What Stage of Parenting Are We?
Being a parent is kind of a big deal. Okay, it absolutely is a monumental deal. My kids are growing up so fast that it baffles my mind that one of my kids just called Meghan “mom.” Mom. No momma or mommy. Just mom. What the…
So, yes, life is going by light speed and I’m constantly feeling as if I’m playing catch up. I don’t want to miss anything. And, more importantly, I really don’t want to mess up anything. I have this constant internal struggle that questions how well I’m doing anything or if I’m overreacting or if I’m totally messing up my kids for the rest of their lives.
I try to be a good parent. I feel like I’m successful at times, but there’s always something in the back of my mind that wonders, “Are you doing enough?” Or after parenting them, I worry about them questioning how much me or their “mom” loves them. It’s this never-ending battle that seems to never go away. Being a parent is such a wonderful and important thing – I really don’t want to screw it up.
There are days that are absolutely golden, which make me feel like I am doing a pretty good job. After homeschooling last month, we had a stretch of amazing weather, so we spent half of the day outside. The kids asked to bring out blankets, books, water, straws for their water, and eventually asked for help making semi-forts to have some shade. It’s days like these where I try to just let them enjoy being kids where I feel like I’m succeeding. Boy, do I try to hold onto those days.
Evolving the Whole Parenting Thing
I guess this post is more of an update on life than anything else. I think we can all agree that being a parent is constantly evolving. I’ve been a parent for over eight years now, and I can say with certainty that I’m probably not any better prepared than I was right before Adelaide was born. I have more experience, and I’ve tried dutifully to lighten up on my constant worrying, but I don’t know that I’m better prepared.
Things are constantly changing. My kids are constantly learning and growing and maturing and eating. Oh, are they eating – wow! Also, I feel like I’m always trying to change too. I want to be the best parent I can be and I’m always trying to find ways to be better, to do things better. Maybe that’s an oversimplification of my life. Maybe it’s too dramatic. Huh, I don’t know.
I do know that I love my kids more than anything. All I want is for them to be happy, healthy, and safe. I’ve tried to identify when I’m worrying too much and not say all the things that should make them paranoid about doing certain things, and then, there are times where I’m like, “Why are you pointing that stick at the other one while they’re going down the slide?” It’s all a part of balance, I guess.
Do We Age Better Like Fine Wine?
Am I a better parent now than I was when I first started more than eight years ago? Again, having the experiences seems to help me dial back my worry or it lets me let go a little easier so they can grow on their own, if that makes sense. I’m trying so hard to be something for them, and I think at the end of the day, I really just want them to always know that they’re so freaking loved. Some days don’t feel like that, because, well, you know, parenting. Parenting comes with this kind of tone where it’s like, “Okay, this is the part where you stop and listen and you think about what just happened.” Yeah, good times.
Despite all of this, the worrying and the guilt and the never-ending saga of feeling like you’re just not good enough to get the parenting job done; I wouldn’t change a thing for the world. My two kiddos are freaking awesome and I try to tell them that as often as humanly possible. I especially try to mention this after I’ve dropped the helicopter mode and they’re off running around crazy in the backyard. I want them to know that who they are is all they ever need to be. Who they are is absolutely perfect and that’s the message I want them to have with them for the rest of their lives.
So, is parenting easy? I don’t think I really have to answer that. I think you all know. If you do need an answer, I’ll give you one after I stop my flares of laughter and sobbing.