Savoring and smelling the tween years (the weird in-between)

Let’s start out by saying…why hasn’t anyone shared this stage of life?

This weird in-between.

My kids are no longer littles.

No more wiping butts. No more getting snacks. No more giving baths.

Yet. We are not in the teen years.

We are upper elementary age kids.

And honestly, it’s strange.

I find myself worring more about my kids mental health than physical.

Their emotional well being is a high priority and I have to let things go. Allow life to happen to them. Giving hurt a chance to come in.

We are on the cusp of puberty and sniffing pits to make sure deodorant is applied.

We can shower without (much) assistance, make our own snacks, and handle more responsibility .

We are full on obsessed with Fortnight and Roblox and researching the best parent protection plans.

We send them outside giving them room to explore and build independence and we cuddle in bed at night.

We have the attitudes and emotions of teenagers and the fun of no teenage drama yet.

We censor what we share of our kids as they now need privacy for their heartaches.

We are schooled on the latest trends and sayings and brushed off when we say we did that too at your age.

We still have tantrums and coping mechanisms that are utilized.

We rush around to school events, sports practices, clubs and more.

We see our friends less and our kids friends parents more.

We divide and conquer schedules and meals.

Gone are the play dates. The naps. The required meal times.

Our kids are beginning to form their friend groups. Not ones that we picked out. But of their own.

We are catching glimpes of the men who they are to become and seeing the little boys they were.

Awkward. Clumsy. Growing. Funny. Kind. Seeking. Learning.

It is this weird place. No longer littles. Not quite bigs.

How I parent continues to evolve. I notice myself caving occasionally to peer pressure. Doing what other parents are doing. And not what is best for us.

I am more emotionally and mentally exhausted rather than physically. It is no longer about keeping the kids alive daily but instilling moral teachings that will last forever.

It can be lonely.

This middle in-between.

I ache for more girlfriend time. A slow long day where we can chat, catch up, and dig deep into this odd abyss of motherhood.

But.

We are all in the middle.

I know we will come out the other side. Joining again when we have a breath.

Right now, this is our stage of life.

Full of laughter, fun, and OMG why are you crying again when I just asked you to put clean underwear on and use deodorant.

I go to be exhausted.

As I did the stage before and I know I will the stage coming.

Savoring the little behaviors that will soon be gone.

Plugging my nose and praying personal hygiene catches on.

My heart is loving and hating this time.

Enjoying the independence.

Dreading that it will be more and more.

Tired of the tears and meltdowns.

Knowing that they won’t come to me for cuddles and snuggles when it happens in a few years.

This in-between.

Baffling me and breaking my heart.


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