I went for a walk with a friend today. She and I are in the same stage of life, and while I have one Critter more, her youngest has Downs. In parenting terms, she's got me beat.
We commiserated with each other in ways that only someone who's walked a mile in your muck boots can. Our oldest children are both in college, and were decidedly easiest of the lot. They were (still are) people pleasers, who at least on the surface towed the line. My Firstborn's biggest infraction was/is a consistently messy room (The Sty) - hers, a toss-up between being wishy-washy and addicted to video games.
Our current high school seniors are both honor students and generally really good people. We have the sweetest picture of them as King and Queen Charming (Cinderella's beau's parents) taken in third grade or so. But while Only Son has continued to act and plans to pursue that as a career, she wants to study the sciences. Curfews are an issue for both, though not collectively. It's hard to be tough on them when they're such good kids otherwise, but teaching kids to respect authority these days is a challenge. Especially since so few in authority today (parents excluded) deserve respect.
Our Third Children, both girls though not the same age, are the ones we really butt heads with. They have game faces for the rest of the world, but when they come home, the mask comes off and the mitts go up. They, too, are really good kids - just selective in who they shower with their goodness. Happy the days when it falls on us. But rare.
Sweetie Petite-y gets her own category, and would be ideal if she wanted to be, but she's her own worst enemy with procrastination and lack of follow thru. I nag her as much as the rest, but for how she affects herself, not others. In many ways, she's a mini Firstborn.
Our Bonus Babies are the apples of our eyes, different as night and day, both getting sweeter by the minute. And they drive us absolutely crazy much of the time. We had them when we were older, and they're supposed to be keeping us young, but OMG! (as the Critters would say) We're too tired for this!
We've had it easier than lots of struggling parents, and gladly acknowledge that our kids are a blessing. But there are still days that wear you down so much you wonder what you were ever thinking when you had kids. Days when you're surprised you're not bald yet from pulling your hair out. When, if you have to fight one more battle over family rules, delegate one more contested chore, trip over one more toy or haphazardly plopped backpack, you know you'll feel like throwing in the towel --- AND I'M NOT TALKING MORE LAUNDRY!
So what's so encouraging about this rant?
We're in it together.
(Remember Critters, if you read this, that this blog is Mom Therapy. All nagging accomplished here is that much less you'll have to listen to.....)