Parenting is one of the most life-changing experiences most of us will ever have. And parenting in midlife, well…that’s also a unique experience.
Parenting always seems to raise more questions than answers and the weight of raising an entire human instead of a Cheeto can sometimes feel crushing. I was forty years old when I had my first son and forty-four when I had my second. The fact that I began parenting in midlife colored all of my parenting decisions.
For me, parenting in midlife was such a blessing. I’d experienced and learned more about myself. I felt that I had more to pass on now than I would have ten or fifteen years before. Having grown and learned more about myself also opened me up to parent in a different way than I’d ever experienced parenting. Patience, understanding, and empathy have been a huge part of that learning curve – but they’ve come more easily to me because of the road I’ve traveled.
Here are some of my most:
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I thought boys would be easier than girls – now I’m not so sure. Sometimes, it feels like I need to teach them and I also need to “un-teach” them things that our society imposes on them. These are just a few of the things that I believe all parents must teach all boys every single day.
Children take things literally and their self-esteem is so fragile while it’s developing. I figured out this one word when my youngest was three. But it can really help kids at any age. I use it myself sometimes!
Strictly speaking, this isn’t a parenting post. But I’ve included it here because it deeply reflects my parenting and messages that I want to convey to my boys. I want to be open and to be able to discuss anything with my them and I want them to feel the same. I love having easy, go-to conversation starters that make sometimes difficult conversations easy to start at any age. This booklist is filled with gender-busting characters and stories!
I won’t lie – I thought the Universe made a huge mistake choosing to give me a boy! I could barely catch a ball. I knew Barbie dolls. But as with so many things about parenting in middle age, I was opened up to so many new experiences. Now I can poop and fart talk with the best of them!
This was as much of a surprise to me as anyone – one night I defied EVERYTHING they tell you about bedtime. I stopped fighting everything that wasn’t working and instead did this one thing that was perfect!
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