As a Mother of 5, with my youngest being 17, I find myself thinking about the different “stages” of life with my children. I think back to the many interrupted nights of sleep, or completely sleepless depending on the child. Getting up for the midnight or 2AM feeding was actually a highlight for me. I know strange right! I am grateful that God created me to NOT require a lot of sleep For me, the wee hours of the morning was the only time the whole house was quiet, a peacefulness that wasn’t there any other time of the day. I cherish that quiet time I had with my babies.
Before you know it, you will be planning and celebrating your babies 1st Birthday! After you have children, it seems as though time double’s in speed. How does that happen? Weeks turn into months and then boom it’s party time! Great exucse for cake
Once I thought I had this parenthood thing figured out, the toddler/terrible two’s showed up at my door. How was it possible that the sweet little angel, I rocked to sleep into the wee hours of the morning become a monster almost over night? Not MY angel, LOL. Yes it happens to the best of us. They are growing in their world, wanting to explore, their little brains are absorbing more and more and because information is not coming fast enough, they are on their own mission seeking knowledge! Since “boundaries” is something that desn’t exist in their world, a new set of challenges present itself. If you are in the trenches of the terrible two’s, I promise you, it won’t last forever, but please note, how you handle this stage, will be a direct reflection on how the preteen and teenage year will shake down.
So the terrible two’s can last a while, sometimes into the three’s, but it is also a time when you can start having great conversations with you kiddo. This is a time when they are verbally learning how to express themselves and it’s such a beautiful thing. And here is a bonus, they still think you are the most incredible human being on the planet! I always loved my “car” time with the kids. No radio, no movies, just time to chat. Discovering the world outside and around us as we traveled. A time when I would listen to them tell me every detail about their day. What they had for snack, who they played with at recess, what book was read to them at story time. They even told me who picked their nose and got into trouble at daycare! Most children of this age do not have a filter, I often times would hold my breath when my kids were telling a story to someone, I just never knew what was going to come out of their innocent little mouths!
Well you have blinked, and have found yourself at the store picking out their very first backpack and lunch pail. A bittersweet moment for sure. How is it possible that 5 years have passed and the little person in your life is about to go off to school? It just doesn’t seem possible does it! Did I mention time doubles in speed after you have children? School days are some of the best days! Watching their minds develop, meeting their new friends and seeing them come into their own, it’s all good!
This is also the time when you kids are old enough to start all of the fun activities! T-ball, basketball, cheerleading now the fun really begins. Your schedule is no longer your own (I am sure you were already aware of that.) You will meet yourself coming and going and have a blast watching your child discover their gifts and talents. With your encouragement, they will learn to be good winners and losers, respect and hard work. Such a great stage this one is!
By now, you have a pre-teen~adolescent under your roof. Once again, you are wondering where that sweet little angel has gone, the one that you rocked to sleep in the wee hours. This can be a trying time, a power of the wills if you know what I mean! It is also a time when you get to peek in the window of who your child will be as an adult! A photo shoot at this time of their lives is really delightful. It is a confidence building experience for your pre-teen!
Ok, so you blinked again and the Sweet 16 party is being planned! When did that happen? You look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Am I old enough to have a 16 year old?” After a little quick math, the answer is clear, between the dark circles and smiles lines yes you are old enough. An entire new set of worries enter your life. As much as it lightens you schedule a bit, it amplifies your stress and worry meter. Another stage entered, a good one at that
So now your driver is officially a senior in high school! And you will ask yourself, can it be? Another incredible stage for sure, they are on the threshold of adulthood! A time where you are chekcing off the list of “lasts” with your senior. Last concert, last basketball game, last band contest, senior night, all events that wil go down in the high school history of your now young adult. Your soon college bound kiddo has grown into their own. A tough time for parents for sure. When your kids leave for college, there is a hole left in your heart that only your child can fill. Unless you have gone through this one, you won’t understand what I am saying. There is so much joy as they spread their wings and fly off to college, the house will never be the same. Your relationship with them will never be the same. The parent/child relationship will be replaced with an adult/adult relationship. It is this time, that you will get to be their friend and that IS a beautiful thing!
So the answer to the question, “What is your favorite state?” it’s an easy answer for me. All of them! As I look back, I can honestly say I have enjoyed and loved them all. They are all just so different, hard to campare. There are ups and downs with each one of them for sure. Being a parent is one of the hardest yet most awesome jobs I have ever had. Enjoy the sleepless nights, the sticky floors, the never ending laundry piles, you will blink and those days will be over.