Oh, April (the month, not my dog). It has been quite a month so far. April started out with April not being able to be treated at the vet because she is high energy and needs to be sedated(great), a date night of yummy food and axe throwing, a Celtics game, high school track meets, AAU basketball games, and everything in between. Deep breaths. Parenting. Is. A. Challenge.

Yes. Parenting. Is. A. Challenge. All these boy brains and boy hormones and all at different stages, all moody at different times and for different reasons (well not really, it really always comes back to the same reason-not getting what they want). We have had highs and lows this month. I think March and the beginning of April were really transformative for me as I struggled with sadness over my kids getting bigger and more independent. Our day to day is changing so much and continues to change at such a rapid pace that last night I had to tell the hamster wheel in my brain to stop spinning and that it would all get worked out in the morning…And it did. It’s funny because I’m usually not that person who is up all night with the spinning brain. But I did come to the conclusion last week that parenting going forward is going to look very different than in years past. We are going from a “keep them alive” mentality to hoping and praying they make good choices when they are out with their peers. We have gone from the primary people to hang out with to the people who provide rides. My heart is sad. But I realize that there is not only growth in this for them but growth for me as well, as we learn to parent through bigger things than sibling fights over Lego… To all you been there parents, I know, this is just the beginning. I know that my job as mom is never done, and there will still be a place for me, even though I won’t be kissing boo boos and playing candy land. As I help my kids to navigate the tween, preteen, and teen years, the greatest things I can do for my kids is pray for them every day, grow alongside them, help them to become independent, encourage them, support them, be there for them, set boundaries for them, hug them and always tell them I love them. I love them so much I could burst. Like legit love them so much I am getting teary eyed while I write this. But as much as I love them, it’s not even close to how much God loves them, which in itself is amazing. And as sad as I am about them growing up on me, I am excited to see what God has in store for them. The plans he has may not be the plans they have. But what he has is always better.

Last week, while Logan and I were at Christopher’s first track meet, Logan looked at me and said, “Are you living your best life?” I was totally shocked at this question from my sweet boy. I guess he hears me tell the pup that she’s living her best rescue dog life enough that now it is in his brain. So, I looked at him and said, “Yeah, yeah I am.” Because while not everything is going the way I want it to, while I was carrying this heavy load of sadness over all the growing and all the changing, there is no place I would rather be than with my family. Yes, currently, I am stressed beyond belief, but more than that, I am so blessed.

Are you a been there parent, a parent raising teens, or raising littles? I would love to hear how you are doing with whatever stage of parenting you are in? Please comment below or on my instagram or facebook.

As promised for National Poetry Month, a parenting poem…

Day 8-What They Never Tell You.

They really never told me what parenting would be like

it is definitely not the same as learning to ride a bike

From the day your child is born or placed into your care

You never saw it coming, but you turn into mama bear

Your number one job is to keep them alive

Which is really, really hard from birth to about age five.

Six and up has it challenges too,

Being mom isn’t always fun, sometimes it leaves you feeling blue

They never really told me that as my kid grows up

It would be hard to get anything out of them besides, “hey,” or “wassup?”

They never really told me that one day they would leave me alone

And that I’d regret all the times I wished I could have five minutes on the phone.

They never really told me or maybe I didn’t believe it

Bigger kids bigger problems-I guess I just needed to see it

Every day in parenting is a different adventure

From babies to teenagers, of that you can be sure

They never really told me how parenting would come at such a price

Would I really have believed them, if they gave me that advice

That to my kids I would give my heart and soul

To mold and shape them for their future is the parenting goal

But they never really told me…