My kids have been doing what everybody tends to do (and what every mother dreads): they are getting older. They can’t help it. I don’t want them to and most of the time, I don’t think they want to either. They are inquisitive and curious. The older they get the more I worry.
The more I worry, the more sleep I lose and the more anxious I become.
I have been told (on more than one occasion) that “at least mine are older.” Yes, they are older and are growing more self-sufficient. But that only means more worrying and more work. I will take a screaming toddler in a restaurant over a sleepless night over an argument with my kids any day.
Back in the day, both were immobile. Sleepless nights were because of colic or wet diapers. Their issues were relatively simple. If something was hard, we got through it. Sure car rides were next-level impossible but we figured it out.
As they have gotten older they have acquired new friends. These new friends aren’t always people that I would suggest they hang out with. Sometimes new friends have older siblings with the mouths of adults, and I have to undo everything that was discussed on the bus on the way to school that morning. I know that this is only going to get worse. This worries me.
My kids’ grades are something that I stay on top of. If I see that one of them is slipping in a subject, I email the teacher and see what the issue is (with my kid, not the teacher) and what can we do to help at home. If tutoring is necessary, then tutoring is what we do. I wish I knew how to explain how important grades are. Neither of them have slacked off with school work but they are still in elementary school. There will come a day where their future is decided on their high school grades. This worries me.
The more self-sufficient my children become, the less they think they need me.
They assume they are smarter than me and that they don’t need my help. These are the times that I have to stand back and let them figure it out on their own. This is a really tough thing to do. You don’t want your child to get hurt but sometimes they have to get hurt in order to redirect themselves. This really worries me.
All of this isn’t to say that the problems that parents of younger children face aren’t small. Every age feels like the issues at hand are larger than the last. It’s because they are. Kids grow into young adults with young adult issues. Relationships, friends, problems at school, their sexuality, self-esteem issues, etc. all start coming together and it’s a lot for any family to handle.
The stress of every age group is different and ranges according to the child and family. We are always going to worry over our children because that’s what we do as parents. That is literally our job as parents. As our children evolve, so do our worries. The bigger the child, the more that a decision they make impacts his or her life.
As of right now, I try my best to let them know that I am there so that as they grow, they understand how much I am actually here for them. All we can do is put down a solid foundation of support so that when those really big problems come up, they know we are ready and waiting.