Friday, July 26, 2013

This Phase of Parenting

As I recently posted on Facebook that we have entered the "joy" of football, marching band and volleyball...also known as All Things Fall In America, a friend welcomed me into this new phase of parenting.

My initial thought was, "Girl! I have already been doing that whole mom-chauffeur thing for a few years!"

But, then I started to really look around my house and realize...I really have left one stage and have entered into another.

For so many years...I was doing so much work FOR my kids.  I was not only responsible for things like meal preparation, laundry, cleaning, etc.  I was responsible for getting children dressed...actually putting shirts onto children - yanking one arm, then the other into a mini-tee. Then, sweating as I tried to put tights on my daughter.  Yes tights are so cute...but putting them on is like dressing a Barbie!  I had to wipe behinds, faces, noses and hands...constantly...times SIX!  I had to tie shoes and re-tie shoes and then re-tie them again until I realized the  JOY of velcro!  Then..I had to teach a child how to tie...and then how to do it again and again.  I had to hold their hands through the parking lot to get into the grocery store, then lift them into the shopping cart and then tell them "no" 486 times while trying to keep the gross belt buckle out of their mouths.  I would have to break up fights because one "stole" the toy from another or one "looked at me wrong".  You get it..the list could go on and on.

I thought that was it.  I thought THIS was parenting and nothing would ever change.

But slowly, things did change.

I don't have to put tights on my girls anymore...they prefer to do it themselves.

I never wipe a behind anymore...thank you Lord!

My kids usually don't even want to go to the grocery store with me anymore...and I CAN leave them at home!

And they really don't fight over toys or looks anymore.

Now...things have changed and yes, I drive them all over Greenville multiple times a day!  But...I really, really like who my children are turning into.

Now, we have deep, complicated conversations about race and gay marriage and sex and saving money.  Now, we pray together when life gets tough.  Now, my children sometimes minister to ME..offering me great words of comfort of wisdom.  The parenting is different now...the issues are not always so black and white.  Sometimes, I need to listen to their side of the argument and realize I don't know the answer.  And I find that I need to be willing to say I am sorry - a lot more than I used to.

You can now find me hardly ever at home...when about 10 years ago I was begging to get out of the house.  You will find me sitting in the hot sun watching my younger boys playing football in a South Carolina summer.  And you will find me cheering wildly for my freshman son as he marches in his first Friday night high school football game!  And you will find me having long, amazing conversations with my oldest daughter about spiritual gifts and college and what life is all about as I drive her to work every day.  In my spare time I will be coaching one of my daughters - who kicks butt in volleyball.

I love being a mom.  I love having lots of kids!  And I really love this new phase of parenting.

1 comment:

Amy Shaw said...

You give me HOPE!!! I'm smashed between both sides of parenting...still wiping and dressing yet coaching through grey issues and running around crazy!

Love you!!