What a Mom of Older Children Needs You to Know | Occasionally Crafty: What a Mom of Older Children Needs You to Know

Friday, October 31

What a Mom of Older Children Needs You to Know

Hey mom friends!  I know you’re busy with carpool, soccer practice, and working on homework with your kids.  I am too.  But I need to tell you something.

 My children aren’t perfect.

I try to present them as perfect.  We spend hours on behavior, dress and grooming, studying for school, developing talents, etc.  because I want you to see them at their very best.  Even when you don’t, I might blame it on a late night, a coming cold, or a stressful day.

What you don’t see is that my daughter is overly sensitive, lashes out at everyone when she’s frustrated, and has a terrible habit of picking the skin off her hands.  You don’t see that she struggles with math and that I worry about her constantly.


You don’t see that my middle child, my son, still lays down on the floor and whines like a toddler when I tell him to clean his room.  Every.  Night.

You don’t know that my youngest was not fully potty-trained until 4 ½.  That’s right—4 ½.  That number two just wasn’t happening for him until he felt like doing it properly.  I finally stopped talking about it to you when commiseration turned into judgment, when I was told it was my fault that he wouldn’t go. 

Remember the days when we were  young mothers, and everyone was dying to share their stories and wisdom with each other, even when those stories were struggles?  (Your child is the last one to walk?  Don’t worry, someone else’s child was even older!)  (Your child won’t sleep?  That’s okay, it will pass, my child wouldn’t sleep until he was two and now we can’t wake him up!)

We don’t talk like that anymore.  What happened?

I noticed right around preschool that this friendliness, this sense of “we’re in it together” started to fade away.  Attitudes started to shift.  Conversations started to change.  We stopped talking to each other about the problems our children were going through and started oversharing their success.  Sure, we might commiserate over a difficult teacher or a tough assignment.  But if you went much deeper, we only heard silence. 

Mom friends?  I still need to know you’re there with me.
I need to know that your children aren't perfect either.
I need to know how you handle your struggles, how you’re overcoming your children’s problems.
I especially need to know if you’re lost, if you don’t know what to do.
I don’t want to feel like I’m the only one struggling to stay afloat in this sea of ever-shifting challenges.

I don’t want you to hide your children’s problems, and I especially don’t want to feel like I have to hide mine.  Can’t we be each other’s support again, like we were in those sleepless early days of motherhood?

Ask me how my child is doing, really doing.  Don’t judge me; just be there.  Show me that our friendship matters to you, and you care about my children even if they are failing math, are behind in reading, or keep getting detention at school.   If I ask, tell me the truth.  Let me be your support.  Let’s help each other through these difficult years.  Let’s share our problems and celebrate our successes!

I haven’t even touched on more serious problems families face, such as illness, mental or physical diagnoses that affect their lives, drug or alcohol abuse, etc.  We’re not there yet, but maybe someone else in our group is.  Wouldn't it be awesome if we could let down our carefully-placed walls just a little and lift each other’s burdens, even for just a few moments?

I want you to know I’m still your friend, even though our kids have switched from diapers to jeggings, from pacis to Playstations.  And I want you to know that I still need you.

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  1. Mom life can be SO challenging sometimes! There is no easy answer, but I hope you are able to find a group of moms who support and don't judge!

    1. I have a few, thank goodness. But I lost a group as our kids got older, and it makes me sad. I'm thankful for those who know the good, the bad, and the ugly and love us anyway!

  2. What a fantastic post, Valerie! I'm lucky to have a group of mom friends with kids who isn't afraid to talk about these things. We definitely still need each other well beyond the diaper years!

    1. Thanks Heidi. It's so helpful to have that group support right? I wish all moms did. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. We love you, just the way you are!!!

  4. Valerie....I'm sorry our paths don't cross as often as they used to. I love hearing about your family good and bad and as you know I have plenty of kid struggles myself! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and encouraging communication and less judgment.

    1. We miss you guys! Yep-communication is key. Even though you know you're not alone, when there's no one to talk to you feel like you are. Thanks for stopping by today!


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