My fifteen-minute allotment doesn't give me much time to go to my archive of questions (I usually answer the oldest ones first) so here are some random ones that are really recent:
Question for you...Max is your only boy, if you had had another one, what would you have named him? :)
Jack. My plan was to have least two boys: Max and Jack. Maybe we'll have a dog named Jack some day...
If Elle does a cake float, and Lu does a camp out for b-day traditions, what are the traditions of your other kids?
Max's tradition is anything involving water...usually swimming. (an example here)
Elle's is the cake float.
Grace's is having a pinata (usually a home-made one that we make together).
Claire's is a dance party but man alive we need to get better at that one.
Lucy's is the good old camp-out.
Can you share if you think raising little ones or the older ones is more work/worries/fun anything like that. How do you feel you prepared yourself for these pre-teen/tween years?
I think the stages of child-rearing are just so different they're tough to compare.
Toddler years are so very, very demanding physically. Lifting and chasing-after and all that goes with keeping up with young kids is tough. And there's no one to help you with the dishes or with strapping kids into car seats.
My opinion is that while the physical exertion mellows as kids grow, bigger kids are much more emotionally demanding. Not that they mean to be, but their decisions and actions make such bigger ripples and as a mother your heart just aches so much to figure out any way possible to guide them in the right direction. I find that I am constantly thinking over how each child is doing in every aspect of life and it is sometimes exhausting!
I feel like the best preparation to really prepare for every aspect of raising kids is to do regular five-facet-reviews to help conceptualize the intricate details of each child every step of the way. It helps SO much! It is not easy because life is busy and Dave and I do not do it regularly but every time we do carve out time to really think about each child and their needs the act of raising them right becomes so much less daunting.
And really, as we all know, the very best preparation for raising teenagers is to build good relationships with them from the time they are little. Good relationships and friendships aren't just going to happen because we live in the same house. Every once in a while I take a step back and realize that I'm not doing this so well (see last post for an example). I let life push into and fill up the nooks and crannies and take away my margins so that I am distracted when my children talk to me and my mind is in ten different places. Then I go back and read these guidelines I loved from a conference I attended and make a vow to mend my ways.