From 2 to 14 – parenting at all the ages

IMG_2534It’s been a hot minute since I have written. Why, do you ask? Because I have 4 kids, a husband, a job, a volunteer position, and a lot of books to read. I generally do not like to complain about how exhausting life can be (except to my husband), but lately the parenting has been wearing us out. I believe it is because we are doing parenting at all ages right now. We hit all the moods and attitudes of a teenager AND a toddler, often at the same times. Combine that with the middle child angst and whining from the other 2 children, and we are outnumbered.

To be fair, we did this to ourselves. Our kids are 14, 10, 8, and 2 years old – this is very stretched out. Some of these gaps were intentional, others were not. Just when we had passed the diaper/baby/toddler phase, we added another one. What? Regardless, I would not change our decision. We had Leo at exactly the right time for us and our family, even if it is not so fun right now.

In some ways, toddlers and teenagers are similar. They both tend to be defiant and attempt to push boundaries. Both are emotional and figuring out life, literally and metaphorically. Both can keep us up at night and frustrate us beyond comprehension. On the other hand, they have their distinct and positive differences. Teenagers are more self-sufficient. Toddlers still like their parents and love giving affection. Teenagers can express themselves and communicate their wants and needs (not always positive, but bear with me). Toddlers are usually easy to please and to entertain.

Some days, it is all I can do to have a conversation with the husband before collapsing into bed. Life. Is. Exhausting. But it is my life, and I’m happy to be living and learning in it. I hate to be cliche, but this too shall pass – and I will probably miss it.

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