On Tuesdays I’m going to keep it really real. This isn’t the highlight reel and it’s not a space where I make my family look happy and perfect. And while yes my family is very happy much of the time we have our struggles like anyone else. So I’m going to share some of that today. This is where I throw in the disclaimer that as promised to keep it real if my opinion and thoughts on parenting offend you or if you can’t disagree with me respectfully then leave this space on the web and never come back!
Okay, onto today’s post.
Odds are you’ve seen this floating around social media this summer…
This speaks volumes about the social pressures of raising kids today. And social media is a platform for showcasing all the fun and exciting memories you’re making for your kids proving yourself to be a good parent. Meanwhile I’m over here literally throwing my kids into the backyard and locking the door behind them so they can’t come back in! Wait, I believe I am taking this post in a direction I had not initially intended when I started writing this morning. So instead of heading down the road about childhood boredom I’m going to let you read what a psychologist has to say about boredom and kids if you so chose to click on the link.
Okay, so I’m totally okay with letting my kids be bored. That’s not why this image bothers me so much. What bothers is me is the reminder that I’m supposed to be “enjoying every second” with my kids. That “they grow so fast” and I’m supposed to be cherishing this time with them. When in reality I want to ship them off to summer camp and enjoy some peace and quiet on my summer break.
The thing is our kids do grow so fast that we forget all the parts of the stages. We tend to remember all the good parts (because at times we long for the baby snuggles again) and forget just how hard the hard parts were (like being trapped in a dark room rocking a screaming baby because he was…see I’ve forgotten what it’s called…colicky! That’s right, HOW could I forgot colic?!) So it’s easy to tell a new mom “enjoy every moment of this special time” because you’ve forgotten how terrifying and exhausting and overwhelming it is to have a newborn in the house. So many times a memory will pop up on Facebook and I will have completely forgotten about it. This happened just yesterday, a memory when Joshua was probably about 16 months old and I posted how frustrating it was to fix him a big ol’ lunch just for him not to touch a bite of it and then whine 30 minutes later about how hungry he was. And I thought to myself oh my gosh he’s ALWAYS been this hard to feed! He’s ALWAYS been my picky eater. Even at 1 years old! I had forgotten all the high chair plates I had fixed for Joshua to turn his nose to. At 6 years old he does this almost every night at the dinner table.
So why do I want to send my kids off to summer camp? Because I am exhausted and overwhelmed and don’t always even know what to do with them. This summer Grady is 3 1/2 and if you’ve experienced a threenager then you know exactly why I am so challenged. Joshua is 6 years old and no one has ever told me how hard 6 can be. He’s transitioning from a little boy to a bigger boy (the end of kindergarten is like the final nail in the toddler/preschooler coffin. He’s a big boy now) and trying to find his place. As any parent knows the transition stages are some of the hardest. Which means both my boys are in a difficult stage this summer and we are all feeling it. Grady doesn’t want to be told no. He’s growing quite comfortable in his independence so he wants to be in control of his life. And when he’s not he screams at me. This of course can not be tolerated. Joshua is jekyll and hyde. He can go from super sweet and happy to angry and yelling in seconds. We are having huge issues with disrespect right now. Also, can not be tolerated. Basically, this means both my boys have spent hours in the time-out chair this summer and I’ve been crying in my room questioning if I’m doing it all wrong.
So how am I making this summer count? By trying to teach my kids not to be little assholes.
And yes we’ve already made some great memories for summer 2018. We’ve been fishing at the lake and river. We’ve gone swimming in my parents pool and we still have a few more trips planned before school starts. But if you tell me to make each moment count this summer. If you tell me to soak up all this precious time. I’m going to laugh in your face and remind you that you’ve either:
a. never raised kids or
b. completely forgotten the hard parts
But let me end with this (because I promised to be really real so it isn’t fair to only tell one side)…each time I look at my boys my heart squeezes and I can’t believe how handsome they are! I love watching Grady play independently and use his imagination. I love watching Joshua build his Legos. I love that we get to cuddle up in the mornings and watch cartoons and drink chocolate milk & coffee. I am so grateful for this time with them. I am so grateful that I get to be their mom and that I have this time with them at home to teach them to be respectful, good people.
Motherhood is HARD, but it’s worth it.