Thursday, October 18, 2012

Every Season Looks Different

Our maple tree in our backyard turned bright red about a week ago and now has already lost about half of its leaves. It looks so different than it did even a few weeks ago full of bright yellow trees and then of course this summer it was all green!

I think parenting is often very similar to my maple tree. You can be going along, feeling like you have the knack of handling all of your kiddos at their various ages and then a few weeks later everything is different. Someone has hit the terrible twos and someone else has outgrown wanting to take a bath with his younger siblings... all of the sudden your life starts to look terribly different.

I think one of the biggest challenges in parenting is learning to change and adapt as the seasons in parenting change. Realizing that what used to work wonderfully is not going to work anymore. It can be hard to keep up. I think especially the more children you have the more changes seem to be happening constantly with someone.

Last night the hubs and I realized we needed to make a change in our home. The way we had been doing things was just not working anymore. Up until now we have put all our kiddos to bed pretty early and at the same time. Usually between 7:15 and 7:30. It was a huge sanity saver for us with having lots of young kiddos. And it was nice to put everyone down at the same time. But, last night we chatted and realized it wasn't working so well anymore.

The hubs doesn't get home until a little after 6 every evening. So, our evenings had become eat dinner, do a quick clean up time, give the kids a quick bath, family worship, and then everyone in bed. Each night it felt like a race to get it all done in time. But, with Max and Sophie being older they really need to be able to have more time in the evening when their dad is home. And we feel as a family our evenings do not need to be so rushed. We want to enjoy that sacred family time.

So, we came up with a new game plan. Jack will still go to bed at the normal time 7:15/7:30, after family worship. And then we will have some quiet time where we can talk, snuggle and read books, draw together, or sometimes even watch a short movie or show together before Soph goes to bed at 8 and Max at 8:15. We also realized it was important for Max to get to stay up a little later than his younger siblings. He has a little more responsibility being the oldest and has to work hard to get along with little kids all day who take his toys and mess up his Legos... he needs to also see some benefit to being the oldest.

I am excited about our new plan... while realizing soon it will need to be tweaked and changed too.

But, being a parent means figuring out what is best for your kids and what works for your family in your current stage in life and making it work!

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