Parenthood, what a crazy, fun, emotional, always changing experience. I never knew having kids would be so intense in both hard and rewarding ways! Before I had children I went to school and got my degree in early childhood education. I also started working in child care as soon as I turned 18. So I knew all about kids, and how they work! I thought I was the most prepared person ever to have children.
Right before I got married, I was promoted to the director at La Petite Academy. A child care center that had about 60 kids attend a day. I remember there were moms that would come in all the time and ask me for advice. And oh how I would dish out my advice like I was the child whisperer! It is as simple as this…just do this and everything will be fine…don’t make the mistake of doing this…And my favorite was when a mom would come in looking so tired and say, “I just can’t get my baby to sleep through the night.” I knew exactly how to fix this problem. “Here is what you need to do…” and I would go on telling these moms how to make their child sleep through the night. Well guess who has an 18 month old who STILL WON’T SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT…ME!!
I have found out over the last almost 6 years that you cannot learn how to be a parent by going to school. Every day is different and every child is different. My oldest, Maya, is almost 6. She is so smart and such a rule follower. John and I always tease that she is our single parent child. She is easy for just one of us to take care of. She is so much like me. She makes lists for everything she has to do. The other day her friend came over to play and she made a list of what they were going to do, and oh boy did they stick to that list. I had to talk to her about what being flexible means! I never have to worry about her being disobedient and she is always trying to make me happy. She is such a JOY!!
Maya has also given me the most painful experience I have had being a mother so far when she was hurt in an accident about 5 years ago. She had just learned how to walk and while we were on vacation, she put her hands on a very hot glass fireplace. I have never experienced such fear and grief in my life. After having surgery and a year of therapy, Maya was finally able to use her hands normally. And even though there are scars, she is okay now. I still get emotional thinking about this time in our lives. It’s amazing as a parent how wonderful and sweet life can be one moment, then how devastating it can be a second later.
Then came are sweet little boy Mason who is almost three. He is our double parent child. It is always nice to have both of us taking care of him! He is my flip-flopper. I am telling you honestly he is the most sweet loving little boy. I know you don’t believe me while he is walking up and hitting you…I swear he has two sides to him. He can run up to me and give me a hug and say, ” I wuv you mommy” and then turn around and hit his little sister. A major problem we are working through along with many other mothers of two year olds. (We will get through this!!) And even though I can be angry with him he has the ability to melt my heart in that same minute. Just another example of a parent going from one emotion to another!
And then there is Aubrey who is 18 months old. She is our Army baby. It takes a whole Army to take care of her! This little girl has more energy then John and I combined. She is always on the go and loves to explore. She loves to walk behind me and pull out everything I have just put away! Her emotions are extreme. She can be screaming at the top of her lungs and if I act like I am going to chase her, she instantly smiles, squeals, and runs from me! I can get so frustrated with her, and I spend a lot of time with her but I have learned this last year that the more effort I put into being her mom, the more I love her.
Life is crazy with these three little monkeys and every day is different. Most are full of fun and joy, others are spent with tears (from all of us!) But everyday is a new experience for me as their mom and I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for letting me have them on this Earth. Being a parent is the greatest calling I will ever have and I love every minute of it, even the hard minutes! Now, does anyone have any advice on how to get an 18 month old to sleep through the night? I’m so tired!!!