What would you add? By the wonderful Grace Farris.
P.S. Fun parenting moments and the anatomy of fall reading.
What would you add? By the wonderful Grace Farris.
P.S. Fun parenting moments and the anatomy of fall reading.
I would add – when one of your kids is struggling, carve out one on one time! Schedule a doctor’s appointment super early so you have time to grab ice cream before the other kids get off the bus! The beauty of getting that quality time with on of your kids (without the distraction of siblings!) is pure gold.
Coming up on five. For everyone in that stage (maybe all of the stages), I add what it’s taken half a decade for me to learn: Don’t worry about your laundry pile!
I expected number 6 (although I’ve since realized that an aesthetically pleasing, orderly space is a big component of my mental health).
What I did not expect was to spend so much of my time maintaining toys, from the $600 playhouse a family member insisted in gifting (but we persuaded them not to buy the electric Jeep!) to the mountains of crafts they bring home from PreK.
We are drowning!
My “baby” is 33. I love all the moments, comments and memories above but let me tell you this ……. Being mommy never ends and that’s the beauty of it. Yes we’re still his parents but we’re also now his friends, his confidants, his support system and sometimes his reality check. Of course now that comes when asked for rather than whenever we feel necessary, but it’s asked for and that’s a beauty in and of itself. So I will add …… Parenthood doesn’t end, it simply evolves.
Congrats on ten years of motherhood, Grace!!
I do believe we need to add
1. when everything turns to mush, remember to give them (and yourself) a glass of water
2. If it is still mush (often won’t be) offer food.
3. Oops you are in for a doozy.
Raising a very grumpy baby I learned that actually a glass of water solves most challenges. Even at work when I am frustrated I make myself grab a glass of water before responding, and it tends to work.
Make it tea, and I’m right there with you! 😉
I’m also a decade in! My advice is more listening, less talking. Quality time over quantity of time. Apologize for your mistakes, and lead with love. XO
Wow Erica! SO simply said! So beautifully true! All of us want to be the BEST Mom! We are human though and will make mistakes. Admitting even to ourselves that we erred but continuing to love deeply usually works out the kinks and our children still feel very loved. Thank God!!!!!
I’ve also surpassed a decade of motherhood (my oldest is 11) and all of this is so true.
Also – print your photos! i read somewhere that this generation is the most photographed and most likely to be “forgotten” because we have so many photos on our devices but don’t get the tangible evidence. Make photobooks! Print photos!
Emily, you are so right. My kids were born in 92 and 94, before the easy availability of digital–took hundreds of film rolls to Target to be developed in duplicate (for 2 sets of photo albums, and extras for the Grandparents). Got my first digital camera around 2005, and it required extra effort to upload, edit, choose, and print (also, printing at home is spendy). I really miss the film days. Now it’s just endless scrolling tryna remember when, oh, when, did I take that adorable shot of the dog doing that cute thing in the grass? Last summer? Is it in favorites with 9,587 other photos of her?
Get a Meural picture frame… they’re incredible and you can manage photos from anywhere in the world. I live in Europe and my 75 year old mom lives in Florida…she can’t see the grandkids that often but this way she gets to see them grow up in her living room. It saved her during the pandemic.
Everything becomes emotional – emptying drawers of outgrown clothes, end of school year, beginning of school year…
I am 70 and my “children” are in their 30s. At the moment I am going through BOXES of old photos!!!! Very emotional! Not a weepy experience but a “deep” love for how precious and sweet their little selves were.
Moms, pls organize your photos sooner than later if you can!!!!
My daughter is 6 and #6 is a perfect encapsulation of this phase. Specifically, my living room floor is always trashed with her “projects:” currently there is a plush horse in its “stable,” a collage, some pieces of cardboard she’s crafting into sculptures, my yoga mat, a book, some stuffs, etc… It wins no design awards! But we are moving next week (!! ack don’t ask me if I am ready!!!) and even though we’ll have more space for a play room, I decided that I still want to have most of her toys and materials in the living room so that she can play downstairs while I’m cooking, etc, rather than banishing all toys and mess to the upstairs play room. So maybe I will be less cranky about the mess in the living room now that I am actively choosing it? I know she’ll be sequestered in her room during the teen years soon enough and just want her to know that I love having her close, mess and all.
Let the creative mess stay in the living room! I was made to keep my things in an upstairs room and vowed to let my kids live in the living room- put the family in “family room” no design awards here either! Now my boys are teens and I miss the plush animal zoos and lego chaos, but am so thankful for when I just let them spread and out and take over- I would give anything to here those giggly little voices one more time, but also really enjoy the deep laughter and hugs from my somehow now giant little boys.
I needed to read both your comments so badly, Elizabeth and Marissa! So glad not to be alone in allowing our 6-year-old’s takeover of our living room (and any other surface she can get her hands on). My desk from Covid times has been covered with a giant fleece — and annexed by her play kitchen, a couple chairs, toy bins, all built into one side of the couch … she crawls in via a special “entrance” in the fleece and she has the coziest pillow fort ever under there, filled with stuffed animals and glitter crafts. Meanwhile, I can sense her 11 year old brother is moving ever so surely into the next phase, quiet in his bedroom <3
It keeps getting better!
People always post these sappy sad things about their babies growing and how “babies don’t keep” as if we should mourn and be depressed as our children grow. That is true in some ways but in many it is not! My girls are now 7 and 4 and it is WONDERFUL. The excitement of Halloween! New seasonal jammies. The giggles in bed. They eat breakfast and watch tv on the weekends while my husband and I lounge in bed with coffee! They sit for family movie nights. We travel! They have playdates with their friends and occupy themselves! It is SO MUCH FUN and keeps getting sweeter.
I agree!!!! Age 9 and 12 may be my favorite so far!!! They are the funniest little friends to have around.
I love this! It always bums me out on kids behalf when parents will say things like, “stop growing up! Why can’t you be my baby forever?” I remember hating hearing stuff like that from my parents as a kid, I guess it feels rude to project our discontent for the inevitability of their growth. I love the mindset shift to shower my kids with, “I love watching you grow, I love you more every day, the bigger you get the more fun we have together… etc.
YES! My favorite stage (so far) has been when my youngest was 4/5 and my oldest was 11/12.
I love our current situation, where our oldest is old enough to babysit her siblings. So if my husband and I want to do something at the same time, we can just… leave! But honestly, I miss the younger adorable ages. Years 4-7 are such a gift!
The short order cook resonates like you cannot believe!
Between the 10yr old AND husband, I am thisclose to saying ask Alexa what is for dinner! lol
Same here. That one is solid truth!
Compliment other mothers in public. I remember two incidences when strangers complimented our young family while observing us enjoying a family meal and ordinary discussion. That was over 35 years ago, and I STILL recall how important that was for me to hear. Also know that one day you will go be able to eat at a nice restaurant and no one will end up under the table.
Only been a mom for 4 months, and boy does this check out.
I know there’s a big demographic of bio parents in this community, but just thought I’d throw a request out to see more posts about stepparenting. Transitioning into blended families, what those highs and lows look like, etc… Feels like there has to be a group of us that are 30s-40s either remarrying or entering into established families after separations and divorce. Some of us who’ve never parented before! Wish there was more out there for us and I trust that this community has great insight. Xx :)
would love to do more posts on stepparenting! thank you!
Also adopted families? We’re thinking seriously about this and would love some CoJ + community wisdoms.
I just really want to second this! I’m in the process of inviting a new person into my family and it feels SO COMPLICATED. What role are they going to play? What am I allowed to expect or not expect in terms of what parenting together looks like? What’s a good pace to take? HOW do people figure all this out??? I would love nothing more than to hear from people about CoJ how they did it…and to know that I’m not alone in finding it really tough!
Love the step-parent idea. As the child of two complex, human parents and the beneficiary of two wonderful step-parents, I have such a deep respect for this under recognized role. <3
Adding to the echos of the stepparenting conversation. When I first started dating again after divorce, I was sure I wanted to be with another parent. But, I met someone who is not a parent and it comes with its own beauties and challenges. Ditto to the “SO COMPLICATED” comment. Tis, Tis. For all of us. Marie, you are not alone in feeling it!
The shortest year of your life is the span of time from giving birth to hearing them tell a stranger “I have a peedis and you have a vulba” in the grocery store checkout line
And the longest year of your life is the time it takes a toddler to get out of the car of their own volition when it’s 100 degrees out and you have to pee
LOL! Love this, and so true.
My biggest learning: when kids are out of sorts, water usually helps: Swimming or a water table, a bath or shower, or a glass of ice water.
Yes to this. It always soothes!
I’m coming up on 10 years of being a parent. I went into labor the day of Sandy Hook, and reading about the Alex Jones trial stuff is making me cry, thinking of the kids who died just as my daughter was about to come into the world.
I really appreciated this today. My 9 year old is definitely moving into tween territory and I’m both excited and terrified of what is to come based on her brief flashes of teenager-hood recently. It helps to remember everything is a phase, and also that the important thing is she still knows how much I love her- even under all that eye-rolling. :)
This is giving me ALL the feels today as I reflect on a long phone call with my son last night, who is struggling to settle into university life. To the parents with babes still at home, savour this time where you can help them navigate life’s phases and changes in person – it is so hard to transition to helping them from afar…a strange mix of sorrow, pride, anxiety, hope and yes, some grief.
Both my kids had difficult freshman years in Uni. I think most kids go through some level and there’s not enough awareness this so they’re caught off guard. The academic high school pressure is so hard these days that I think they have the impression that everything simply falls into place when they get college. And why wouldn’t they? They’re inundated with all these pictures of college students having the best time EVER so it’s so easy to feel out of sorts. I feel you mom. That ache is so hard and the growing pains are no joke. xo
This so resonates with me, Justine, that I copied it and sent it to my son.
I’m going to print this and stick it on the fridge.
Ah, the library silence of children. So far it has happened twice. Once I came in to find the kids had painted an entire wall of their bedroom in toothpaste. The other time I found my daughter naked during nap time and she had dumped the entire contents of her dresser into my son’s crib. Somehow he remained asleep through the entire thing. Also, not sure why the task had to be accomplished naked.
God I bet it smelled minty in there for SO LONG
(Obligatory “how long waaas it?!”)
Obviously every single item of clothing was needed to put in the crib. 😆
Reminds me of when my siblings and I were little. We were supposed to entertain each other while my parents had a date night at home. We were super quiet, but when they came to get us afterwards, my sister and I had given ourselves matching hair treatments with a tub of butter. I can only imagine my mom’s reaction 🤣
The allure of toothpaste! I catch mine standing on our toilet reaching for it in the cabinet to EAT. But the library silence this week was when the two-year-old Wet Bandited the bathroom a la Home Alone.
Yes!! A thousand times, yes!!
And this place here is such a gift. I joined the CoJ community a decade+ ago too while preggers with my first and now a “seasoned” mom of three I still come here to learn, laugh, cry and feel connected.
oh, tina, that makes me feel teary!! thank you so much for saying so.
It's (almost) summer, baby!
11 fun links, including fall nail polish, new love languages, and the best thing I've read about Queen Elizabeth's death.
From the first page, he was hooked.
The other day, Anton and I went on a bike ride. But a weird thing kept happening.