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November 14, 2012

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Let me know if you figure out how to be pretty calm about those "bigger risks". I don't care for the expression little children, little problems, and don't think it is true at all. They were big problems. If nothing else, the exhaustion and the day in day out 24/7 mothering was incredibly hard. The only easy part was that most of the problems were solvable, either with time or with experience. And yes, we became experts at parenting our little children.

Big kids present their own big problems. And as a parent to a child who is separating from us now (college!), it's challenging in its own way. I don't think it's harder, just... long, exhausting, and I sure hope that the problems are solvable, either with time or with more experience - because that's the only thing that I think is harder. The solutions are completely not in my control. I could change my baby's diet, diapers, medications, whatever, but these teens seem to control their own lives more and more. Don't they know Mother Knows Best (tongue firmly in cheek on that!)?

Generally speaking, I tend to be the outlier, and am here as well .... I loved loved loved the baby-toddler-under6 years with a passion and found them easy-peasy even with/despite serious medical traumas, chronic sleep deprivation, insane temper tantrums, and so on. Likewise, I love the teen years. I love them!! These years are fantastic. What I have *always* found most draining, difficult, challenging, and mind numbing (including way back as a teen babysitter) are the 7 to 11ish crowd (although my current 10yo is actually pretty fantastic, and eased his way out of the hard zone early, for which I am grateful).

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