I have kids ages 22, 19, 17 and 1, and often people ask me if my parenting different this second time around. Yes. Yes it is.
Overall I’m far more patient with Alyssa. I know that little ones require time and attention–lots of it. I’m more lenient, too. When it’s nap time I snuggle with her on my bed, we giggle and sing songs until
she drifts off to sleep. I know this isn’t the “let her go to sleep by herself” routine that I read about in some parenting books and followed with the other kids, but I also know that kids grow FAST. These years
will be gone quickly. I want to enjoy this time with her while I have it.
I’m less stressed about times she seems to want to eat all the time or the times when she is uninterested in food. I understand these cycles and know she’s growing and she’s healthy. What’s to stress about?
I’m less concerned about daily toy messes too. (My 25-year-old past Mommy self is gasping at this.) Toddler toys are a little thing compared to hormonal preteens, teaching multiplication facts, and driver’s
education. Just sayin’.
My parenting is different because I’m different. I’m more comfortable with myself and who God made me to be. I’ve lived through a lot, experienced wonderful things, and I’ve seen some of my dreams come to life. I don’t have to strive to prove I’m a good person or a good mom, I’ve accepted that I just need to do my best and lean on God a lot.
Kids will always be a challenge but active parenting for almost 23 years has taught me that focusing on the joy of it–rather than the work–doesn’t make things easier but it does make it definitely more fun.