Contrary to popular belief, it really doesn’t get any easier once the kids grow up. They’ve probably come up with that so you don’t abandon your kids midway through their childhood! In all fairness, yes, you are not getting up in the middle of the night doing diaper changes or running after a screaming toddler. But raising little adult versions of yourself is by far one of the most challenging parenting aspects out there.
Much has been written about parenting teenagers as they make their way into adulthood. The mood swings, the verbal dexterity and the ongoing difference of opinion. But less is written about the parents themselves and their transitions as their children grow up.
We are finally in the last week of school. Having been through rigorous exams, science projects, and copious amounts of homework, I can’t tell you how ready we are for the summer holidays to roll around. No alarms, no pick ups or drop offs and no after school activities – there are just no words to describe the joy and elation that transcends us.
When my kids were toddlers, we did quite a bit of traveling with them. We were brave. It took quite a bit of planning, and had it’s moments of stressful diaper changes in public restrooms and tantrums mid flight. My kids are now pre-teens, but summer travel has presented itself with a different set of challenges. So to those of you who think, it gets easier, once the kids are older – let me shatter that for you!
My daughter is 9. For her 10th birthday (coming up in just a few weeks) she wants a sleepover. We don’t do sleepovers. Not just yet.
She asked me to take her shopping this past weekend, because she needed a ‘cold shoulder top’ that I wasn’t allowed to buy for her, on my own.
She asks for my phone so she can call her friend and they talk for an insane amount of time! It’s getting to a point where she doesn’t want me to hear her conversation. We all know how that plays out eventually.
At the angelic age of nine, she comes home one afternoon singing ‘Closer’ by The Chainsmokers because – hello mom, all the girls in school know it! By the time I’ve mastered the lyrics (because I try to be the ‘cool’ mom, or so I think), she is singing ‘Shape of You’ by Ed Sheeran. The actual one, not the dentist one floating on Facebook. I take consolation in the fact, that perhaps she doesn’t understand the lyrics, and is just singing along with her friends, because she is still just 9 people! Just 9!
In the midst of all her craziness (bordering on sassiness), I try to reinforce the more meaningful things in life. I try to be a mom.
These are the things I remind her of in my own ways and hope she will be able to take some of it with her as she grows up.
Yesterday I took the day off! I was done. I needed a break from this ‘mom gig’ I have going. I would find a quiet corner, read my book, blog, have some tea, and make summer plans (that didn’t actually involve sitting in a plane). Unfortunately, it did not quite pan out as I had anticipated. But it sure did sound good in my head. Even so, I did attempt it, and told my kids, ‘Mama is off today. Don’t call me. Don’t ask me any questions. I don’t exist today’.
They both laughed.
My son, who is morphing into a teenager soon, and I – get along very well. Wait, let me rephrase that. We did get along very well. Lately though, I don’t know what it is, but things are – let’s just say different. He talks when he feels like it, he is harder to sway when he has formed his opinion, his relationship with his sister falls into the ‘love/hate’ category and his whole room is a school-projects-due-tomorrow zone! Continue reading