Parenting is very seasonal work, and I think we are devastated when we find a solution that works for a season and then suddenly doesn’t. Instead of letting it go we DOUBLE DOWN on our solution. IT’s as if we trying to STOP the falling of the leaves and instead of raking and going to bed early because the days are shorter we are frantically trying to crazy glue, glue stick, glue gun, scotch tape the leaves BACK on the trees.
Instead, wouldn’t it be easier if we could see each season has a harvest, a loss, a frustration, a lesson and a joy.
New Borns : Harvest – a baby! Loss – sleep, free-time, thinking only of yourself. Frustration – HOW do I do this job. Lesson – life is fragile and strong and unknown and unfolding. Joy – baby smiles, baby smells, onsies.
Babies & Toddlers: Harvest – smiling, walking, chattering, feeding, routines. Loss – knowing when you put your baby down you will find them THERE. Frustration – are they reaching milestones, why don’t they nap regularly, why do they need me to sleep through the night. Lesson – routines are life saving, we are loved and cherished and needed. Joy – chunky expressive legs, joyful discovery, that baby holding our one finger with their WHOLE hand
Pre-Schoolers: Harvest – predictability, beginning of self-care autonomy, classes and experience that expose us to a new world and new people. Loss – no more naps, they have OPINIONS! Frustration – HOW do I get them to STOP saying NO. Lesson – life is exciting and joyful and wonderful and we are masters of the universe. Joy – watching them learn, grow, talk and sing
Elementary Age: Harvest – independence, help around the house, reading and silly jokes. Loss – feeling 100% in control of their day, their friends, their food. Frustration – HOW do I help them behave, find a passion, make their bed? Lesson – life is interesting, amazing, full of possibilities. Joy – we can sit on our butts while they get themselves dressed, shod and ready for school.
Tweens & Teens: Harvest – deep thinking, sassy tv shows, loosening of having to be in control. Loss – KNOWING you are definitely NOT 100% in control. Frustration – they are out too much, they are in too much, they are too social, they aren’t serious in school, they are too serious in school, they have no friends, the PHONE?! Lesson – life is scary and thrilling all at once. Joy – talking books or politics or sharing funny YouTube videos, watching their interests un-fold.