There are countless things written about being a mom when our babies are in the infancy and toddler stages. We all know about sleepless nights, colic, fevers, never ending diaper changes, and teething. But as that stage (kinda thankfully, I’ll admit) has passed for me, there are lots of things about being a mom to tweens and teens that we don’t hear about all that often.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and here’s what I came up with. Please, add your own in the comments!
Being a mom to tweens means:
1. Being in the car sometimes for hours at a time driving kids around, but going absolutely nowhere. And I mean hours. NOWHERE.
2. Remembering that Boy 2 is a Size L at Fox, an M at Old Navy, and–oh wait!–an XL at American Eagle. And that Boy 1 is a size 30 pants at one place, a 31 at another, and somewhere else, he’s a 32, Obviously.
3. There are shoes EVERYWHERE.
4. You all sing together at the top of your lungs in a full car, but you’re no longer limited to Old MacDonald and Baby Beluga, so life is good.
5. Sleeping in, because nobody is crying for you to get up or spilling milk on the table (or if they are, they might possibly clean it up themselves. Or not. Who actually even cares about spilled milk at this point?).
6. On your shopping list, diapers and wipes have been replaced with coffee and disposable coffee cups with lids.
7. Realizing that some of your best friends came out of your body.
8. Endless patience but you’ll scream anyway. A lot.
9. Biting your tongue when you don’t like one of their friends.
10. Most of your errands are to find elusive things like “notebooks with hard paper, Because I CANNOT write on soft paper.” (Now you know why you ran into me at the stationary store rubbing all the pages of all the notebooks. Never judge.)
11. Managing—on a Grand Central Station level—appointments, clubs, music lessons, school events, playdates, practices, and several million carpools to bar and bat mitzvahs.
12. Going through 12 to 15 boxes of cereal, 12 kilos of meat and/or chicken, and up to 6 dozen eggs per week.
13. Buying three kinds of milk when you’re at the store because with six kids, different kids NEED three types of milk. Duh.
14. Many, many more hours in the kitchen because, let’s face it, 6’ tall men are no longer happy with pasta for dinner three times a week.
15. Buying prescriptions, creams, deodorants, shaving cream, nail polish, special shampoo, specific body wash, and three kinds of face wash in BULK. Also, odor eaters are your friend.
16. Calling THEM when there’s a spider.
17. Spending thousands of dollars on clothes, bags, and shoes that may never be worn, but just “had” to be bought.
18. Still buying toys, but they are a LOT more expensive.
19. Having LOTS and LOTS of cash on hand at all times because someone always needs something, is going somewhere, or “will pay you back later, I promise!”
21. It means listening, really listening, when your kids talk. Not talking to them or at them anymore, but letting them talk. Because you are no longer the star of the show. Take a bow, it’s their turn now.
22. Tears over mean kids, mean teachers, and bad days. And sometimes, the tears are your own.
23. Adjusting your expectations of who you wanted your kids to be versus who your kids actually ARE.
24. A lot of heartbreak.
25. Giving crucial life changing advice and later praying that it’s good advice.
26. Not beating yourself up when you blow it. Because you will blow it. Often.
27. Being bowled over by how these amazing, fantastic, kind, giving people are yours.
28. Seeing these beautiful people you’ve brought into the world take flight.