Its been almost 12 years since I first became someone's Mom. It amazes me still that those nurses let me leave the hospital with a brand new baby with no users manual or schedule or task list - nothing but me and the Hubby and our new car seat.
Every phase is hard. You miss hours of sleep and then you worry about food allergies as they learn to eat. Eventually they learn to walk and can destroy a room in 4 seconds flat. Don't forget about those epic temper tantrums in public places! Its exhausting.
In our house, there are three kids - all in different phases....one toddler almost preschool age, one pre-K, and the oldest almost in middle school. We are parenting in three different styles at all times. Often, people comment that the baby must be the hardest one.....actually, no.
Right now, navigating the new world of the Preteen has consumed my parenting. Because she is preteen, I have to start editing what I share about her - its her story to tell when/how/if she decides. What I can tell you is that smiles hide insecurity, un-returned texts are sometimes a way to hide jealousy, and friends who never leave your side no matter what mean everything.
I am constantly fighting a battle with myself - am I giving the kids enough attention? Do they understand that late nights at work aren't my choice - but I am doing it for them, to make sure they have what they need. Do they get it when there is a little tough love to learn that life isn't always fair but that we love them all the time?
Parenting is hard............but notes like this left on my desk make all those hard moments completely and totally worth it.