When kids get older, are things really different?
As I was standing in line the other day in the grocery store, I was watching a young mom struggle to hold a fussy baby and unload her buggy. I smiled to myself remembering those days, and asked if she would like me to help her unload the buggy. She just smiled and said she could manage.
I began to think about when all the kids were young how I thought things would be so much easier if they were just a little older. Well, yes and no. It seems like it’s a trade. For example, keeping the laundry done isn’t as hard, because three of the kids still living at home do their own laundry. How-ever, scheduling who gets the washer and dryer when is an issue. As well as, when someone accidentally throws someone else’s laundry in the dryer when it was supposed to be hung up to dry. The guys seem to have the most trouble with this one. However, after being threatened with serious amounts of bodily harm and having to pay to replace ruined items of clothing, the guys are now very careful about what goes in the dryer.
There’s also a trade in the meal situation. We rarely have one. Let me qualify that; we rarely have one altogether. No, I don’t have some amazing solution for this. We do still have meals, but often times we eat on our own schedules. So dinner is made and it is eaten when it’s ready, when someone gets home from practice or work or whatever.
We’ve also had to learn compromise when it comes to television. There’s an issue about what is appropriate for my 8-year-old, what I will allow my 13-year-old to watch and what my older kids watch. The older kids know what the 8 year old is allowed to see and when they do want to watch something not allowed, John and I make the final call.
And, one of the hardest things is when it comes to activities and who wants to go where and when. Sometimes John and I divide up and do things separately with the kids. However, sometimes it is, “Sorry, we know you are bored to tears, but this is for (fill in the blank with a child’s name).” We also get to hear,
“Well, it’s not fair he/she gets to go do this or that.” My responses are, “Yep, you are probably right. Deal,” to “You are right, but this isn’t a fair. Look around there are not any Farris wheels, cotton candy, or pony rides.” My daddy’s favorite was, “Check out your birth certificate, nowhere will you find the ‘fair’.” (Usually, daddy would go get the birth certificate and have us read every word on it. A couple times of that and you did not bother with that remark again!)
I can’t honestly say things are easier now that the kids are older; all I can truthfully say is that things are just different!