Now that I have successfully (using that word in the absolutely loosest possible sense) navigated all stages of children from newborn to teenager, I have really learned to appreciate one thing:
Everything is a phase.
I know that’s hard to hear when your baby won’t. ever. sleep. and your pre-teen always. rolls. her. eyes. But the ancient wisdom of “This, too, shall pass” has a reason for its popularity. For those of you in the trenches of any stage, know there is relief around the corner.
For the mom whose baby doesn’t ever sleep and cries without explanation, know that a year from now this will be a distant memory. By then, you’ll be moving into the last size of diapers and thinking about sippy cups instead of bottles. You might even find yourself wishing for late-night cuddles by then.
For the mom whose toddler will NOT stay in bed or potty train, just know that in two years, he’ll be too exhausted from playing at school all day to stay up at night and wouldn’t dream of wearing pull-ups like a BABY. He’ll be far too mature for that. You might miss the funny positions you used to find your toddler passed out in all over the house.
For the mom whose kindergartner cannot seem to sit still or use an “inside voice”, just know that in a year she might be the quiet one who prefers reading to yelling. You might find yourself wishing she’d get up and run sometimes.
For the mom whose third grader absolutely despises homework, know that he or she will eventually find his or her own groove. The right teacher, right hobby, or right time will bring out your child’s light. And, if he or she’s never an honor roll student, that will be okay.
For the mom whose 5th grader is getting picked on – making you want to go into m,ama-bear-mode, take a moment to pause. Those inconsiderate kids will find something else to worry about soon and, chances are, your child might have a mean moment himself or herself down the road you’ll have to deal with. Remember that they are all kids and they are all learning how to get along in this big old world. Besides, in a year, you might worry that your child is TOO social.
For the mom whose middle schooler already has a boyfriend or girlfriend, don’t worry TOO much. “Dating” at this age usually means sitting together at lunch and their crushes will change almost as quickly as the latest Nike shoe. Pretty soon, your child’s biggest concern will be whether he made the basketball team or debate team and that girlfriend business will be SO last week.
For the mom whose freshman needs to be driven to all the places all the nights and has a more active social life than you, know that in a year or two, he or she will be driving to all those places alone, and you’ll find yourself with more free time than you’ve known in years.
For the mom whose teenager is learning how to outsmart you or getting just a little too independent for your taste, know that tomorrow you might find yourself chatting with him or her like an old friend and finding out that young person is growing up to be someone you are going to be very proud of someday (or maybe even next week).
Most importantly, for the mom who feels like she is failing, know that an achievement or hug is waiting just around the corner to lift your spirits and remind you that you are rocking this. For every disappointment or fear, know that there will also be a success or moment of pride.