Parenting is an extreme sport – only there’s no training, it’s never-ending and even when you get injured or sick, there’s no time off. As of writing this post, I’ve been sick for four days. The laundry piled up, along with the dishes. Not much got cooked, but nobody starved. I guess it’s a good thing these kids are somewhat self-sufficient because otherwise, the house might have crumbled. This isn’t saying my husband doesn’t do anything- he’s at work most of the day.
We’re All in This Together
There are a lot of “sancti-mommies” out there, you might even know a couple. These are the moms that think they are better moms than everyone else and don’t mind making you feel like crap about your parenting.
They believe their kids are perfect (most of the time, they’re your worst nightmare) and if you don’t think the same way they do, well, you are not welcome in their circle. Think of it as the mom version of “Mean Girls”.
What those moms forget is that we’re all in this together. Every parent wants their child to be happy, healthy and to have a good life. How they get there is a bit different for everyone. Most of the time, we could use tips from other parents to figure things out. It helps to get other opinions and get resources from others. You feel less alone in the huge world of parenting.
There’s a lot to think about these days, from prenatal care, childbirth, bottle vs. breastfeeding, and it only gets more intense as your child grows. What should you look for in a preschool? Should you hold your child back a year from kindergarten because of their July birthday? (This is a thing, and some parents are doing it.) What about going online?
A lot of my friends are parents, and we try to help each other out. The ages of our kids are very spread out- some have babies and toddlers and a few have kids older than mine.
I even have my small tribe of autism parents. If you have a child with special needs, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of finding support in other parents. This circle of friends can be so important- they can celebrate and cry with you.
Where is My Handbook?
We all know parenting does not come with a manual. There are a lot of parenting books- thanks to Julian, I’ve read quite a few. Most of those were on explosive children, autism, and other similar topics. I don’t read nearly as much on this topic now, but with him going into puberty, I think it might be time.
As of yet, I have not found one specific book on how to raise a child, start to finish, birth to 18. If you find one, please send me an email or leave a comment, because I’d love to read it!
I don’t know all the answers- I wish I did. I’ve had to do some unpleasant things as a parent- explain why we had to put Tiger to sleep, explain death, racism, bullying, divorce, watch Julian get his arm X-rayed and listen to his screaming, learn about and deal with Cameron’s SVT (please read 5 Facts About SVT if you want to learn more about this) and a lot more.
I’ve also done some great things as a parent- watching my kids walk and talk for the first time, dropped Julian off at a friend’s house and for the first time didn’t freak out about it, watched them stare at the Atlantic Ocean, along with so many other things.
But yet, still no handbook. Where is this handbook? How do you parent when you don’t know all the answers? I simply roll out of bed and hope for the best. I can only hope I am doing my best as a mom because one day I’ll be out of time to teach my kids how to be decent people. They will be on their own. I’ll still be able to guide them as adults, but their choices will be on them. There’s a lot of doubt involved, which I try to dodge as much as possible. It makes me incredibly anxious.
I do struggle with not having answers. Cameron, by far, has been my easiest kid to raise. Julian and Lily have been a bit more of a challenge- I still don’t know what is going on with Lily.
I finally got an evaluation scheduled for her and I am counting the days until it is completed. I don’t know how to help her- I can’t help her if I don’t know what is going on. Hopefully, this evaluation points us in the right direction and things will get a bit easier with her. The issues have been going on for a while and I know it’s hard on her.
The Teenage Chapter
As Cameron puts it, being the mom of two preteens and one teenager is “a whole struggle”. I didn’t think these kids could eat so much food! I know there’s three of them, but wow. We have joked that Cameron’s getting a job the minute he turns 15 because we might have to take out a second mortgage just for groceries. He is already 5’4″ and weighs around 130 lbs, and he’s not close to being done growing yet.
My boys’ room stinks of feet. Lily’s bedroom floor is covered in clothes, shoes and who knows what else. I’m afraid to look, honestly, because I might get lost.
The attitudes around this house are ever-changing, depending on who says what to who. I don’t know who told my boys that their room is a wrestling ring, but I tell them at least twice a day that it’s not one.
How do kids work? How does this teenage thing work? How do I adjust my brain to the fact that my babies aren’t babies anymore? *sigh*
Pics courtesy of Pinterest