My handsome hubby and I have 3 children. They were all born within 4 years, with the last being just 14 months apart. We catapulted ourselves into parenthood and soon found our days filled with diapers, feedings, squishy cuddles and all things babies.
Here Come The Teens
But as they saying goes, KIDS GROW UP. Although our kids are still younger, we are in that middle stage. Everyone is pretty self reliant and capable of helping around the house. We will have our 1st teenager in about a year and since they are all so close to age, we will find ourselves in the unknown teen territory with all three children very soon. I keep hearing the same advice and words of wisdom.
Be prepared. Teenagers are different.
They push the boundaries. They are supposed to be ready to leave.
Teens will want to spend less time with you.
You have to start letting go slowly.
They are growing up and it will be ok.
Kids grow up so fast.
Here Come The Parents
I get it and it does all seem to make sense. My husband and I’s job is to raise our children to go out into the world. To be productive and contribute to society. We hope they chase after their dreams, love and travel. We know they must grow up and change.
But I realized something as I pondered these things. Parents grow up and change too.
If you know my family, you would know we love to spend time together. It is actually one of our top values. We value family time and making memories together. It is non-negotiable that we do things together.
But this Easter we found ourselves in a strange, new situation. We always dye Easter eggs together and this year was no different. We can become quite competitive about our egg dying! We had a wonderful time and when finished our kids begged to make more.
I put water in a pot.
Boiled the eggs.
Set them on the table for the kids.
My kids, without skipping a beat, continued to dye eggs together without my husband and I. And I didn’t think twice about it. I knew they could continue without me and I was happy because we all spent time together already.
And then it hit me…
I did not care to continue to spend time with them.
I was alright being left out of that memory.
I had grown up as a parent. I had new boundaries, new needs, new expectations and new ideas of what our family looked like. My kids are growing up and moving away from the relationship with my husband and I…and we were growing up and moving away from them as well.
I had listened to a podcast a few months ago about fostering positive sibling relationships. The speaker talked about how their teenage children often did things together without their parents.
They would go see a movie together.
Maybe meet up for lunch.
They had a tv shows they watched altogether, that the parents had no interest in.
The teens were making memories and building their relationship without the parents. I was incredibly intrigued by this and put it on my mental to-do list of parenting. I hope one day when my kids are older to encourage them to spend time together outside of being with my husband and I. It is more than fostering positive sibling relationships, I also see it as the needed steps in growing up and becoming an individual.
So, why wouldn’t we expect the same of parents? I think it’s ok for parents to grow up and want to spend more time with their spouse. Or finally picking up an old hobby or a new one! To start to remember they are more than a parent and are an individual.
It is ok to start letting go as well. And it’s ok to grow.
Yes, because they say kids grow up…but so do we, moms and dads. Yes, parents grow up too.