Earlier this month my baby turned 6…
AS IN YEARS OLD.
It seemed so sudden. Like, wasn’t I just in the hospital delivering her into this world?
But here she is now… tall, gorgeous, spunky and all around wonderful.
Ever since she was placed in my arms for the very first time, people have told me how fast the time will go by.
But I didn’t really get it. And if I’m being honest, I still have a hard time grasping time as it flies by.
I decorated her door with streamers and balloons that would fall on her when she opened her bedroom door that morning.
We had cinnamon rolls for breakfast (complete with a candle), and she took cupcakes to school.
We celebrated with a special dinner… just Claire, and her Mama and Daddy.
And Saturday we had a handful of friends and our family over to celebrate.
There are things I discover regularly that, like how quickly time goes by, I was warned of… but didn’t fully comprehend.
And then there are the things that no one really talks about. There’s no warning…
They just happen and you find yourself wondering if you are the only one who feels the same way.
I assure you…
Here are just a few of the things that no one told me about parenthood, especially watching your children grow up:
Control is just an illusion.
You have no power. They just let you think that every now and then.
It’s likely you will never get enough rest ever again.
Even when your children sleep soundly through the night, you will either be staying up late or getting up entirely too early to accomplish things you can only get to when they’re sleeping.
Holidays become even more magical getting to see it through their eyes.
Santa, Elf on the Shelf, going for a drive just to look at Christmas lights… all the magic you can hardly remember comes flooding back, amplified. And with so much more meaning.
The Same Is True for Vacations… Especially Disney.
Even though you will be stressed out, exhausted and broke… you’ll start planning your next trip as soon as you get home. It’s so worth it.
Watching your children reach their goals is more fulfilling than reaching your own.
I get why we tend to lose ourselves to motherhood. It’s incredible to watch them grow and change, even if there is a twinge of heartache knowing they are getting older.
Even though you seem them every day, you will randomly catch a glimpse of them looking older, adult-like even, and it will take your breath away.
This recently happened dropping her off at school. She threw her backpack around her shoulders and trotted off, smiling and greeting a group of friends. With her long legs and blonde hair up in a ponytail, I couldn’t help but imagine her walking into high school.
When you hear them sound like you, prepare to be both mortified and proud.
Even though Claire has learned her fair share of not-so-nice words, I will hear her say a phrase I’m often saying, and I ask myself, “Do I say that with as much sass?”
Some of the best moments come from saying ‘Yes’.
No one wants their kid to be a jerk, and boundaries are good for all of us, but sometimes saying ‘Yes’ to a crazy request can teach them (and provide us with a valuable reminder) that life shouldn’t be taken so seriously. Plus, those moments will be some of your favorites, like the time Claire wanted to bake a cake for breakfast. We spent most of the morning covered in batter and giggling without respite. It was the best.
Even when you want to be alone, you’ll miss them.
Whether the girls are with their grandparents, or at school, I can’t help but wonder what they’re doing, or walk around the house aimlessly when it’s too quiet. But let’s be honest… it’s always a relief when school starts again.
They’ll become their own person and have different opinions than you.
This will drive you crazy. Even though they may look like a small replica of you, they will develop their own likes, dislikes, fears, desires and sense of humor. While this is in no way a bad thing, it will surprise you how quickly it happens. Also, it can make getting them ready for school pretty time consuming.
They will learn differently from you.
This one is pretty frustrating for me, and we’re still at the stage where we’re trying different methods. I am a visual learner. I can see something, then write it down a few times, and usually have it memorized. Claire learns best with patterns and rhythms. If you can make a song out of something… she’ll remember it.
How you protect them changes.
Protecting your kids is instinctual. Remember when your mom would give you the straight arm seat belt whenever you were in the car? That just happens, it’s just a part of being a mother. You’ll never stop wanting to protect them and keep them safe, but that will soon take a backseat to teaching them how to protect themselves.
You love them because they’re yours, because of who they are AND for who they will become.
As they grow into their own personalities, you’ll fall even more in love with them and truly enjoy their company. I can already see the kind of woman Claire will become, and I am so honored to be a part of her journey.
Cheers to parenthood and raising good people!