I've been parenting for 24 years now... and I still have a kid in elementary school. In fact, we are in year 18 of 20 consecutive years at the local elementary school.
My husband and I managed to space out our children so that by the time our youngest leaves for college, we will have been at this parenting thing for 33 years -- and I'll be 60 years old. It exhausts me just to think about that, and while I love my five children more than I could possibly express, there are times when I feel more than a little worn out by parenting. In fact, I've been noticing a few signs that I have possibly been at it just a bit too long. Like...
- I am sick of sharing the credit with Santa Claus. I want to tell my youngest the truth NOW.
I've done so many things a million times.
It's not that I don't like being a parent anymore. I love being a parent. I'm just worn out.
And even more, I'm done with sweating the small stuff. I've watched my two eldest graduate from college and get jobs and looking back on it all, I realize that I missed out on some great moments and stressed myself out because I was caught up in the small stuff. Yes, there are lots of tasks of parenthood--but at this point, I'm realizing that the important ones are relatively few. Most things have a way of working out despite us. We often make parenthood harder for ourselves than it needs to be.
So at this point in my life, I'm paring it down to the important stuff, and cutting myself some slack. I'm spending more time with the hugs and having fun. It goes by way too quickly to miss out on the hugs or the fun.
We are, however, going to have that chat about Santa Claus.
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