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Don't Wish for Them to Grow Up and Here's Why

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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Don't Wish for Them to Grow Up and Here's Why

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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Location: United States

After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Don't Wish for Them to Grow Up and Here's Why

Remember when you were running around with your diaper bag on one arm, purse on the other and then the baby in the stroller with all the accouterments and things you schlep around with babies? Or maybe you're still doing that. I don't know. All I know, is that I better not wish for the next stage. Remember when you said, "I can't wait for him to crawl" or "I can't wait for her to start kindergarten". Here's why you shouldn't be wishing for those thing and what you really should be doing.

If you still have your first baby in the house, you will most likely have no concept of the worries you heap upon yourself as your child gets older. So let me give you a preview.

  • Toddlers are always getting into dangerous things, and even if we baby proof our house, we always worry when we go somewhere else. We also worry a lot when there is water nearby and are constantly looking what our child is putting in his mouth.
  • With preschoolers, often times, they are with other people, such as a day care provider, plus they can catch every little cold or illness. So, we worry about all that.
  • When they start going to school, we worry because they are out of our sight for most of the day. Will Junior get whacked in the head with the kickball again? Is he going to choke on food in the lunchroom?
  • Now they are well established in grade school. They want to go to a friend's house...without you. Do they have dogs over there? What about guns? What are the parents like? Will my Susie be okay at school, because last week the school bully was chasing her around? They want to do their first sleepover, should I let them?
  • In middle school, add all the issues from grade school. They will be around kids who smoke, drink and are s.e.x.ually active...YES, it already starts in middle school and more than the average parent realizes. They get a peek already in grade school, but this stuff starts full force in middle school! You also start seeing "the wrong crowd" and how do I keep my child away from those kids. Will my kid make the right choices?
  • In high school, many of the same worries still apply. Now we have the added fact of driving, more drinking, s.e.x. and smoking and more "wrong crowds"! Are the teachers top notch and are there any molestors in the bunch? Will my kid continue to make the right choices?
  • Friends who have kids in college say they worry more about their kids now than any other time before! They are really on their own now, and all you can do is hope you raised them right and that they make the right choices....again and again! The worst part is you don't see them on a daily basis. At least before, you could rest easy when they came home at night. It's not an option now.
  • Do you think when they get married or get their first job the worrying stops? No, now you worry if your child has a good paying job and can support themselves...and about their family and children. Now the worrying has grown exponentially!
As you can see, it's never ending. If you let it, it can get the best of you, and you can really waste time, effort and to some extent, your health, worrying about things. Obviously, with some of the examples above, you can control a lot of these situations, particularly when they are younger. As they get older, you have to have faith that you raised them to be able to make their own decisions. This is why I cringe when I see parents doing everything for their children, even at a young age. Teach your kids some responsibility and how to problem solve on their own. Teach them to do simple tasks for themselves. You can already start this with your preschooler.

  • A preschooler can sort laundry and help unload the dishwasher. They can also straighten out a blanket on their bed and carry their dishes to the sink.
  • A younger grade school child can empty the dishwasher, set the table and do a little vacuuming. They can also clean their room (split it up into sections) and help put away laundry.
  • An older grade school child can take out the trash, clean the catbox, feed the dog and do some dusting. They can also help in the yard.
  • A teenager can do almost everything you can do. Give them something to do.
I have two grade school boys, age 8 and 10. In addition to a few chores, they are also responsible for getting themselves up for school. They have an alarm clock, and they also get themselves ready in the morning, make their beds and do their own breakfast on the weekdays. They do their lunches the evening before with my help, and they stage their backpacks and what they need for school the next day by the front door. It only takes one time to forget something and it most likely doesn't happen again. It's okay to let your child suffer some consequences if they forget something or fail to do something. My kids have had a few cheese sandwiches at school (forgotten lunches) and even suffered grade-wise (by forgetting a school paper), not to mention not attending an activity somewhere (because they forgot about it completely or they didn't prepare ahead of time). But guess what? It only happened a few times. How is your child ever going to learn in life if you do everything for them? What happens when they are on their own? Anyway, just some food for thought on this fine Friday...something to mull over on the weekend.

What are your thoughts on this?

Read this article and many others over at the Carnival of Family Life.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

What great reminders! I have to keep this stuff in mind.

November 3, 2007 at 6:11 PM  
Anonymous Melitsa said...

I really needed to hear this. Precious times all the time.

Thanks for sharing your post with the Carnival of Family life- bonfire edition.

November 5, 2007 at 6:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so true! I have sons who are twins and in their 30s right now. I worry more now then when they were teenagers!

November 5, 2007 at 3:39 PM  
Anonymous JHS said...

I relate. I used to wish to get rid of the diaper back, then the braces . . . then I cried when they started shaving!

I'm late getting around to visit all of the Carnival participants. (Crazy week . . . only excuse!)

THANK YOU for being part of Colloquium's inaugural edition. I appreciate your support.

Don't forget that this week's Carnival will be hosted at All Rileyed Up. If you haven't submitted a post yet, you can do so until midnight (Pacific Time) tonight!

November 10, 2007 at 8:49 PM  

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