When I was a kid, I couldn't wait to be a teenager, I just thought that stage of life was the coolest. Then when I became a teen, I wanted to be college-aged. When I was in college, I dreamed about how awesome it would be to be living on my own and making all my own decisions.
By the time, I'd hit those 20-something years where I was living on my own and making my own decision, those childhood years started looking pretty good.
Crazy how we always want to be at the stage of life that we are not.
I find myself doing that in parenting.
This morning, we ran into a few hiccups that got me behind schedule and I mumbled under my breath, "I can't wait til these kids grow up."
Then I thought about it. Is that what I really want?
Lots of parents say they can't wait til their kids get out of diapers. They can't wait til they get out of kindergarten so they'll be more independent. Then they rush the college years along so they won't have a young adult in their pocket anymore. They long for the day when they are out of the house so they can enjoy their own life.
Parenthood stages change so quickly. It's really a shame that us parents start to want to rush stages along. My oldest will be 10 next month, I so clearly remember him being a toddler. Time flies and so does our children's growth.
What's the sense in wanting our children to hurry up and grow up so we can get on with our lives? To me, this is my life: mommyhood and the angst, anger and frustration that goes along with it.
But I do sometimes find myself wishing for the next stage for the kids. It would be so awesome if the 10 year old was a teen and could drive. However, I know there are parenting woes that go along with that stage as well.
Sometimes I want to zip past this stage where the five year old is drawing mustaches on his face and getting frustrated because he can't keep up with his big brother. But I know that when he's a tween his friends will become more important than me and I'll have another set of parenting issues to deal with.
In wanting them to hurry to the next stage, lately I'm been finding myself telling them to hurry up in every little task. "Hurry up and brush your teeth." "Quickly finish your dinner." "Get in the car NOW."
What's my rush? I better let these little ones savor their childhood..it's the only one they get. And I certainly won't get a second chance at parenting them as kids either.
So I'm making a concerted effort to slow down. How about you?