I was in here snuggling with BC, who is now 12 weeks old, when Mini came in. She smells the air and makes this silly face while saying “Oh my goodness! It smells sooooo good in here!” And it hits me in the face that in my head she’s still BC’s age but she’s not. She’ll be 8 in a few months excuse me as a I go cry in a corner and I’ve got to see her as such. This parenting as they grow up is, well, a challenge.

Our Babies Won’t Stay Babies Forever

This is something I struggle with often. When I see both Mini and abc, they’re still BC’s size and age. In my head I have 3 babies but that’s not my reality. I have a baby, an almost not toddler, and an almost tween. Laaaaaaawwwwd help me!!!!!

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They’re all growing up beautifully too. Mini is this wonderfully helpful and well spoken little girl. Right now we’re going through a power struggle as she’s trying to define what it means so to be herself as she gets older. And abc? I know I shouldn’t be flabbergasted that this child speaks in soliloquies like her sister but every time she opens her mouth and Martian doesn’t come out I find myself surprised. Why? I’m not sure lol! She’s the friendliest of them all and doesn’t meet a stranger. If you get talked up by a toddler in it might be her.

Being a kid isn't easy. Parenting as they grow up isn't easy either. The same methods for a baby can't be used for a pre-tween!

Changing My Parenting Styles As They Grow Up

It’s funny, people always look at me with an infant and wonder how I’m sleeping at night. He’s the easy one and we sleep mighty well. I’ve lost more sleep over my parenting as they grow up then any other time–including pregnancy.

I want them to feel loved.

Growing up isn’t easy. I literally just looked at my husband the other night and sighed at how crazy this being an adult thing was. But both the girls are going through some rather tough times right now and although it’s stressing me out, I want them to feel and know they are loved through all the fussing I do.

Being a kid isn't easy. Parenting as they grow up isn't easy either. The same methods for a baby can't be used for a pre-tween!

They need space.

And I know this. I wouldn’t identify myself as a helicopter parent but I’m not going to give them tooooooooo much space. But they do need more space to figure out who they are in the world and what that looks like on them. ABC is learning her boundaries and that she has choices. Mini is finding out that people are mean but that it doesn’t mean she has to be. While I want to control the outcomes of these learning experiences, I can’t.

Being a kid isn't easy. Parenting as they grow up isn't easy either. The same methods for a baby can't be used for a pre-tween!

They need to be able to know they can come to me.

Whether it’s with a question, for help, a hug or to just be, they will always need to be able to come back to me. This is something I struggle to remember–that they’ll always need me. I’m sometimes scared to release my hold on them fearing that they’ll discover they don’t need me. But even at 34 I still call my mom and dad for help or to have them just listen as I cry on the phone.

I️ still remember one of the first times after having mini that I needed my mom to come. I was a single mom with her and had no one that could watch her after she’d gotten sick on her birthday. I called my mom early afternoon and before midnight she was walking through my bedroom door. And then when I was pregnant with abc I went into early labor and I was on the phone with my mom as I went to the doctors office and then drove myself to the hospital. She was in town in time to pick Mini up from school. Moms are always needed so it’s silly of me to fear mine won’t need me.

Being a kid isn't easy. Parenting as they grow up isn't easy either. The same methods for a baby can't be used for a pre-tween!

They need to know we trust them.

This one is so big. As parents we work so hard to instill these stellar integrity and character in our kids and we need to not only trust that we did a good job but also trust them to make the right decisions. And if they don’t, we need to still be there to help guide them through–not to say I told you so. This is hard.

Again, I wouldn’t identify myself as a helicopter parent but I’m definitely in tune with what’s going on with them. I’m learning how to adjust the style of my parenting as they grow up because I’m committed to raising amazing adults–not children.

Parents! What adjustments have you had to make in parenting as they grow up? Any tips or tricks?

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