Just when I think I know all there is to know about parenting– I mean I have had a kid for the past 16 years -I realize there is still so much I have yet to learn. This week was definitely a lesson in getting a parenting reality check. As a parent you spend so much of your week just trying to keep the ship going–the kids’ in their routines, the homework done, the play dates, the sports, the veggies eaten that sometimes you forget to exist in the moment. To truly be present in this period of your child’s life- and basically JUST SLOW DOWN, REALLY hear what they are saying and savor them and all their preciousness.
I am all talked out, drained, like I have NOTHING LEFT to GIVE. Sometimes this parenting thing can be exhausting- and not the physical part. As much as I detest the shlepping of the kids back and forth to 500,000 different activities -the mental aspect of this parenting stuff is what has thrown me for a loop most recently. between the constant reassurances, the pep talks, the massaging of these burgeoning egos and trying to decipher it all I’m on EMPTY.
Like I need to call in a sister wife/ body double, who can carry on long conversations, while I tend to the more mundane and infinitely less taxing tasks like folding laundry and vacuuming. And while I’d like to be able to neatly jot down my learning experiences in this dynamic universe of parenting that at times feels like it will swallow me whole I can’t because each day brings with it a new set of challenges that force me to have to re-evaluate the parenting advice I thought I had successfully mastered the day before. So I’m sharing some of the things I’ve learned this week aka my Parenting reality check for the week.
Parenting Reality Check #1 Girls are not harder than boys they are just different. People love to make this sweeping comparison between raising girls and boys- and having raised both ( and still very much raising them) I can say each has its own unique set of challenges. Neither one is easier or harder- just incredibly different. While my daughter’s social drama has at times completely GUTTED me, there are other times when being with her and being her mom are just pure , unadulterated joy. Sitting with her watching her pick out clothes, having her share the latest song she must download, or asking me to help strengthen her legs, which she stretches each night for ballet. There are so many precious and drama free moments I get being with my girl. And my son- for now the physical stuff is the biggest concern, his sports, his piano– but I know down the road there will be social stuff for us to navigate and I’m ready ( having been FULLY prepped for the situation thanks to my daughter).
Parenting Reality Check #2 I should probably consult with my 16 year old before making any more Youtube videos. The truth is my 15 year old is far more tech savvy than her dad and me. She is the one who set up our NETFLIX and her dad’s new iphone and most recently told me I need to revamp my YouTube videos and start filming stuff, “People will actually WANT TO WATCH” and I’m doing Instagram all wrong. Well she does have over 4,000 followers on Instagram and she does watch plenty of YOUTUBE videos- so I’m thinking I should probably pay her a consultant fee and have her audit all my social media accounts. I can pay her in lip gloss and hugs right?!
Parenting Reality Check #3 My kids are listening even when I think they are completely ignoring me. I take my son to a basketball practice and I usually bring a change of clothes for him- so he can get his gym on properly. But this past week when I gave him his pants and t-shirt to change into after school he said, ” No mommy that’s okay, I’d rather not wear them this way you don’t have to fight with daddy about washing more clothes.” I looked at him and my heart SANK INTO MY CHEST. WHAT?? Has he actually been listening to my husband and I argue about the laundry? Do I want him to feel in some way that HE is at all a part of it and that he can keep us from going at each other?! Suffice it to say that one sentence from him was a MAJOR reality check.
So what has been your parenting reality check this week?