggies, fighting about clothes, thousands of dollars in uniforms and sports equipment or a dent in the family car’s bumper….just stop…and find the positive in their eyes.
This will all only happen once…
and it’s today.