Today was one of those difficult days with the girls. They are getting older and being sisters, lots of bickering between them. It doesn't help when they are tired. Madeline had a bit of an attitude, got in trouble, and ended up tearfully pouring her heart out for almost two hours. Which I listened to. Yes, I actually listened.
And what I learned is that I am not always a good listener. She's getting older and I probably need to change my approach with her now. She needs more privileges to balance out her greater responsibilities. And my dear oldest child is responsible- for which I need to give her more credit, more often.
I am a nagger. I nag, nag, nag all of them. Because---- I find it is the only way to get anyone to do what they need to do. But, I learned tonight that's its not laziness, its not not-listening, it's not defiance I see. No, this child is really trying her best. And she is still just a child. With lots of homework, and piano, and other things going on (boys teasing her at school, poor baby), and an annoying baby brother, and a slightly more annoying younger-sister. And-- she is nearly 11, going on 20, and it's hard.
I love her. God how I love her. I am going to have to adjust to the fact that I have a blossoming young lady here and not a little girl anymore. That makes me a little sad, and a little happy, and makes me feel just like a Mom.
I think I have taken that turn now with her. She gets older and she needs a "Mom" and not a "Mommy" if that makes any sense. Alex still needs a "Mommy". So I find myself with one leg in each of two worlds and it's a difficult balance.
Where the little one still needs cuddling and bedtime stories... the older one needs time to talk, and be listened to. I had to tell her tonight that I don't have all the answers like I did when she was little, but it was my job to help her find the answers and to guide her through.
I never knew there was a growth and learning curve to being a parent. As they age and change, so must we. So be it. I guess that now that I'm a MOM, I can wear sneakers everyday and get myself some of those elastic-waisted "mom jeans"? Good grief, not yet......... (I have to remind myself I said, Mom, not Grand-Mom. But I guess someday will come when I will find myself embracing those changes too.)
Time and generations march on. Parenting is the toughest job you'll ever love!
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