It sounds kind of cliche- the idea that in parenting my kids I feel like I’m the one who is learning and growing in ways that I couldn’t fathom just a few years ago- but it is true and I’m sharing 4 Things I’ve Learned About Parenting As My Kids Get Older .
After a whirlwind weekend CAR 🚙 road trip from NYC 🏙 ➡️ wisconsin 🌾 Just so we could get in 12 hours of face time with our college student -I realized that while my heart breaks that she is no longer just a hug 🤗 away –parenting older kids has its own perks (other than being an ATM MACHINE 💰 and worrying about this young adult who is now independent and doesn’t technically *need* their mommy) That I actually enjoy spending time with them as people.
In fact the older my kids get the more I feel like I glean from our interactions. When they were younger I never imagined that I’d be sitting in a car with one of them, reading our horoscopes and simultaneously being soothed by this same girl as my ears popped. Yes, my girl was rubbing my head and telling me that she promised she’d remind me to buy chewing gum so that I wouldn’t have any ear problems on car rides.
I also never imagined that my daughter would be CURLING my hair. It felt like a complete full circle moment- and as she was curling my hair with the precision of a Louis Licari Stylist- I was flooded by memories of me doing her hair (and her not being very happy about it!) And it got me thinking specifically about Four Things I’ve learned About Parenting as my kids gets older.
4 Things I’ve Learned About Parenting As My Kids Get Older
#1 Thank gd I have my daughter to help me decide what NOT TO WEAR. Not sure how I made it 18 years- but apparently I was DOING IT ALL WRONG. It is a good thing- as my daughter constantly reminds me that I have someone who can give me their honest opinion about my style ( or lack thereof).
#2 Less is sometimes better than more. Sometimes as parents we think we need to schedule our kids so that they have no downtime- but I’ve learned that in that downtime- our kids can discover who and what they want to be.
#3 Never make any long-term judgements about who or what your kids should do or be. Let them come to it in their own time. My husband and I were convinced my son was never going to enjoy sports. I have to admit, a few years ago I signed him up for Little League and he was that kid that DUCKED when the ball came at him. So I laid off. I let him find the things that interested him– mythology, Guinness World Records and Comic books.
He was content to wax poetically about the misadventures of Prometheus and quiz anyone who would listen on the stats of the shortest woman alive and I was happy that he found his niche. And then I signed him up for a basketball clinic- NOT TO PRESSURE HIM- but rather to give him a Sunday morning activity- and the boy took to it like a fish takes to water. And so has begun his love affair with basketball, baseball, football and yes SPORTS. So in the end just letting him be was what he needed to find his niche- which I’m sure will be ever changing.
#4 That I actually enjoy spending time with them as people. I am the first to admit when my kids were younger in the baby and toddler stage I did not relish being around them. Is that a horrible thing to say- that I didn’t enjoy cooing, changing diapers, standing on my head trying to get them to eat, etc.? That I would’ve paid any amount of money to have someone else do the down and dirty in the trenches work of raising my kid? But in retrospect I’m glad it was me doing the heavy lifting because I look at them now and see how far we have come on this journey as a team and I can appreciate their personalities and their triumphs that much more because I have been there right alongside them. And it make me not nostalgic for who they were as littles but rather I am loving who they are right in the here and now.
What are some things you’ve learned about parenting since you had kids?