I was in a store a few days ago watching a young Mom juggle three small children. The woman ringing her up at the check out counter smiled and said, “Don’t worry, it’s a phase, it will get easier.” Watching this scene, I wondered if I should tell her the truth.
I have come to realize the unspoken truth of motherhood, it gets harder, not easier. The challenges are just different. When my kids were babies, I thought if I could just get them in school it would get easier. Once they were in school I thought if I could just survive the teenage phase it would get easier. Once they were in high school it was all about hanging in there until they went to college. They are adults now. I am no longer in denial.
The fact is, when you put your whole heart and soul into it, parenting is never easy and the older your kids get the higher the stakes become.
Each age and “phase” comes with it’s own nuances and challenges. I am convinced the reason our babies (think adorable puppies) are so cute is simply so we won’t send them back when they are keeping us up all night. I am also convinced that the reason they turn into teenagers (think dogs) is so when they leave us for college we are ready to let them go.
I am hearing and reading a lot lately about how difficult it is to balance, juggle or lean in to having both a career and children. However, the subject seems to focus on when the kids are little. How will we manage when they are infants, or deal with soccer practice and back-to-school nights. While those times are difficult, those are also the years we are in charge of the schedule. What I find much less discussed are the college and beyond years as a working parent. I didn’t stop being a Mom when my kids got a degree.
As the wonderful mother and CEO Jane Fonda once said, “You know, you’re only as happy as your least happy child. So if your kids aren’t okay, you’re not good.” I think every mother can relate to this.
Raising children raises a lot of questions. Why don’t instruction manuals come standard issue with children? Will a mothers vast amount of love and dedication be enough to help make their hopes and dreams come true? How do you keep them safe? It is an awesome responsibility, one I have never taken lightly.
I am enjoying this “phase” because it comes with Sunday Funday family brunch and picnics in the park together. Every mother thinks her baby is the cutest and her kids are the most amazing, but mine really are! And if you doubt me, take a look at my adorable grand-dog Fiona…
The Barefoot CEO ®