Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Toddlers vs Teenagers

Remember when your child left her lunch or homework folder home and it was just a quick jaunt up the road and around the corner to the school to drop it off in the front office? Rebekah left a very important folder home this past weekend...one that is rather crucial to a project she is working on in one of her classes at Utah State University. And so today that quick jaunt up the road to drop it off, was actually a lengthier jaunt up the freeway, through Sardine Canyon, and down into Cache Valley....a good hour plus of drive time. And it was worth it because though the folder was the top priority, she also needed an external keyboard to replace the one that is not working on her laptop, and her new glasses that I told her I'd pick up at ShopKo. Plus, her car is acting funny so I drove Julianne's car to Logan and did a swap...bringing Rebekah's home to see if we can figure out what the problem is.

I always thought that once my children got older, my life would get easier...that I would have more free time. And while in some respects that is true, in others it most definitely is not. And I've come to the conclusion that having teenagers is just as busy as having toddlers...it's just a different kind of busy. However, there are a few things that for me at least, I've discovered to be unexpectedly harder as a parent of teens.

     *When my children were young it took a lot of effort to get us all ready and to church on time. Physically getting each of them up, dressed, hair done, fed, etc was very time consuming and somewhat stressful. But strangely enough, we have an even harder time getting ready for church in a timely manner now than we did back then. Although I still have to help Lilian, the teens obviously can get themselves up and ready. And maybe that's where the problem lies? It's now out of my control somewhat. I do wake-up call, after wake-up call....but after two nights of being out late on weekend dates, parties and friend hangouts, they are tired. And after two nights of waiting up for them, so am I. I'm often frustrated and frazzled by the time we get to church.

     *Potty training sucks. It really does. I'm not trying to put any rosy spin on it. But teaching a teenager to drive, in my opinion, is worse. Those state mandated 40 hours of parent accompanied drive time are incredibly inconvenient, even if I do agree with the reasons behind it. And did I mention dangerous? And scary?? And frustrating??? Believe it or not, I'd rather potty train a toddler...I really would! (That being said, both potty training and teaching a kid to drive both come with awesome rewards when the task is complete.)

    *When I had toddlers and most of our days consisted of home time, I was always looking for any excuse to get out of the house, despite having younglings in tow. "I have to go grocery shopping today? Hooray!" Now I am running around so much with gymnastics and theatre class and trips to the craft store for supplies for a school project...or various concerts, soccer games, conferences with the school counselor, prom dress shopping, etc....that I'm always yearning for a day where I don't actually have to go anywhere. "I don't want to go grocery shopping....can't I just stay home???"

Can they entertain themselves most of the time? Yes. Are they now my good friends, as well as my children? Yes. Can they feed themselves if I'm not in the mood to make dinner? Yes. Can they do their own homework? Usually. But is my life any less busy? Nope.


Jill said...

EXACTLY!! I agree completely with it all! And grateful for every stage :) But I hated grocery shopping then and I hate it now! :(

Julie DeMille said...

When my kids were small a friend of mine with older kids wisely told me, "It only gets harder when they get older." I was all, 'WHAT?!?!?' She was so right.
Sometimes I wish I could go back to the days when their needs were simple. And then I watch a mom take her screaming toddler out of sacrament meeting and I realize, I'm good.

MG said...

Wow well said. I agree two least favorite things. Potty training and teaching to drive. 40 hours is nothing Maryland is 60 hours!!! Dillan will be 17 by the time we are done at this rate and they can't start till 15 9 months.