I’m not exposing any breaking news here people.
Parenting is hard. It started hard, and although my kids are older than toddlers, is still hard.
When my kids were young I felt pressure to make the right decisions on their behalf. I figured these decisions would absolutely shape who they would become in life. I thought parenting was like being handed play-doh and I’ll be damned if I wasn’t going to mold it into the Paris skyline, with bonus Ferris wheel.
With every decision I found myself circling the living room waving my hand sewn flag with the words “My kid is going to be President” chanting;
-Will this decision rot my kids teeth?
-Will this decision ruin my kids sleeping patterns for life?
-Will this make my kid an asshole?
Spoiler Alert! No, No, Maybe.
Then one day you wake up and notice they are growing and become who they are meant to be. Themselves.
Also not breaking news, this “themselves” thing comes with a healthy dose of opinions, ideas, self made decisions, 54 bags of chips, 3 cartons of ice cream, a hidden stash of Hershey bars, and the next size pants waiting on the sidelines. That last part is for me. Ahem.
Sound annoying? Control freak, meet reality.
It gets even worst. They form their own outlooks and when they stumble upon on that fork in the road, decide themselves which path is meant for them.
Can you even.
Let me tell you, navigating this reality is a new level of parenting challenge so buckle up and drive to that really crappy parking lot that holds the Trader Joe’s and grab a six pack or 12.
I’ve gone from making decisions solely based on how **I** want them to be to assisting in their decisions. Don’t get me wrong, at this point, it’s a team sport. They definitely can’t do this themselves (Because those chips don’t buy themselves, kids) and I don’t feel un-needed. It’s just different.
Parenting now involves a balance between listening to who they are and guiding them towards who they want to become. It’s about letting them have their own success and failure. It’s about supporting and loving them more than I thought was possible.
All of this while
ignoring paying attention to the latest research on the amount of sleep kids need, how to limit screen time, count their carbs, brush, floss, and air dry their teeth before bed only using organic free range air molecules.
Raising kids in this age of information is equal parts educational and ridiculous. I can’t even find any organic free range air molecules within 60 miles of my house.
Also, I have to come to terms that my older son is reading Ben Carson’s book ON PURPOSE and my younger sons arms are always at a right angle to his head. #Dab
Oh, and we’re now a TWO rotisserie chicken family.
But I digress.
As my children become these people who make their own decisions and shape their world, I sit here in the closet with my Hershey’s bars feeling proud of them. Their strength. Their sense of self. Their friendship towards each other. Their ability to now feed themselves on a Saturday morning.
I realize, you know what? It’s hard and it’s not going to get easier. Each stage is just different and that’s ok. I get to sleep in on Saturday and that feels pretty great too.