Is It Too Late For Another Baby?
My son is a senior in high school, so I am a sentimental mess. I have said several times that I am fully convinced that I am feeling the pain of my son going away to college at a deeper level than any other mom in the history of kids going away to college. I probably won’t recover like they have, and I have a newfound compassion for Aunt Becky. And my other son, my only other baby, he is a junior in high school…so I’ve decided that the best and most logical decision is to have more kids…my husband isn’t on board with this decision yet.
So, as I have been processing the new stage of life that my husband and I are about to enter, I have come up with a list of advice for parents who have younger children. I’ve earned the right to give advice now that I am an “older” mom. So, here’s my top ten list of mom advice as I look back on my years of parenting school age children. Again, I am an emotional mess, so if you disagree with some of these ideas, just remember that I am about to have two kids go off to college and I am not old enough or okay with this!
- Who cares if your elementary child is “in the high class”. I spent too many elementary years worrying about this, and guess what, not one college has asked me if my son was in the high math or reading class in elementary school! I know, it’s so weird!
- It’s okay for your kids to be upset with you. It’s probably a sign that you are doing a good job as a parent. Stick to those consequences, even when it punishes you.
- Leave room for margin in your child’s life. We are so busy, and as a parent I always felt the pressure to have my boys involved in so many activities. I was convinced that we had to try every sport at the age of 4. So far, no college has offered us an athletic scholarship.
- Make church attendance a priority. Just go. Show your kids with your actions that being in church on Sunday is important.
- Don’t rescue your children. I am picturing my own boys’ elementary teachers laughing as they read this…I rescued. I like to think that I was a good secret rescuer. Don’t bring the homework to school when they forget it, don’t do the book report for them (I can make some darn good book reports), don’t answer 10 questions on math IXL when your kid goes to the bathroom so that they can get up to 90% and just be done (wow, I just admitted that, and it felt good). Teach your child to advocate for themselves, let them suffer…just a little. I still struggle with this!
- Pray with your kids. Spend time on the way to school or at bedtime asking them how you can pray for them. Ask them to pray for you and share how God works in those situations.
- Apologize often. I hate that I stink at this, but I do. My husband is so good at it, but I am not. Model for your kids what it looks like to apologize and ask for their forgiveness.
- Encourage healthy friendships for your child. It took me a long time to realize that who I thought my boys would be close friends with wasn’t who they were meant to be close friends with. It’s been a long road with lots of unexpected turns, but through prayer, God has blessed both of my boys with great friends.
- Enjoy the age that your kids are right now. I was always looking forward to the next stage. Everyone says that it goes by so fast, and it does. Too fast. Just when they get easy, they leave. (That’s probably my emotions talking.)
- Develop a daily habit of spending time reading the Bible…not a book about
the Bible, but the actual Bible. I know I sound preachy, but there is a difference. You know the verse that says, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” I need this daily!
Okay, that’s it. That’s my wisdom that I am imparting to you as a mom of a junior and senior in high school, and possibly mom-to-be of a newborn if my husband ever changes his mind. I will be praying for you, moms of younger children who think you have so much time left but will soon realize that you don’t. If you think about it, pray for me as I send my boy, who was just born yesterday, off to college this fall!