Hello and happy Thursday! This is a Thursday that feels like a Friday which is so nice. We don’t have school tomorrow. Since we still have a couple of weeks left until spring break, I’ll take the extra day off!
Recently, on Instagram, Ashley was answering some questions and one of them was “What do you miss most about your kids being little and love most about them being older?”
This question really “hit” me…To be honest, I’d say this past year (2022) was probably the toughest parenting year so far.
First of all, I have teens now. That’s probably all I need to say. 😂
That being said, last year started with a health issue for Hayden. While we were pretty certain the source of the issue, we still had a few months of uncertainty and tests to rule out major issues. My “mama heart” stayed worried during that time which of course caused me to feel stressed and anxious. Thankfully, things are much better now, but it was a hard season of worry to navigate.
Also, I think I’m just very aware of how quickly time is flying by. Recently, I said to Hayden, “I can’t believe I only have five more years with you all in the house with us.” His reply: “I can just live with you when I’m in college too.” Well, that’s the thing…I don’t necessarily want that either…You know, I want to get them to the point of independence. Of course, if they are in school and want to live at home for a year or two, I wouldn’t say no. It’s just I know I need to maximize my time with them while also raising productive members of society 😉
I also think Travis and I have done a good job setting boundaries and expectations while also giving them some independence as well. Now, do they give us credit for doing those things? Not always! 😂..,but I know they know we’re just trying to help them in the long run.
They like to take turns keeping me on my toes. Truthfully, I know that most of what we deal with is “normal” middle school behavior. That being said, there have been some trying times and season of growth. Again, it’s probably typical “growing pains” (literally and figuratively), but sometimes I just feel like I’m doing this parenting thing all wrong. Also, since I’m with teens at school all day, I try not to let my patience be spread too thin at home after a long day, but sometimes that’s hard. Thankfully, Travis balances me out. I feel like we make a great team.
And…we are just very busy. I always say, “blessed to be busy,” but this is just a very busy season of life. There aren’t many nights when we are all home for dinner at the same time, and sometimes I feel like I only see the kids when they are just waking up in the morning and tired or very late at night when they are tired as well. Sometimes, I feel like I’m just fussing at them to use their time wisely or get things done. Then, there are nights they do everything they are supposed to when they are supposed to, and that’s amazing!
So, when thinking about the question…
What do you miss most about your kids being little?
When they were little, they loved me so unconditionally. I miss that. I miss them sitting in my lap. I miss their little voices. (A Facebook memory popped up with a video of Hayden’s little 2nd grade voice, and it stopped me in my tracks). I miss them wanting me to read to them, toothless smiles, and much more.
I feel this deeply:
If that meme doesn’t sum up thirteen year olds, I don’t know what does!
What do you love most about them being older?
Of course, I enjoy who they are now. I can really see who they are becoming as people, and I love it. Also, it is nice that they have more independence and responsibility. They can pack a suitcase with minimal help (I still provide a list!), they can run into the grocery store with my debit card and pick up a few items we need, they can turn the lights off if I go to bed before them, I can trust them with their friends (I hope that’s always the case), and I’ve enjoyed seeing their relationship develop through the years. (Of course, if they want to quit fighting in the bathroom in the morning, I would be ok with that too!)
Anyway, I’d love any words of wisdom from those with older kids. I’m trying to enjoy this season the best that I can. Thankfully, they still hug me and tell me goodnight. That’s the good stuff, for sure! It just feels like they went from this…
in the blink of an eye!