Parenting Transition Take 1
I used to be very judgmental of older women for not knowing answers about their husbands. I would ask questions about something simple, like their schedule, and would be shocked when the wife would answer, I don’t know. I’ll have to find out. Chris and I used to know every detail about each other’s day down to what we ate for lunch. Now, it’s no surprise for us to miss a detail much greater than that.
I thought babies were going to be the most difficult stage. Somehow, I was under the misconception that once bottles, diapers, projectile vomit and sleepless nights were removed from my life, it would be easier. Our kids are getting older. They’re getting bigger. They take up more space. Their mouths take up more time. They can’t be stuck in a bed or put behind a gate. They have opinions, lots of homework, schedules of their own and problems that need resolve. They take a lot of time and care and not the kind that a pat on the bottom or burp of the back will fix. They need to be discipled, trained and not with the songs, prayers or books I used to put them to sleep. I feel the need to be a lot more creative because I see them drifting away with the same old stories, and on occasion, their eyes “involuntarily” roll.
Honestly, I felt like being a baby mom was pretty easy. I’m freaking out a little with having three kids. I’ve never been good with kids. I don’t really even like kids. (Of course, I like mine… And, yours.) I’ve gone to bed many nights thinking I’ve done a terrible job, but I’ve come to the realization that we’re in transition. Sidenote: Transition often provokes grief in me. Moving from babies to kids is not easy.
So, I’m taking some deep breaths. I’m gearing up in this major transition. I’m learning. I’m listening a lot.
One of God’s greatest gifts is life stages. If we just look one step ahead of us, there is someone who has already gone before and taken a few blows we may not have to take. Not only that, they are listening to those ahead of them, gleaning wisdom for what’s coming. Living in Christian community, we learn this parenting thing should not be done in a silo. We need each other. We must have help to survive.
Those who are one step ahead are whispering back to me start letting go a little, always keep snacks in your house, you have to quit worrying about your house… This advice may seem insignificant to you, but it is slowly setting me free.
As I stand on the other side of Chris’s shower catching him up on all of the details we’ve missed, I no longer judge those women who didn’t know their husband’s schedules. And, as I look ahead, I will not judge those with teenagers because it is a guarantee the results will be bitter.