While at the dentist with my three girls a few weeks ago, I struck up a conversation with a sweet mom who was sitting in the waiting room. She also had three girls who were older than mine. We were chatting and then she said, “Enjoy this time because the teenage years are no fun!”
However, I decided I didn’t want to worry. Instead, I wanted to focus on all the great memories and exciting firsts still yet to come as my girls grow into young women. As I redirected my thoughts I wondered, why do we do this to other moms?
Why do we “warn” them about what’s to come?
“Oh I know that you’re not getting a lot of sleep now, but just wait until he/she is a toddler and you have to chase them around everywhere — it’s even more exhausting.”
“You’re chasing your toddler around everywhere now, but just wait until he/she is in school, and they don’t want you around anymore — it’s so sad.”
“Your kids are in elementary/middle school and you’re driving them around everywhere, just wait until they’re in high school and you have to worry about them all the time when they’re out driving — it’s scary.”
How about when we talk to another mom, we instead say something that will encourage them . . .
“I understand having an infant is difficult, but I promise you will sleep again and all the hugs and kisses you’ll get from them when they’re a toddler are wonderful!”
“Yes, chasing toddlers around is exhausting, but it’s so fun to watch them learn and experience the world through their eyes.”
“Driving kids around everywhere takes up a lot of time, but it often gives you one-on-one time with them where you can have some of the best conversations.”
After my conversation at the dentist’s office, I have made it a point not to “warn” other moms about the next stage — but instead, to encourage them to enjoy the stage they’re in and look forward to the stages to come. I feel like every stage has its own set of highs and lows, and sometimes the stage that is difficult for one child may be easier for another. Let’s not worry . . . but instead look forward to the stages to come and just enjoy today!