It’s either moving too fast or too slow, isn’t it?!
You think the stage of parenting you’re in is going to be either the best stage EVER or you simply can’t “wait to get through it”. Teething, sleep training, the terrible two’s…so hard and seemingly never-ending. But, it does end, eventually. Some people love each moment and claim that “this age is the absolute best age”. Speaking as a Mom of a 7 and 9-year old, I’ve got to say, I’ve also made those claims. And, while my kids are still young kids, they just keep getting cooler!
I loved when my kids were babies. I loved the snuggles and the cuddles and the newness of smiles, laughter and them discovering life outside their bodies. I could have done without the teething phase or the phase where we were both frustrated because I didn’t understand him and the language he used. So. Frustrating.
I also realize that I think, maybe, just maybe, I’m in the gravy stage of parenting…
My kids are still young enough to love me and think that I can fix anything. They still dance with me and think I’m beautiful and cool. I’m lucky enough to be their safe place after a hard day (I hope this will always be the case). I also know this stage will end. I’m dreading the days when they won’t talk to me, when they think I’m super lame and when, to be honest, they “hate” me as only teens can. I realize these days will come, but I also have to imagine, there are going to be some pretty cool moments as they grow when I’ll step outside myself and think “Yeah, those are some pretty amazing kids”.
I was talking to some Moms the other day who were saying they wish they could hit the “pause” button. I remember feeling that, but looking back, I’m so glad there isn’t one. I’ve loved each stage of my kiddos’ growth. But honestly, the one we’re in right now has to be one of the coolest stages yet.
They’re smart and funny and kind. They’re ridiculous, they drive me crazy and they absolutely push my buttons. But, the conversations we have now?! Amazing. The way they make the every day more interesting is a true gift. Even when they have harder times when friends aren’t being friendly and feelings are hurt, it’s all growth, isn’t it? It’s a moment when we can step in and teach or step aside and let them figure it out on their own.
There are moments of real heartbreak when you see your daughter’s hurt feelings after a difficult “friend day” at school and there are moments of wonder when she works through them on her own because that’s what kids need to do sometimes. These are incredible moments you don’t get to have until your kids are in this stage.
I have conversations with my son that I couldn’t have imagined having. About a month ago I said something so blatantly obvious, he looked me and said, “Yeah, no shit, Mom”…you kinda gotta be proud at that moment because his humor is amazing and he effectively spoke like an adult for the first time. Growth. He’s finding his way, his humor and his voice. That is really freaking incredible.
Growth is daunting. Growth is hard. Watching your children struggle is one of the most difficult things you’ll ever watch. But, to see them work through it and come out on the other side, as loving, kind, funny individuals…yeah…that’s worth the growth. It’s worth the worry and the sleepless nights. It’s worth everything when you see your children grow into the next stage of their lives.
So Mamas, don’t be afraid of growth. You can mourn the loss of what was, but embrace change and accept your children’s growth as a kudos to yourself and to the way you parent. They wouldn’t be who they are without you. Don’t fret too much. Don’t overanalyze everything that happens to them in their day. Love them. Teach them. Coach them. Respect them. Then step aside and watch them grow.
Don’t press pause…the best days are yet to come.