Life with Kids

My children have all reached the “Age of No Return.” They are no longer the cute & cuddly kiddos they were, like yesterday! No, we’ve entered the tween/teenage years. I should be pleased to have made it this far with everyone still alive and well and healthy, right? Right?! With the cute & cuddly gone, only to be replaced by the grumpy & tearful (but mostly grumpy). Tell me it gets better!

As Mommy, you really are the safe place. But that really comes with quite the burden at times. It means the grumpiness can be directed full force at you. Having three kids under the age of 5 wasn’t a problem. I was a stay-at-home mom, found my niche, and had one out of diapers before the next was born! Granted it wasn’t just me, it took a pretty awesome kiddo to accomplish that feat! I really thought I had this parenting thing down… Until we hit these tween/teenage years.

Tonight, I cried. Tonight, for the first time, I allowed the kids to see me cry. My tears startled them, as much as they startled me. They were effective at diffusing the situation at the moment, however that was not my intention. In truth, I felt awful! Worse than I did for the situation that incited the tears, which caused me to cry, against my will, all the more!

I pride myself in remembering what it’s like to be their ages, and for the most part, I do… However, what I never knew is what it was like to be a parent. Being a parent really is not for the faint of heart! So many people want to be a mom or dad. But they don’t realize the sleepless nights – and I am not just referring to the first year of your child’s life! Have I ever had a full nights’ sleep since becoming a mother? I don’t think I have! And your heart does such funny things… To love so unconditionally, and ache all at once. Does this make any sense? And the will to hang on, yet the letting go process begins all too soon as they begin to grow up and you give them more freedom. But, but, I just had you! Time flies by in the blink of an eye. These phases, I will look back upon and miss? Reminisce? Laugh? Who knows! I’m just trying to do the best I can…

Tonight, I felt like a failure. But, my three kiddos said to me, in all of my blubbering, We love you, Mommy. Grumpiness gone. Tenderness replaced it. They are awesome little humans. Somewhere in there, a lot of love, sprinkled with God, I must not be failing at this parenting thing completely. I think they’ll turn out alright…

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