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Challenges of Parenting Multiple Stages

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Parenting is hard, y’all. I don’t know if you got the memo. But it’s hard. And it seems like I begin every new stage of parenting thinking “it will get easier”. But it doesn’t. I thought the baby stage was hard with the sleep deprivation. The toddler stage was hard with the tantrums. The Pre-school stage was hard with the stubbornness. And so on and so on. But you know what is really hard? Parenting kids in multiple stages at one time. 

1. Bedtimes for the younger kids are fluid. And by fluid I mean practically non-existent. I remember when Tyler was 6. His bedtime was 7:30pm. Every night. Without fail. Because he was the oldest and we didn’t schedule anything after 5pm. Zoey is lucky if she’s in bed by 9:30pm some nights. Because how we have big kids who have sports and meetings and stuff. 

2. The little kids spend a lot of time in the car. They’re not old enough to stay home by themselves so they get dragged all over creation. We keep bags packed by the door for them to grab when I know we’re going to be in the car for awhile waiting for big kids to be done with practices and games. 

3. The bigs don’t want to do Disney. And the littles don’t want to do camping. Well to be fair, I don’t want to do camping either. But the point is that they are all in different stages and vacation means something different to all of them. The little kids would love to go to Disney but I have a hard time justifying spending thousands of dollars on a trip that the big kids don’t want to take. And I can’t bring myself to force the little kids to spend a week in a tent because that will suck for all of us.

4. My brain cannot keep up with the homework range. No, seriously. It cannot keep up. I’ve thrown in the towel with helping the big kids. They’re on their own now. 

5. Littles end up having play dates at football games. Poor little kids. Zoey best friends are Tyler’s teammates siblings at the football games. Because that’s where we spend half of our life. At football. The only play dates Zoey got to have from July through November were at the varsity football games. 

I know that this too will pass. I just feel bad that they are all getting the shaft in one way or another. I guess I can just say that I’m raising resilient kids, right? That sounds good….

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  • Jessica

    We didn’t go to Disney until I was I think 14. I had the same thought, that it would be boring baby stuff, but it was really fun. I actually went later as a 19-year-old and still enjoyed it. If we ever get our stuff together to get our kids there, I will probably hate the lines and crowds but still enjoy the rest of it. And there’s always the hotel pool, which is my kids’ favorite part of any vacation.