Stages of Parenting

from the pages of the September 2015 issue of Simply Family Magazine. Check out the digital edition, here!

Parenthood is quite the rollercoaster, isn’t it? Pre kids there are so many things we think and assume – a.k.a. the lies we tell ourselves. Number 1 being that we are ready for this great big adventure! And then reality hits. Sleepless nights, hair-pulling moments of frustration, complete and overwhelming love…Not to mention being 100% responsible for another human being. From basic needs to laying the groundwork so we can one day send these beautiful beings out into the world as contributing, fabulous members of society. Along the way you might just encounter these…

Stages of Parenting

In the beginning…Once you’ve survived the first round of sleepless nights (waiting to make a solid comeback during the teen years) and diaper blowouts and adorable firsts, a toddler emerges and you are their hero. You can do no wrong during this stage (unless your charming tot is tired, bored, or hungry…). You are the key to all answers. You are the person they want to be/marry when they grow up. You are practically magical. Dare I say, you are better than Elmo.

As time marches on…It seems your credibility starts to waver as your precious toddler transforms into a full-on kid and heads off to school. Somehow you’ve entered a stage where you know next to nothing. Questions on homework? There’s no way mom or dad could possibly know the answers. Her cousin knows best, his bus buddy knows better…For sure anything you put out there as shared knowledge will be taken back to teacher for confirmation because they are, quite simply, not buying what you’re selling.

You just don’t get it…The teen years (much like the terrible twos) often get a bad rap. Teenagers, it must be noted, are actually pretty darn spectacular. The conversations – when you’re lucky enough to have them - are, well, they’re priceless. But this is the stage of parenthood that tends to be punctuated with eye rolls, door slams, and sighs of frustration. (And that’s just you! I kid…Sort of). This is your Methodology of Parenting 2.0 because you’re in the high stakes rounds now: Pre-adulthood/leaving the nest. So maybe your teen doesn’t think that you could ever possibly understand the intricacies of her daily happenings, but just wait because next…

You’re the rock…As they head off to college and into adulthood, maybe starting families of their own, they see you for what you’ve always been. Their rock, their constant, their biggest fan. It’s in this phase where the kids start trying to figure out how you did all those things and made it look so easy. Like putting endless elaborate holiday meals on the table, scooping pumpkin seeds so flawlessly, never showing your broken heart in the face of the “I hate yous!”, the door slams, and arguments…And now, you get to be the voice of wisdom and the giver of all things whimsical as you add a title to your name: Grandparent.