Parenting: You Do You (YDY)
Posted on April 04 2018
I’m the mother of four girls. Beautiful, smart, strong girls that will one day grow up to be beautiful, smart, strong women. Why four girls?! I have no clue! I was a huge tomboy growing up, so I had always envisioned having four boys. That’s probably why four girls landed in my lap. Mike, my husband, on the other hand, never wanted boys. He was all about his girls. He was terrified girl number four would be a boy. Now, all these years later, there’s no way I can imagine anything else. I look at each of the girls, their unique gifts, and I think to myself, I hope I can grow up to be just like them one day. No joke!
I’d love to sit here and tell you that I’m ready to write the book on parenting, but I’d be lying if I did! I’ve got no clue what I’m doing, and I’m constantly learning, adjusting because each girl is entirely unique and special. There is no one size fits all… argh! If only there were, I’d have it dialed in by now! And even if each girl were exactly the same, you’ve got to be able to keep up with the changes because each day brings new opportunities to screw up. That must have been a typo! That’s not what I mean. I meant simply that each day is different. Maybe it’s over the top great and maybe it’s a huge bummer that leaves one or all of us feeling blue. I guess the bottom line is we’re learning together. Even if I make it out of the teen years alive with girl #1, that doesn’t mean I’ll make it out alive with girl #2, 3, or 4. Just because I’ve been through it with girl #1, it’s all new to girl #2. Flashback to breastfeeding. It probably wasn’t a walk in the park with your first, but by the time baby number two comes along, you’re a pro. Hold on. Just because you’re a pro, it’s all new to baby number two and you quickly go from thinking you’re a pro, to realizing you need patience and understanding for baby number two.
So… how do we make it out alive?! My dad always told me, “blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.” That used to really piss me off when I was much younger. As soon as the words were leaving his lips, I start to cringe because that wasn’t me. I was anything but flexible. Fast forward too many years and I finally get it. I’ve learned to roll with and try to keep up with the changes because you’ll go out of your mind if you don’t. Dad, you were right. You've got to be able to keep up with the changes and roll with it! When life gives you lemons, you better be able to make some damn good lemonade!
Deep breath, I’m not done. Patience. I have also learned to be a patient person. Not easy when you’re constantly on the go and trying to keep up with the changes. Things take time, people need time, especially little people. Those little people need extra time to do everything from putting on shoes, to telling a story, to pooping. Being patient with the little people is a game changer. Not always possible, but when and where you can, do it and it will pay off big!
Lastly, smile, loosen up, and have fun! Don’t take this whole game of life and parenting too seriously. It’s already serious enough out in that big world outside the haven of home to place a cone of seriousness around home as well. Some things are serious, and there is serious stuff that comes up, but don’t let it take over. Deal and move on. Do I embarrass the girls in the process of loosening up and having fun? Probably. Do they sometimes tell me I’m completely crazy? Absolultely! Do they sometimes wish I would be more like a “normal” mom? I’m sure, but it’s not me and I can’t even begin to pretend it is!
At the end of the day, you do you. I can’t tell you how to parent, but I can share what works for crazy me and maybe some of it might jive with you. Be flexible, be patient, and have fun! Good luck and let’s hope we all make it out alive!