Hello! Well, today’s post could also probably be more of a “Thursday Thoughts” situation, but it’s Tuesday, and this is what I have planned. 😆
Well, the fact that I feel like we are on the move 24/7 combined with the fact that in less than a week I will have two teenagers, the rapid pace at which time is flying is definitely weighing on my mind and on my heart.
I feel like I’m constantly thinking about how quickly time is flying by. Of course, we’ve all seen this quote:
Then, I saw this quote recently, and it, combined with an article Travis sent me last week really has me thinking about life, parenting, the kids growing up, and more.
I feel like sometimes I’m hypersensitive to trying to raise good kids. At school, of course, I see students with various backgrounds, learning needs, behaviors and more. I really try to help my own kids by setting an example, teaching them manners, encouraging them to do the right thing, and to always try their best.
My mom taught 7th grade Language Arts for 31 years. She would joke that when my brother and I were in middle school, those were some of her hardest years because she was around teens 24/7. I can now certainly now see why she felt that way.
My waking minutes go from wanting to spend quality time with my family, to creating memories, to helping with homework, to nagging about missing assignments. At the end of the day, I’m tired. I often feel like I’ve dropped the ball or fallen short somehow. Also, to be clear, my kids couldn’t be more different. I have to remember that and try to cater to their wants and needs while also encouraging them and talking to them. Y’all, parenting is not for the faint of heart.
Here’s the article Travis saw on Facebook:
*Sigh* This certainly hits home. It gives me all the feels. This quote was a lightbulb moment for me:
“I realized that it’s not time speeding up –it’s the amount of time I have with my kids each day is dwindling.” Seriously, it stopped me in my tracks.
It’s no newsflash that my kids are busy. Honestly, it’s better that they are busy, in my opinion. There’s a difference in being “burned out” or forced to do something they don’t want to do and being busy. That’s not the case with them. They are learning how to manage time, work with others, advocate for themselves, take risks, and more. That being said, because they are so busy, I do get less time with them. There are week nights where I get one hour at home with them, and they are usually doing homework.
I often feel like I blink and the weekend has passed. I also tend to live “season to season,” and it’s always so crazy to me when summer rolls around, and they are another year older. Also, it’s a blessing to experience so many events and milestones twice at the same time. That being said, I don’t get to do many things over again. For example, we only had one first day of Kindergarten. That also means once a chapter in life closes, it’s usually feels like a slammed door on their childhood without a younger sibling to keep a tradition or spirit alive. I’ve always wrestled with these thoughts, and it’s why I never hesitated to use a personal day to go on the pumpkin patch field trip or volunteer at field day. It’s why I celebrate birthdays big. It’s why I cling to traditions.
A few things:
To make myself feel better, I came up with a list of a few things I feel like we’re doing “right” in order to make the most of the time we have together as well as showing the kids how much we care.
- Have dinner together as often as possible: We have dinner together most nights. It just means I have to plan ahead, and I’m willing to do that if it means we can all sit at the dinner table together even if it’s not until 7:45 at night.
- Continue traditions: Busy schedule or not, I like to keep traditions alive. Some things happen more naturally like going to football games, but other things like going to the pumpkin patch, carving pumpkins, and seeing the Christmas lights at the Kentucky Horse Park are now more scheduled.
- Show up for them: We’ve been pretty lucky that even with Hayden and Hadley’s activities, we both can usually can make it to most everything. I want them to hear me clapping after they score a point. I want to be the one they see after a race or performance. I will cater my schedule to them, but they are also at the age where I’m able to offset that and run errands or workout at another time because they are old enough to be home alone or at an activity on their own.
- Encourage them: Travis and I both encourage the kids to try new things, push themselves, and advocate for themselves. Now is the time to “take risks” while they have the safety net of us at home.
- Celebrate effort, not just outcome: I want them to believe in themselves, set goals, and learn from mistakes whether that’s in the classroom, during a race, or on the volleyball court. I don’t mean that they need praised for everything, but I just mean I know when they are nervous or hesitant. So, when they’ve given their all and shown growth, I applaud that.
So…that’s just a little bit of my heart lately. I’m having a hard wrapping my brain around where these years have gone, but I know I’m not the only one in this boat.
Whether it’s the “Days are long…” quote or the Major’s (my dad) quote, “Time continues to haul a$$,” time sure feels fleeting.
That being said, it’s not lost on me that I have two happy and healthy kids. They aren’t perfect, nor are we as parents. We’re in this boat together…and to quote Coach Cal, “I like my team!”
We’ve gone from this:
in no time!
Feel free to share your parenting tips with me! Why do I feel like I’m going to blink, and they’ll be driving…or tossing their graduation caps in the air?!
15 thoughts on “Tuesday Talk”
So relatable. I would tell my friends that they didn’t get it – I only got one of each thing but times two. And, when I lost the experience of getting to see my kids have a high school senior prom, graduation and all of those spring moments from 2020 I was bitter. It took me a long time to recover. I also didn’t get a real first year of college parent experience. No normal move in activities, parents’ weekend, etc. I think I am better now, but I still have feelings of loss at times.
My time now with my kids is so limited that I try to stay in the positive and not nag. I experienced and still experience so much nagging and negative with my mom that I really try to keep our time pleasant. Tom has a little harder time with it because he is the one talking about the car, the bank accounts, FAFSA, and all the adulting things more than I am.
I think you are doing everything right. When I do have to talk about a complaint, I try to start with a positive, just like I do as a teacher. I also text an “I’m so proud of you” quite often. I think texting has helped our relationships, too. My kids are so funny on texts and I do some group texts and some individual.
I know you are ready for a 5 day break at home with your kids! This age is so fun! They can do so much but still need you!
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Thank you for this. I feel better that I’m not alone in my feelings. I always aware that there are people who want to start a family or have one child and I have two. But, to me, it seems to speed things up. I’ve really caught myself nagging and frustrated lately which is why I think this post hit home. I think some of it is just because of lack of time. I see them for 20 min in the morning so of course I have to say, “remember to do this, do that etc” as I dart out the door. Hayden is at a hard age right now and I miss having a little boy. I can relate to hadley and she’s so mature. She’s my sidekick. I do text a lot and they do too which helps. I’m so sorry you lost out on those 2020 experiences. I’d be upset too, of course. Thank you for your wisdom!
I get it -mine were so forgetful at that age. Sometimes we have to let them fail but that is so hard for a type A mom!
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Oh this hit home and made me cry- so very true- ALL of it- I am trying to hold onto every moment because being able to raise my girls is a true privilege. You are doing a wonderful job Mama! XO
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It is a privilege. That is such a great word to use. I have a friend with a senior and freshman and we were talking about what a bittersweet time it is…but the goal is to raise good, independent kids…& what a blessing that they are healthy. That’s not lost on me. I just miss having littles sometimes
Such a good post! It goes by so fast! As a mom of boys in their early 20’s, I have often reflected saying how fast it went. You’re mothering beautifully.
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Thank you. I appreciate your kind words.
First, you are a great writer. You have such an ability to be able to convey exactly what is on your heart and stir up emotions. So much of this made me teary eyed and that article by Whitney Fleming…wow. All of it is so very true. My dad always said something similar about time- how it’s a thief, and the older you get (or they get), the faster it goes by. I’ll be honest and say that I struggled when all of my kids turned 16…and even the years before that, because they gained a lot of independence and started wanting to be with friends more and us less. It was the natural progression of how things should go, but it stung my sensitive heart and I battled my emotions constantly.
Then they started driving and I always cried the first time they each drove off. (The twins did this together, though, which was very sweet.) It never got easier! And then the biggest shock of my life was how emotional their senior year of high school was. Being a homeschooling family, it’s not like I never saw them! I did, all the time, but all of the lasts of things really got me. I blame this partially on a book I read to them when they were young- Let Me Hold You Longer by Karen Kingsbury.
Nothing changed for me after they graduated- three of them chose to work full time after that summer and one went to college but lived at home. Even so, it was hard, because I vowed to pretend like they were in a dorm, so I decided not to ask too much or nag them about things. Of course they had (have) responsibilities at home- but I no longer bugged them to death over it all. The Lord was sweet to show me that years ago and my husband was always good at reminding me that boys are different…so, I began to “parent” with the intent of letting them go. Todd would always remind me that we weren’t raising boys any longer, but future husbands and dads, Lord willing. So I changed things in my perspective in order to help me with that. We valued all of those same things, like having dinner together, encouraging and enjoying all the minutes we had. So far it has worked, because we’re all very close, but in a healthy way. Three of them still live here, but it’s like they don’t most of the time…they literally come here to sleep and sometimes eat, but we’re okay with all of this and thankful for the times when we get to see them and enjoy an evening around the dinner table. I probably have about thirty minutes a day that I see them…and one of them I see only every two weeks, but I text him often and tell him what’s for dinner, in case he’s hungry and in need of a homemade meal.
None of this is for the faint of heart! Parenting will always be difficult and most of it because it’s hard for us moms to keep having to adapt and change in order to meet them where they are. I don’t really “parent” anymore, but I do encourage them, pray for them and give them an “I love you” every time I am able. (Sorry for the book that I just wrote…good grief! I feel your pain and emotions, needless to say.)
I need to read this every day. Some days I succeed at this and others I don’t. I know I should give myself as much grace as I give to others but I often forget. I am doing so many of the right things but when we are all tired and trying to squeeze it all in, I revert to 20 questions about getting it all done instead of just talking about life.
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Yep, two diving, one graduation cap (thrown figuratively- since we didn’t bother with caps and gowns as homeschoolers; though some do!). .. it really does fly by. I am so thankful to have spent so much time alongside my boys but those years really do seem to pick up speed as they go. We’re already talking colleges and scheduling tours and yet I feel like Alec just started high school.
I love that you’ve had so much time with them!
That FB post 😳
This is a great reminder, and I’ll probably revisit this post a few more times to truly absorb it all. I know I nag my older son all the time but I know he’s already a good kid so what more can I really do other than to show love.
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I think sometimes I feel worn thin because I’m with students all day and then at home 😂