Sunday, October 23, 2011

Parenting Insight No-One Ever Told Me

With the birth of my first child, I had some pretty serious worries. Was he eating enough? Was he pooping enough? Should I trim his fingernails with baby clippers or just use my teeth? Should I let him cry it out? Should I have a nap schedule?

All the magazines and parenting books talked about an even bigger worry for me: being too tired to have adult conversation with my husband. They warn new parents to not get sucked into the conversational pit-trap of talking of nothing but the kids. They urged you to carve out "adult time," so you wouldn't forget that there was a time you didn't smell like spit up sour milk 24/7.

But that was never an issue when we had babies. Or toddlers. Or young kids. The kids napped or went to school or visited Grandma and we had time to see a movie or get a mocha and sit down by the river. I worried over that for no good reason.

What no one ever told me was that the bigger issue would be finding adult time when the kids are teenagers. When they don't nap, when they stay up later than you, when they like the same shows you like, when they watch the same movies you watch, when they have the freedom to pop in and out of the house anytime during the weekend...bringing friends with them to create a glorious, house shaking mixer, when they listen to what you say and what you aren't saying and they can spell better and faster than you.

They are always watching, always listening, always waiting.

It could just be our family. We could just be raising two wonderful kids who honestly enjoy hanging out as a family.

That's awesome!

But I've gone from forgetting I used to wear shirts without baby vomit, to forgetting I ever went to bed AFTER the kids. They can easily out last me, and when I lie down, I can hear them moving around like an elephant herd of two.....

I know I'm going to miss that noise so much in a few years when they move up and on and out. I will use some other advice so freely dispensed to new parents: enjoy the moment, they grow up so fast!

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