Around Phase Family Learning Center you will often hear the phrase, “It’s just a phase, so don’t miss it.” Not only is every stage its own experience, but for parents of multiple children they have to account for the differences between their children. For example, we are “first-time parents” only once, but we are parenting each child for the first time. That means that every phase is a new adventure and while there may be something familiar about its cadence, it’s a whole new world because it’s a whole new child. We parent through the “terrible twos” or attempt to understand the mind of a “threenager” but also may be navigating what it means to launch an elementary aged child into a world we’ve not been inhabitants of ourselves for 20+ years.
This simply leaves us elated and exhausted all in the same moment. Throw in the concept of “parent guilt” (being torn between the relentless, physical demands of being with our children and needing to be humans apart from them as well) and we are overwhelmed. While we need to pay attention to the beauty and challenges of each phase for our kids, we also need to occasionally take pause and appreciate the beauty and challenges we experience at each phase of our parenting as well. Stop to ask yourself or discuss the following questions with a friend, spouse or coparent:
- What is something I feel proud or excited about in my parenting this week?
- What is something I feel shame or regret about in my parenting this week?
- As my child is leaving this phase, what is something I want to remember and cherish about our time together?
- As my child is entering a new phase, what is something I want to commit to doing (not doing)?
- What was I like as a parent of a __________ (name the stage)?
- I wonder what I will be like as a parent of a __________ (name the stage)?
- What in my relationships/work life/mental or emotional health is bringing life to my parenting? How can I enhance those things?
The cycle of evaluation is never really over, even once our children are grown and flown. It does become different in each phase of our parenting journey. One of the best ways we at Phase Family Learning Center can help is to connect parents to each other in similar phases so you can commiserate, share tips and celebrate together.
The week of March 22nd we will be hosting parent coffees by age group in the Living Room from 7:30-8:30 am. Please make an effort to come and meet your fellow life-stagers and enjoy a coffee or juice on us! The schedule will run as follows and you will get a follow up email invitation starting next week.
- Monday, March 22nd – Infants
- Tuesday, March 23rd – Toddlers
- Wednesday, March 24th – Twos
- Thursday, March 25th – Preschoolers (3s & 4s)
- Friday, March 26th – PreKindergarten