Parenting Gunk

Ugh. I seem to go in cycles with being a Mom. I feel like somedays I have my kids figured out. Life is good. I have the proverbial “key” that seems to work for the specific stage they are in.

Then they go and change the lock on me.

I’m currently locked out.  And it’s not my favorite.

I guess I have to look at it like I look at hitting the wall in running. You just put your head down and keep going until you get to another sweet spot.

I love parenting sweet spots. When the kids eat well, feel well and are getting along with each other. They say thank you without prompting. Then one of them comes up to you and puts their head on your lap and says, “Mama. I love you.” Doesn’t get much sweeter than that!

For me its as if there is a parenting style “sliding scale” based on parenting that I have been around, grew up with, or have read about. On one end there are what I call the “Free Spirits”. Those are the easy going folk who don’t ever seem to be bothered by anything their kid ever does. They can handle high levels of chaos, go with the flow, but also don’t follow convention. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the traditional authoritarian “kids should be seen and not heard” and “just make them do it” etc. No judgement on any of these styles because in my limited experience it seems what works for one child may or may not work for another.

I think my issue is trying to find my footing some where in the middle of this “scale” and finding what will work for my kids. And realizing that where I am on this scale may be different for each of my kids. My son had always been a kid who will NOT be rushed, won’t be cajoled into anything, and definitely knows his own mind. I think we are a lot alike in someways, which is probably why we can butt heads sometimes. And the fact that he is a 3 year old cave man doesn’t help either!

It’s just amazing to me that in the space of an hour I can go from having my heart go pitter patter from some ridiculously cute thing they say or do, to being completely frustrated by something else. Somedays I wonder if I’m bipolar! I like parenting theory books since I don’t have all the answers and neither does any other parent! It’s nice to have fresh ideas. Some of them I’ve thrown across the room or laughed out loud knowing that “that” would never work for me or my family.

I also love veteran parents when they advise to “cherish” these moments because they go so fast. And it is true. I’m trying to cherish as much as I can through each phase. I love being a mom and can’t imagine being anything else. I know why I was put on Earth. But, as a friend recently put it – “My kid has stretched me farther than I ever thought possible or I ever wanted!” No joke! Mentally, emotionally, and of course physically. Being a parent is definitely not for the timid!

Here’s to trying out some “keys” to get back into a sweet spot. And hoping the lock out ends sooner rather than later! As Martina McBride put it in her song “Teenage Daughters” –  I think I need a drink!

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