Today is Mom Monday, a day when I talk about my life as a mom. The Centsible Life is a blog about money & motherhood so it’s only fitting that I share my thoughts on mothering.
At times in our parenting journey we hit the sweet spot. That moment when you can breathe in deeply knowing you are on the right path parenting your kids, and that you won’t screw them up too much. Everything falls into place, the kids are doing well in school, sibling rivalry is replaced by the kind of civility only reserved for royalty, and everyone eats their vegetables without complaint.
It’s during those moments that we give ourselves a mental pat on the back, and maybe share one with our spouse. We are raising great kids, we think. They are smart, caring, and models of all the values we hold dear. That’s the sweet spot.
When we’re in the sweet spot we forget the struggles and the tough path it’s been. Parenting is never an easy endeavor, and anyone who says otherwise must have the most easy-going, peaceful little angel in the world. It’s not that my kids don’t have those moments, but parenting (like marriage) is something that’s constantly evolving as our kids grow, change, and learn to express themselves in new ways.
The problem with the sweet spot is that it makes us complacent. We stop planning ahead, sticking to schedules, or focus our attention elsewhere since we’re suddenly the rockstars of parenting.
Of course it isn’t long before suddenly there is a shift, everything moves, and some things are left in a different place. Cracks show, and we are suddenly left with a mess to clean up, and a the need to rebuild. The sweet spot is gone, and we’re left trying to figure out how we got from the sweet spot to here.
Two of my children have special needs, something I don’t discuss frequently on the blog because they are at an age where they are writing their own story. For the most part their special needs are ‘hidden,’ you can’t see them by looking at them, but you may notice some things are a little different if you have a conversation with them. Their differences are one of the things I love the most about them, it makes them as unique as their fingerprints.
This also means that in addition to parenting 4 very different people, we’re also charged with spotting signs of bigger issues that may need attention, and those issues often mean coming up with a creative way to help them since traditional or conventional parenting advice won’t work.
I need to remember during the sweet spot that it’s ok to take a second and pat myself on the back, but then I need to get right back to ‘work’ parenting with as much energy as I put into it during the tough times.
Do you ever hit the sweet spot? How do you maintain focus on the bigger picture with your kids?