Parenting At Every Stage

2 months ago

 

The new school year has started here in Tennessee. Two of my kids are in middle school this time, while the other two are still kicking it at the elementary school. One thing I have learned in my thirteen years of being a mother is my role as Mom is constantly changing.

Gone are the days when I changed diapers and filled sippy cups. I no longer have to sit through episodes of Dora the Explorer or Thomas the Train. No one asks me to sit on the floor and build forts out of wooden blocks anymore. Or to brush Barbie’s hair.

I miss those things sometimes. But then again sometimes I don’t. Being a parent means having an ever-changing role in your children’s lives. These days my kids would spend all of their free time watching their favorite YouTube personality, if they could. I wouldn’t even know who Logan Paul was if not for my thirteen year old daughter. Evidently he’s 22 and makes more money than you by making YouTube videos.

We watched some of our old home movies this summer. Thankfully my husband had the bright idea to buy a new camera when I was pregnant with our first child, so I can actually watch the tiny disks on our Blu-ray player. Some of our friends have stacks of VHS tapes and no VCR to play them on anymore. (Kids you will just have to Google VHS and VCR.)

Watching all those moments from over a decade ago was amazing. First of all WOW video has come a long way. Secondly SUPER WOW that video did NOT flatter anyone over the age of ten. Thirdly AWWWW all my kids were so cute. It made my heart melt to see them all as babies and toddlers again. I also noted that my husband had a Harry Potter vibe.

See?

The family movies reminded me that everything I did was quite literally for them. I was so happy just being the mom of those chubby cheeked babies. Then somewhere along the way, they stopped being babies. And they lost those baby cheeks. Part of me is very sad. I would give anything to hold them all as babies, just one more time.

Another part of me though, thinks where we are now is pretty cool. My children are little adults in the making now. They have four very different personalities. They have their own opinions and thoughts. I actually see glimpses of the adults that they will be one day.

These days my role as mom is pretty much serving/supplying/buying food, taxi cabbing them all over town, barking for them to clean up their messes and helping with school work. I get stressed out daily. Sometimes hourly. I also noticed from the old movies that I used to have patience. Huh. Who knew?

I would be lying if I didn’t admit that sometimes I sit in a quiet corner and cry from the stress of raising kids. Because I certainly do. Even so, I absolutely love my gig as the mother of four little people.

The hormone surges of my young teenage daughter make me want to apologize to my mom for my behavior from 1985 through 1995. Teenage girls can go from a soul penetrating glare, to crying tears for no good reason, to laughing hysterically, in a matter of minutes. Sometimes She makes me angry with her flippant attitude but most of the time I just have to laugh. And sometimes I actually laugh in front of her. Which is usually how she gets from furious to crying so quickly. I cannot help it though. I remember feeling all of the things that she is feeling. Even though she is certain that I couldn’t possibly.

My boys are all very different. My oldest son has the ability to make me angrier than any human on this earth. Yet he is so quick-witted and deliciously funny. He makes me laugh exactly when I need to the most. My middle son is a daddy’s boy. He loves his mom but he would rather go anywhere that dad is going. I am perfectly fine with that. Being that I didn’t have a father to look up to in my life, it means everything to me that my kids do. Then there is the baby. Ahh the baby. He is compassionate, caring, loving, affectionate and I firmly believe he is too good for our family.

Kid are fun and stressful and amazing and awful. Being a parent is the highest of highs and sometimes the lowest of lows. I fail miserably. Except for those times when I knock it out of the park. I used to not want my babies to grow up because one day they wouldn’t need me anymore. Well, I wouldn’t miss these years for the world and I feel pretty sure I will say the same thing in ten more years. I want to see it all, for as long as I possibly can.

So for now I’ll just stay in my lane. I’ll serve food and drive and all of that other stuff. I’ll reprimand them when necessary in an effort to raise good and thoughtful human beings. I won’t worry about the fact that they are getting older and older and that my daughter will go to college in a few short years.

Even though the role of a parent changes, if you do it right, your child will always need you. Even grown kids need advice or a babysitter or a home cooked meal sometimes. And I will still be Mom. Exactly what I was born to do.

Now that is a family picture that didn’t make Instagram!

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