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11 comments

  1. March 2, 2015
    Kirsten

    Can I be completely honest with you? Now that Marley is 13 (oh dear Lord it’s hell), I’m in uncharted territory, too. Every. single. stage. of child-rearing is uncharted territory. One blessing I do have at this point in her life, though, is the ability to be boldly and unobtrusively HONEST with her.
    Actually, I’ve always been honest with her. But lately, I find myself admitting to her more often than before that I really don’t have any idea what I’m doing, that I’m learning as I go, and we’ll figure it out together. Marley’s a tough kid to crack – she has deep, long-lasting friendships with only a handful of kids, but she’s almost a social outcast in a lot of other ways. But when I step back for a minute, she’s amazing – beautiful, inside and out. She’s smart, has a killer sense of humor, she’s strong and independent, a problem-solver, and driven. She’s very self-aware, too, which I still struggle with at 36.

    As for the extracurriculars….we pulled Marley out of everything when she was little – I think 4th grade maybe? She was like Lila – school exhausted her and I could tell. She’s halfway finished with 7th grade now and we still don’t have her in any activities, and it works for her. Overstimulation, I guess.

    I love your honesty. No parent ever really knows what we’re doing. We just do what our heart tells us is best, and hope and pray for the best possible outcome. But our little people are their own little individuals and we have to let go of some stuff and let them figure it out, too. You go, momma. You keep on being awesome. 🙂 Love you much! XOXO

    Reply
    • March 2, 2015
      Tara

      Thank you for your lovely and honest reply, Kirsten. I know that I’ll be forever second-guessing myself – and having a child who is already questioning my rationale for things means that I am going to have an interesting teenager to deal with.

      I do thing that perhaps overstimulation is a thing that’s happening here. There is such a push for kids to be in all sorts of enrichment activities, but part of me thinks, “Isn’t being at home sometimes enough enrichment?”

      It’s that wanting to give your children everything that sometimes clouds my judgement. I don’t ever want her to miss out on anything… but reality says that she has to, or she’s going to have a nervous breakdown. 😛

      Reply
  2. March 2, 2015
    deeanna

    Amen to all that. I have five kids (I KNOW, insane, insane). My oldest girl is in 7th grade now, and the friend behaving badly stuff is slowly starting to get better, 5th and 6th were the worst. But from watching my mom, I truly believe that the most important thing is to let your kids always know that you love them. All the other stuff gets straightened out eventually, but when your kids know that they are unconditionally loved, even through all the disciplining and saying no that happens, it will all work out. I’m not saying you will stop worrying, ’cause that’s not gonna happen, but it really will all work out.

    Reply
    • March 2, 2015
      Tara

      Girl, yes – you are insane. But you sound very relaxed about the child-rearing stuff, and I love that. I’m glad to know that it will get better before these “horrible no-good teenage years” that everyone loves to remind me about. I sometimes feel a bit panicky, “If we’re dealing with this in K… what on EARTH is grade 9 going to look like?”

      You’re so right about the unconditional love. Sometimes I need to relax a bit about micromanaging the situation and remember that they just want a safe place to be and arms to hug them. 🙂

      Reply
  3. March 2, 2015
    Jo-Anna

    OH how I understand your words. I too am in unchartered territory with my oldest 2 who are in grade 7 and grade 5. I find myself not knowing how to answer their questions or make them feel better…raising babies way way easier. I am actually reading a book called ‘Hold On To Your Kids by Gordon Neufeld’ and it’s been very eye opening for me – I highly recommend it!

    We also don’t have our kids in extra-curricular activities other than swimming lessons once a week right now. I too can see that school (and friends and the drama that comes with them) tires them out. They want to come home and be safe and let it all go. I believe in free time and free play so much – it’s just good for them.

    You are a great mom Tara!

    Reply
    • March 2, 2015
      Tara

      I’ve read that book! It’s a good one! I’ve also read “Kids are Worth It” by Barbara Coloroso. If you have time, add it to the library list.

      I love that you don’t have a jam-packed list of extra-curriculars. It’s almost a novel idea, this “De-scheduling” of your children. What will they do? What will I do?
      I feel like shuttling them around is sometimes a time-suck, not to mention waiting while their activities end… it’s such a strange system, when you think about it.

      Reply
  4. March 2, 2015
    Julia at Home on 129 Acres

    Thank you for being so honest. I don’t have kids, and honestly one of the reasons is worries like this. I don’t want to watch my kids go through all of this angst. I guess it’s part of growing up and the love you feel as parents makes it worthwhile, but I’m not sure that I even want to start.

    Reply
    • March 2, 2015
      Tara

      I will admit it – the angst is hard to bear. But in honesty, it only really appears in little moments, or at the end of the day before bed where hearts are spilling out. My children have transformed my life in such a positive way that I can say that having them SO outweighs the stress. But I also think that we parents need to be more honest and more vocal about this child-rearing gig and not show only the glossy, pretty moments. I need my compatriots… I need someone to say, “Yeah, me too. This is HARD!”

      Reply
  5. March 2, 2015
    Adrianne

    Amen, sister.

    Reply
  6. March 3, 2015
    Kenz @ Interiors By Kenz

    I feel like you wrote this post specifically for me haha.

    Reply
    • March 8, 2015
      Tara

      Lady, I know you’ll handle your two babes will grace and a good sense of humour. But if you ever want to say, “GAH!” to someone that isn’t your kidlets or an unsuspecting husband, I’m always here! 🙂

      Reply

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