By the wonderful Grace Farris.
P.S. Taking kids on a hike and signs of spring.
By the wonderful Grace Farris.
P.S. Taking kids on a hike and signs of spring.
I have three kids, and it was so amazing getting to know them already while I was pregnant with each of them. I can point to differences in their personalities that were absolutely apparent before they were born. And meeting those babies–wow, there’s now other moment like that in your whole life. Like some of the other commenters, I felt like I looked amazing while I was pregnant. My body was doing exactly what it was supposed to be doing and growing in all the right places. I had relatively tough pregnancies and births, but I was willing to do it all three times because it was so worth it.
My son was 7 when my husband and I divorced so it was a definite struggle approaching the teenage years with him. However, we enjoyed going to the movies together and I always let him choose. One day he wanted to go see Bruno so off we went, I had no idea what it was about and dont really think he did either. I wriggled uncomfortably in my seat with him next to me but heck…..what a different relationship we had when we came out of there. We laugh about it now (he’s 28) but it definitely allowed us to discuss more in depth topics together
Not that I’m recommending this tactic LOL
Having a preteen, a kid and a toddler I honestly can’t wait for the teen years! I love me some toddler squeezes around the neck and cuddles reading to my kiddos…but I’ve really enjoyed the conversations my preteen and I have had lately. And getting to watch some movies we’ve held off on. Hadn’t thought about the clothes though! Haha! My eldest son already wears my shoe size. How?! I’ll definitely look at their shoes and clothes differently from now on!
I’m also nervous bc I didn’t have a good relationship with my mother as a teen. I remind myself to keep communicating with my kids and be the safe space. I wish I had an example in my own experience.
My kids are old enough that they will watch Cary Grant screwball comedies with me and sing along loudly to “Livin’ on a Prayer” in the car. The older one (he’s 12) can make guacamole and the younger one (8) can make inappropriate poop jokes that are actually much funnier than the poop jokes he tried to make at, say, age 3. I read Nancy Drew books out loud to them and we all make fun of the ridiculous shenanigans Nancy gets herself into. Of course, I loved them a ton when they were tiny, but I like them more and have a lot more fun with them now!
I have a 10 and 12 year old with feet that are now larger than mine. I have absolutely bought them each a pair of Stan Smith adidas sneakers that I claimed as mine as soon as they outgrew them.
So smart! I know a mom who bought her son Blundstone boots one year for this purpose…
This is an awesome life hack and I’m definitely doing it when my kid is older! Just a few years to go, thank you :)
All these things are true! I love having a teen in the house!
Sigh…I love Grace Farris!
A flip side to snagging their shirts – saving fun t-shirts that hubs and I have outgrown for our future teen boys. Yes, 8+ years away but I’ll be ready! I expect to feel something like the joy I get when I see my boys’ hand-me-downs on other community toddlers. I mean, a Scrabble tee that reads “it’s your word against mine” has got to live again.
Yes! I have 9 and 14 year old daughters with taller genes than mine from my husband. Hence a lot of the sentimental clothes I’ve been saving for them from my teens and twenties are actually being worn already (even by the 9 year old), and it makes me so so happy!! Also my mother-in-law has hoarded a few things from my husband’s youth, like a Superbowl sweatshirt from the 80s signed by a player. My daughter wears this vintage gem regularly.
I have a 12 and 15 year old and I LOVE big kids. I love joking around with them. I love their awkwardness. I love how independent they are. I love seeing so many new things they are experiencing that I actually remember going through–I don’t remember learning to walk but I remember getting my first job (which my son did yesterday!). CoJ was the first place that I saw comments about liking teenagers even though they get a bad rap, and I’m so thankful I saw it!
I have an 11 and 13 year old and feel the same way! Plus, all 3 of us have the same shoe size right now.
With my oldest only 13, here to report these ALL come true!
I steal all my 14 year old son’s tshirts!!
When I fold my 9 yr olds tees I always declare: NOT YET BUT SOON!
Them Sleeping in
Them doing dishes without making a bigger mess
Them wanting to see a movie I actually want to see vs me humoring them
Them having insight and perspective I appreciate and grow from
The shirt she’s wearing in bottom right is the cherry on top of this cartoon. Well done (as usual!), Grace! Happy weekend momming to all!
Just got it – insert chefs kiss.
100% so glad you drew my eye to it :)
Oh, so glad you pointed that out! HAHAHA!
“Is this the Matrix” was my favorite part. I laughed so hard!
Yes that was my favourite part too!
Haha, this is exactly the stage I’m in with my almost twelve year old son! His feet are currently the same size as mine, and I’m excited to use my (his) inherited super warm snow boots and extra snowboarding boots next winter! I’ll probably get some good sport sandals out of this season, too.
I’ve also been eyeing his new mesh shorts that I got for like four bucks on sale and wondering why in the world I am paying women’s prices – they would be perfect for exercising or wearing to the pool. Heck, I could even wear them to run errands on hot days, I’m not fancy. :)
There’s so much in our culture about differentiating ourselves, and being unique, and then I read Grace’s comics and feel that out breath of peace that comes with recognition, community, shared experiences.
As a side note, I fantasize about my daughter wanting to do TikTok dances in the future, and having me be the comical back to it, and then start worrying about the effects of TikTok on her mental health, while then reminding myself that TikTok probably won’t be their thing anyway. She’s five and a half.
Yes to inheriting the sports shirts! I am kicking myself for not encouraging my son to get a *slightly bigger size tournament baseball jersey personalized with his/my last name on the back, so that I could wear it once he grew out of it. I’m going to have to encourage he try out again next year, if only to get the cool personalized jersey for me to inherit.
I’m really appreciating the special attention pre-teens and teens have been getting on the CoJ lately. I’ve really struggled with the concept of having kids, and was holding to the moniker of Childless By Choice… until I met my partner. And I think the biggest barrier was fear of having an inequitable partner (I come from a fundamentalist background where childcare is The Woman’s area, even if her husband does also allow her to work outside the home – same sex or single parenthood was taboo and not really addressed).
That said, the other major mental block was the prospect of the kids growing up. I do well naturally with the infant to elementary ages, but when they become teens I just… freeze. And the idea of having this human that you are probably going to be bound to though each phase is really terrifying for me to grasp.
Last thought, and this is a personal a super personal request: my third major mental block is the aspect of the physical pregnancy itself. Again: fundamentalist background where women weren’t valued and often denied birth control and definitely no choice to terminate no matter the circumstances, and so when the women were together, they would validate their experiences by telling pregnancy and birthing horror stories. I know you did a “What’s Good About Having Kids” post. Would you consider a “What’s Good About Being Pregnant?” As someone who’s only really heard about everything from gestational diabetes to horrible tearing during delivery… what is good about that brief window of time when you have a human growing in you?
The Hair in pregnancy is pretty good. Lol. It is okay. I was like you. I have had an easy pregnancy and a hard pregnancy. They were both over pretty fast. The most magical thing is being one with your children and having this intense psychic and physical connection that is a miracle. It is profound and profound love.
Here is what I’m enjoying about being pregnant for the second time, five years after the first time.
-appetite. I really enjoy food not pregnant. I REALLY enjoy food pregnant. I found myself cooking again after many years of not really cooking because I wanted -NEEDED- to create exactly the bowl of pasta (or grilled cheese or veggie stew) that only I could create.
-sexual appetite – with partner or solo, way more orgasms. And really lush, sexy dreams.
-I like how I look. Since I’ve done this before, I watched my body grow and shrink. And now growing again. I look lush, yes my hair looks great. Yes I have some acne but that actually makes me look a bit younger ;-). Hell I even got hit on the other day – quite respectfully by a guy asking for a light – and my husband who was nearby but not obviously with me was like “dude that guy was flirting with you.” LOOOL.
-sleep feels so good, yes I get really tired but when I fall asleep it’s so lush.
-for some people it’s the opposite experience but all my mood issues (which I now surmise are hormone related) magically disappear. Whatever hormones I’m bathed in are stabilizing TF out of me.
Yes there’s some complaints. And I don’t LOVE being pregnant, but there’s much I enjoy about it. Good luck as you consider your journeys.
Hi Betsy, re: teens- I don’t know yet, but I’ve seen how my kids wade me into each new thing. Like, thank god, they’re not born teens- you’ll already have known them their whole lives! Kids ease you into each phase like a shifting tide.
I loved my first pregnancy because it was so SCIENCE, a self-contained magical science experiment growing within me. And it was really amazing to experience that, and the actual physical connectivity with baby. I know many women have had losses and difficult pregnancies, but there is a lot of magic to be had as well.
My overall thought about having kid(s)- doing it and not doing it are of equal value, but If you want to do it, don’t let fear of the thing be your guide post.
If you’re afraid of loss of self or quality of life, but you want to be a parent, consider “one.” It’s so much more common now, and life felt very
balanced with one. Good luck!
I didn’t really envision having children and now I have two! Two of my big hangups were also the physical pregnancy, and it just felt like everything I heard on the Internet and from friends were complaints about parenthood. People love to tell pregnancy horror stories! I could not believe how many I heard when I was pregnant. I think part of it is people needing to process their own trauma maybe? Anyway I really loved being pregnant I felt so powerful in my body and even though it is the most normal and every day thing because, cough, every person was born it still felt like a total miracle. Like… I am growing a person in my body, what the hell! That power I felt has helped me so much on my own body acceptance journey as now I try to remind myself of all of the amazing things my body has done when I’m feeling a little down. And while parenthood certainly can be hard I definitely was surprised by how not awful it was just based on what the Internet wants me to believe (this site aside!). Like I love it so much sometime I can’t believe it. Thinking of you on your journey, Betsy, whatever you decide!
Betsy, i have grown two babies and one of the best things about being pregnant for me was embracing and loving my body in a way I never had before. It was doing amazing things and I felt super strong and magical. It also helped that my husband treated me like a Queen whilst I was growing our boys (and still does to be fair!)
Giving birth is the winner for me. The high I experienced holding that baby for the first time at the finish line of the physical exertion of labour is partly why I have four children. I know it doesn’t always go that way but I hope it’s nice to know it can!
Also feeling your baby kick is wonderful, I don’t like being on my own and I LOVED that I never felt lonely in that way when pregnant.
Not gonna lie, I had tough nausea all nine months. But my daughter and I got to play a game together when she started kicking– I would poke her and she would kick me back. It was fun. I also LOVED giving birth. Some of the most joyful moments of my life were during labor. It felt like we were a mama baby team working together on a common goal to bring her to the world. Would do pregnancy again for that feeling.
Thanks for asking this, Betsy! I’m 9 months pregnant with my 4th and at the point where I’m real excited to be unpregnant, so I liked this chance to reflect on what’s good about pregnancy! :)
– The Hair. Also, The Boobs! (Maybe only exciting if you’ve never had any before- cleavage! So thrilling!) Honorable mention for The Skin, especially 2nd and 3rd trimesters.
– Feeling those little baby kicks and moves inside, it never gets less magical.
– If you decide to have >1, seeing your other kid/kids love on your baby belly. Sweetest thing in the whole world.
– Orgasms! YMMV but they come faster and more often ‘round here :)
– Marveling at your body. As someone who likes crossing things off lists, I love that even on a day I’d otherwise consider unproductive, I can be like “I grew a spleen today!”
I’ve had easier pregnancies & less-fun ones, but they all go by so quickly in the grand scheme of things, and the end result has (for me) been more than worth every inconvenience.
I never found pregnancy magical, never felt there was a being inside me, but I had energy and yes, appetite for everything, and that was interesting. Yes the sex was really something extremely pleasurable. ;-)
What a wonderful comment. For me, being pregnant was the first moment of my life where the function of my body was more important than the appearance of my body. I felt purposeful, valuable, and frankly, amazed by myself. It taught me so much about body positivity and self love. A family member who is a doctor said it perfectly: “In the end, we are nothing but machines. But mothers are also sculptors, painters, and creators.”
My pregnancy was not easy by any means, but there was also plenty of good:
– SO MUCH EXCITEMENT!
– feeling (and sometimes seeing!) a little human move inside you
– the second trimester, which for me (and lots of other people) was a relatively easy time when I felt good and looked good and just loved being pregnant – it was SO cool and – amazing!
– planning and dreaming for your new little one
– a bonding experience with friends and relatives who were pregnant around the same time
– for me, a woman who carries weight in my middle and is self-conscious about it, suddenly I loved having a belly and showing it off by wearing clothes I would normally avoid
– people were extra nice to me :)
– I loved meeting my son after many months of marveling at him turning somersaults inside me, and thought he was the most perfect baby ever!
Best hair of my life. I loved my belly. I loved the feeling of always having someone with me. I loved the kicks and movements. I loved my toddler and the delight she got from oiling up my belly (no stretch marks!). I loved when baby came out and made the same movements he’d made on the inside and I recognized and knew him.
Also hypnobirth and homebirth for the win as while my 2 labors where incredibly different – one like a slow wine tasting, the other like a kegger, neither was painful, just intense (and no tearing!).
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