Last week, an old blog post popped up about how hard it is being a parent to small children. I still stand by that, it was challenging. However, as life tends to go, it evolves, and I find myself longing for the days where I had leaky boobs, sleepless nights, and all the kids at home with me.
Childhood is hard. Raising kids to be good, honest people is hard.
Teaching them how to fly, and shoving them out of the nest to make sure they can, has probably been the hardest thing so far.
I remember the days when I felt so overwhelmed by lack of sleep and taking all four to the doctors for one kid to get a check up, and thinking that that was the absolute worst thing ever. But then they grew up, and one day my kid came home crying because another kid was a jerk to them.
I’ll take those long days where I had nary an adult to interact with, over my kid learning that growing up sometimes sucks. For them to feel what it feels like to be rejected or ignored. To not understand why the walls sometimes feel like they’re closing in when it comes time to take a timed test. Why the person sitting next to you zips through their work and you don’t, so you don’t get to play a computer game as a reward.
I’d take the crying over a nonexistent boo-boo and subsequent tantrums over having to take my kid from appointment after appointment to learn how to deal with growing up with visual and convergence issues and the anxiety that accompanies it.
Learning about which of your kids’ friends are true friends, which friends aren’t really friends and which friends need to just go away is hard. Dealing with the parents at any given function can be fun, but sometimes you can feel so out of your league and purposely pushed out. Wondering if you should have signed your kid up for this sport instead of that sport to keep up with the rest of the kids is never ending. Trying like hell to keep your kids from feeling left out, but at the same time teaching them about how life works leaves me second guessing everything. Trying to stay on the good side of the principal and guidance counselor while also pushing for what’s best for your kid without being ‘that mom,’ is exhausting. Reminding your kids that you love them, even when they’re sassing you and giving you so many eye rolls you hope there isn’t any permanent damage. Knowing when to push and when to back off. Asking yourself if you should save for future therapy sessions or college for them.
The Why did I say that? Are you serious? That’s awful. You probably just broke them. They’re going to remember this awful exchange for the rest of their lives. Good job.
Then going to bed and hoping that tomorrow will be better.
Yes. Gone are the days of baby talk and spit up. Screaming fits at Target and freaking out over getting an arm stuck in a shirt. Now are the days of hoping what you say is helpful and not hurtful, having to remember everything you ever say because it’ll come back and bite you in the butt, and eye rolls.
But with it also comes funny conversations, inside jokes, and solid relationships. I’m no longer just the person who keeps them alive. I’m also the person who helps make them be a person – one that I hope doesn’t suck.
Pass the wine.