Mommy of a 5 (and ¾) year-old – How Life is Different
I was excited that Censie asked me to guest blog for her while she is on vacation. I know most of her readers are mommies of young kiddos and she thought I could bring a different perspective, I just hope I don’t make you all scream and run for the hills!!
When my son was born 5 (almost 6) years ago; I, like all mothers, fell in love with him instantly. I took great pride in caring for him, found him the best babysitter when I had to return to work, bought only a certain type of diapers, decided that I would make all his baby food (this was easier than I expected). All in all I wanted to be the perfect mother, and for a while I was the perfect mother in my own mind. Then my beautiful child turned 4 and my whole life as a mother turned upside down and my son turned into the child I always said “that will never be my child”. He began to have an attitude, talk back, and to be honest there were moments I thought one of us might not make it through the week. To say the least, 4 was a very rough year in our household. Then he turned 5, in my mind, I am thinking it has to get better….right? Well, it got better but not at the pace I was hoping for. Since my son’s birthday is in November he could not start Kindergarten that year, he would be in Preschool. This was great to help him prepare for Kindergarten but at only 3 hours a day it did not do much for his behavior at home. He was not in school long enough to actually create the type of discipline plan we needed with him. Then after school he went to a baby sitter’s house where he had a lot of free play and not a lot of structure, plus he took a nap there which gave him a lot of energy in the evening. This went on through this last summer but his behavior was improving each day, with a lot of coaxing from my hubby and me.
Last month he started Kindergarten and we have seen his behavior improve by leaps and bounds. I think he has the structure he needed through the day, and now we find it much easier for him to follow structure at home. Let’s face it; he is still a 5 year-old boy with more energy than he even knows what to do with. He still has his moments of being a ornery little boy and I don’t think that will stop any time soon, but he is so much better overall! The very best part of having a school aged child, they love to do things “all by myself” and I know a lot of your children like to do this as well, but the difference is, my child can actually follow through and actually loves the responsibility of these tasks. We have made a chore chart for him and he is always so proud when he completes his chores. When he does his chores on a weekly basis, he is able to earn tickets that he can redeem for toys at the store. Once he learns about money later this year at school I will replace the tickets with actual money allowance. He loves to help make his lunch; I find he is much more interested in any food when he contributes his input. He loves doing all his own personal care like brushing his teeth, combing his hair and bathing himself. I feel like now I have a little man and not a little boy anymore.
I know there are some of you reading this who feel you will never get to this point in your life but let me tell you, once they go to school, life gets so much better. I never thought I would ever dislike being a parent, but for a while I did and now I am back to loving being a parent. I know now that my life with him, much like my life with my husband, will have its ups and downs. There were times during the year of 4 that I felt we were all in a boxing ring and every morning I heard “Ding Ding, FIGHT!” Over all, I can say we have many more great, wonderful, happy days as a family than days when we all need to go to our own separate corners and wait for the bell to sound.
Make sure you follow Jenni at her blog - Force Family Journey.
Thank you Jenni, for the great advice! Oh man, so much to look forward too!