Healthy Families

Family Focus - Parenthood: Be Careful What You Wish For!

Family Focus - Parenthood: Be Careful What You Wish For!

By Carol Boughner

There are many times while parenting that the day-to-day tasks just become overwhelming and exhausting. Those are the times we wish for change and relief. How many times have we said, it will get easier when they sleep through the night, when they walk, when they are potty-trained, when they go to school, when they are don't need afterschool care, when they can drive, when they go to college, or eventually when they move out?

Every age has its difficulties and stresses. But every age is so exciting and new. Since I have been through them all, I can honestly say that I miss the young, innocent years. The times when your child can't wait to see you and smiles from ear to ear when you walk into the room.

'LIKE' Healthy Life Magazine on Facebook

When you are trying to make out the picture they made you , trying to decipher what it is, as you persuade them to tell you about it because it looks like a blob on a piece of paper to you. Of course, ultimately you'll proudly display it on your refrigerator. The young years when they experience their first play dates, sleep-overs, and sporting events. That is where they meet their first new friends and you make new friends of parents too because you all have something in common.

Parenting never gets easier and the stresses become different. After the baby-stage, your sleep patterns improve and your exhausted children go to bed easily and sleep sometimes as long as you do. Things change during the latter teenage years and you find yourself waiting up because they missed their curfew. Then the stress is accompanied by outside influences - another driver or drugs and alcohol. Or when they return home from college and are on the opposite sleep schedule as you and your once quiet house has rumblings of snack bags opening, TV blaring, and friends coming and going at midnight when you have to work at 8:00 in the morning. Even the dog is startled because there is unfamiliar commotion in the house.

I found that during the younger years, the busier my schedule, the more organized I was. Our meals were planned by the week, dependent on nightly activities. The grocery list was made out so that I would do the majority of shopping monthly and the weekly stops would be for milk, bread, cold-cuts, fruits and vegetables. The calendar was color-coded for each kids activities and I was in charge of who was picking up whom, when and where. Now I am that person who loves the "defrost" button the microwave and never really ends up cooking, or even wants, what was planned for dinner anyway.

While my friends and I were walking in the neighborhood recently a young mother mentioned that she envied our free time to be able to walk in the afternoon while she was chasing a toddler around the house. We all looked at her and said we've all been there and that we envy her with her routine and the years ahead of happy firsts and exciting times.

So enjoy every stage of parenthood, reflect on all of the milestones and special moments, and always remember to "Be Careful What You Wish For."