I’ve been thinking lately about why I put so much time an effort into this little blog thing that I do. I don’t currently make any income from it (though I would love to.) Yet, I somehow find the time to post and share.
What is it that makes me come in the office…(ok, it’s really the school room, but when I’m working or writing I call it the office) shut the door and click away at the keyboard? Why do I feel the need to share my thoughts, my adventures, my goals and failures with who ever is bored enough to read? What is it about this medium that is meaningful to me the writer and to you the reader?
A little click around the internet quickly delivers the answer. Parenting on Pinterest is a beautiful experience and it usually involves toddlers. There is the weird thing called the “mommy wars.” Baby bumps and maternity shoots are abundant…but what about beyond babyhood and toddler tantrums? What about parenting through elementary school and during middle school and through out high school? The blog-o-sphere is quiet. A dear friend and I recently discussed this phenomenon and the following is pretty much our conclusion.
Here’s something that is going to be really disappointing to you sweet young mothers. If you own a nursing bra, have diapers in your house or a car seat, you might want to stop reading. This is bad. It’s going to be like road kill so just look away while you still have the chance.
Mothering babies, toddlers and small children is the easy stuff. (all except for potty training…that about did me in.) Bed time routines, baths, making baby food, to or not to co-sleep, sleep training, teething, cloth or disposable, crayons on walls, entire rolls of toilet paper in the toilet, entire boxes of cheerios in the toilet, ear infections, sleep depravation, entire tubes of toothpaste in the toilet, gum in hair, biting, sharing, separation anxiety and all the millions of everyday occurrences that tiny humans bring forth…that my dear reader friend is all the easy stuff. I’m sorry. I told you not to keep reading.
This teenager stuff is hard. It is also very private. So private in fact it’s hard to write a list like the one above for older children with out infringing on someones privacy. I don’t even have boys so my teen list floating in my head is only half a list anyway.
Here’s the deal. Once you get that kid able to understand that cereal goes in a bowl from the kitchen and that toothpaste can’t go back in the tube, once they understand that other people feel pain and that mommy always comes back, parenting gets serious. We’ve got actual character development stuff going on, then time flies. Time flies so quickly you start saying things like, “We’ve only got one more summer with Madelyn living at home.” Or “Emma only has 3 years of high school left.” You know how quickly that baby came…then turned 3? That is how long I have until my SECOND child graduates high school. You know how long it was till your baby started cruising around furniture. It went fast didn’t it? That’s how long till my oldest graduates. It goes FAST.
The time you have to deal with these really huge issues is so small. Then, I feel like I fail like 3 out of 4 times we have an issue. I say the wrong thing, I lose my temper or just wasn’t available at exactly the right moment. (That’s another thing, the moment is only right for a moment. Who can be there all the time for four other women? It’s nearly impossible)
So, I do this blog, I write these words because I want to be that support for moms that are doing this teen thing too. Even though we all know we can’t hash out their problems in print on the internet for every one to see, I’m here to say, it’s hard. I’m here to say that we’re actually making it without totally ruining anyone. (They will have plenty to talk about in their lady’s groups and probably to their therapist when they’re grown, but I don’t think they’re completely ruined.) I’m also here to say that its just as beautiful as having babies. There is nothing more precious than a giant teenage girl crawling up in my lap or sitting next to me with her legs all intertwined in mine while we talk about a boy or a teacher or a dream (or a band.) There is nothing better than one of my big girls slipping her hand in mine in a parking lot or at a store. We walk hand in hand on this journey figuratively and literally and I love every crazy, loud, messy, tearful and prayerful moment of it all.
I also write this blog because about 10 years ago I really realized how quickly time was moving. I realized I wasn’t a person separate from my kids. They were my identity. Though they are still a big part of me and always will be, I decided to figure out who I am. I think that is important and I want to encourage other mothers with children of all ages to do the same. This isn’t as hard for some people, especially if you had your kids later in life. But, I was a pretty young mother. My life became consumed with one baby after another and by the time my oldest was 8 or 9 I didn’t have a separate identity. I began to read again and I started writing. I finished my degree and started running. I became a vegetarian. I started setting goals. I want to be an encouragement to mothers with kids of all ages, to be a person all your own. Time goes so so quickly and when they’re gone I want to be whole.
So, though my blog isn’t the go to spot for the best homeschooling tips or a delicious recipe, it isn’t where you’ll find a new craft idea or how to not get an injury on a run, it isn’t a place where you’ll find inspiration for your next Bible study or an idea to decorate your home, it IS where I am me. Where I’m doing all that stuff (sometimes well and sometimes really poorly) and trying to raise kids at the same time. It’s where I’m living by the grace of God every day to it’s fullest and where I want to encourage you to do the same.