I am not sure if other parents feel this way, but for me, our children’s birthdays are huge times of reflection for me as a parent. More so than January 1st of any given year, or even my own birthday.
It’s similar to how the start of the new year is really September if you are a parent of school aged children.
Our twins are turning 7 tomorrow and of course we, like most parents, marvel at how they are no longer babies and how fast that happened. We recount what happened they day they were born as the twins are still fascinated with those stories.
I have a moment of mourning for the things they no longer can do, such as ride in their motorized car or the fact that I can no longer shop for them at some of my favourite little kid stores. But that is tempered by remembering the things they can do, such as getting dressed themselves, riding a bike, and swimming on their own. Plus, they are now tall enough for most amusement park rides, whether they go on them or not is a different story!
But this year, with our twins turning 7 I am looking more closely at how I am parenting them and their older brother. I would like to move away from reactive parenting and transition more
toward thoughtful and joyful parenting.
Let’s be honest the first 5-6 years are really triage parenting – food, clothing, shelter….check. That can mean anything from actual food, clothing and shelter to organically hand crafted baby food, ivivva yoga pant and Bugaboo strollers. All while trying not to feel too inadequate because – surprise - we weren’t perfect during those first years (not to suggest that we will be perfect in any subsequent year)!
My goal going forward is to slow down and enjoy the journey, even when we are going full speed from school to extra-curricular activities to homework to bedtime. I think now that they are older I would like to find more moments to connect with them and get to know their older selves. All while still being their parent which means there will still be discipline, disappointment, crying and probably yelling.
As our twins turn 7 my ‘Birthday Resolution’ is to relish being with them in the everyday moments, learn from the challenging times and smile at everything else.
Happy Birthday Babies!