They don't stay little very long....that growing up stuff....it happens in a blink. When people say, they won't go to kindergarten in diapers....well, just don't ever say that to anyone....because their kid just might. Mine did. When people tell you to treasure every minute of those sleepless nights with your newborn, reading stories to your lap babies, holding little hands and waiting in carpool lines (well maybe not carpool lines)....listen to them. They know of what they are speaking. When people tell you....you think you're busy now, just wait until they are older. These people are very wise and again know of what they are speaking. You might get more sleep, but a lot of it is done in a car/bleachers/auditorium while waiting for someone to be finished up with an activity or event. Make sure you have a car you like being in, with a good cup holder and radio; because you will spend most of your time in it. When people tell you....you won't be worried for long....regarding your newest driver. They sort of know of what they are speaking. I was nervous for about 35 seconds until I sent her out for coffee and to retrieve her sister from dance, and then....I danced a jig. However I wouldn't necessarily say I don't worry. I can say I don't worry about HER driving, but I do find myself worried about other people's driving....you get what I'm saying....but I'm a self proclaimed worrier, I'm working on it people. When people tell you middle school years are the most difficult....they know of what they are speaking, at least this has been accurate information for moi up to this point of parenting. I have found that my middle schoolers are not interested in showers, conversation, quality time, game nights, or really much of anything....except sleep and Instagram. When you hear people say....they come back around in high school, again they know of what they are speaking. Once in high school, I hugged their necks and said WELCOME BACK! I've missed you this last year or so. When people tell you there is always drama....PEOPLE....listen, because there is. And I'm not talking about the theatre, what do I wear today kind of drama. I'm talking about the gossipy, hurtful kind of drama. And all of you boy mamas....listen too, because even if your boy isn't involved in any drama with his friends; I guarantee you he will hear about drama between some girls. Encourage your kids not to get involved in drama. Tell them to be kind but use their discernment about which friends thrive on it and which friends don't. It doesn't mean you can't be friends with ones who crave drama, it just means that you have to be willing to step back and evaluate the situation and realize that maybe you need to give them a little more kindness. When people tell you that you will be much more lenient with child number 5, they know of what they are speaking. At least it has happened for us, but I will also say that child number 5 is self sufficient and obedient and we are just plain exhausted after all these years of little people. ;) Child number 4...now that is a whole different ballgame, she will be under my thumb until my arthritic thumb won't allow that any longer. I'm not even sure how child number 3, 4, 5 learned to read; but I think child number 1 taught them. ;) After all, I taught her all her letters, numbers, shapes, colors, nursery rhymes, how to write her name and she could read by the time she was 3 1/2 months or 3 1/2 years....it's all the same to me now. ;) When people tell you that you need to be connected to all of your kids' devices, accounts, etc. they know of what they are speaking. Now I realize that kids can set up "secret" accounts that we parents may not know exist, but I also realize that if you establish an open an honest relationship with your kids; they won't feel the need to do be secretive. And...if you look hard enough; you can find those secret accounts anyway. When people tell you that you will cry a lot as a mother, they know of what they are speaking. When they are little, this will be because of their sugary cuteness in their school program, they ate their first chicken nugget (true story) , they said "I WUV YOU DIS MUCH" with arms stretched as wide as possible, or out of pure exhaustion. When they are older, it will be because they are stressing you out or have a broken heart or spirit or are experiencing some dark and sad times. It will also be because they do things that you make you so proud that you want to burst, they talk to you about what it will be like when they are a mother (which makes you envision yourself as a grandmother and then you start making big plans for what you will be called, summer camps at grandmas, etc.; but I digress), and you can see what gentle loving people they are becoming. When people tell you to know your kids' friends, PLEASE PLEASE listen....they know of what they are speaking. Of course you may not know every single solitary friend your child has, but knowing the ones he/she spends the most time with is essential. When people tell you to just sit down and talk to your kids about any concerns, questions, hard stuff, yes this includes SEX....they know of what they are speaking. DO IT! If your child tells you all is well, but you know deep down inside it isn't....you don't have to nag and nag, but let them know you know and let them know that you are available to listen and help and love them. Realize that if they don't want to talk to you, they still may need to talk to someone; so help them find that someone. If they tell you they already know about sex, because they go to public school....PEOPLE, catch your breath, wipe the sweat from your brow and have that discussion immediately. When people say give your kids boundaries, they know of what they are speaking....kids look for protection and direction (even big ones), they need to know someone is looking out for them and cares enough to make sure they are safe. When people tell you to monitor your kids' screen times, they know of what they are speaking. This gets more challenging as they get older and as the devices get fancier, but it is still important. Go on family adventures, have game night, make goofy videos, hold a contest of lip sync battle...but make sure they aren't spending every moment of free time locked in their room on their phone. When people say make sure they get some exercise, they know of what they are speaking. Besides the obvious reasons exercise is good for you, it also releases positive endorphines and just makes you feel better. When people tell you that you will count heads even when they are big, they know of what they are speaking. We just went on a mega adventure, and I counted 1,2,3,4,5 about 557 times; and my oldest is officially an adult. When people tell you to let your children suffer natural consequences, they know of what they are speaking. This, my friends, is key in pretty much every aspect of life. Sure....occasionally rescue them, but let them see what happens if they make a bad choice or are not responsible. We also give ours an out. We have told them if they are in a situation they are not comfortable with or invited somewhere they don't want to go, they can always blame it on us. We have told them to call or text us if they are somewhere they shouldn't be....whether it was their "fault" or not, and we will come pick them up. Teach them about child predators and "bad" people and scary stuff, but do it appropriately according to their age. They need to know that there are a lot of good people in the world, but sometimes there are some that don't have their best interests at heart. Once they have shown they are responsible, give them an inch; but don't let them take a mile. I'm going to say monitoring whereabouts, instagrams, face books, text messages, twitter, etc. is EXHAUSTING; so only agree to let them have what you can actively monitor. When people say "That is the hardest thing you will ever do"...., they know of what they are speaking. Whether it is weaning them from nursing, sending them to kindergarten, helping move into a dorm, holding them when their tears won't end, watching them walk into their therapists office or grounding them "for life"....at that particular moment, it may the hardest thing you have had to do. There will probably be harder things, but for now; this is it. When parents have experienced something you haven't, don't pretend like you know....just be there for them. When people say go on dates with your significant other and make sure you have some alone time for yourself, they know of what they are speaking. There are seasons as a parent where this will be EXTREMELY difficult, and it is almost as much work to make time for this as it is raising quadruplets; but DO IT. You can have alone time in the car, at the grocery store or in the bathroom (well not if you live in a house with one bathroom, but again I digress). As for dates, those are essential as well. When our kids were little, we rarely went on dates. We couldn't afford a babysitter and a date, so we sometimes we would watch a movie or eat dinner together after they were asleep. Make time to talk with your partner, face to face, and don't always make it about the kids. On this same note, when you have children who need alone time; grant them some time for this. My oldest girls definitely need alone time, so we made a schedule this past year of when they could shut themselves in their room and when they were "forced" to hang out with us. ;) When people tell you to let your children see your emotional side, they know of what they are speaking. Let them see you sad or angry or overjoyed. Let them see you cry out of joy or pain. Let them see you show affection to your partner (G rated of course). Let them hear you exchange kindness and love language and kisses (even if they say eeeeewwwwww, which they will when they are in middle school). Let them see that your relationships with friends, your partner, your parents, etc. are important as well; and that it is okay to cry for a friend who is going through rough times or cry for a friend who is celebrating. When people tell you your kids need to do the dishes, their laundry, cook a meal, clean their rooms and sometimes a toilet or mop a floor; they know of what they are speaking. We will set them free one day, and they need to know these skills for the sake of their roommate or better half, as well as, their own. When people tell you that you cannot control everything they do, you have to give them wings and you need to let them succeed or fail on their own; they know of what they are speaking. This is so very difficult to do as they get older, but at some point; they will be an adult....at 18...good grief. They then don't "need" you for anything. They can make their own doctor appointments, vote, open their own bank accounts, borrow money, be tried in court as an adult, and the list goes on. You hope and pray that you have taught them enough about life and love and faith and being good, kind, considerate people who love others and don't judge; BUT....it is their life. With that right to life, they have to make decisions and choices. We are here to get that ball rolling, but it is ultimately up to them. Of course when your 18 year old still asks you to go to the doctor with her, you feel a little weepy that she still "needs" you in that way until she asks you for gas money; then your tears dry up. When she asks you for guidance or help in a difficult decision, you assure her that you will be happy to help her; but it has to be her decision....then you let her know that you will always be here for her...and she says "BRING IT IN" and gives you the biggest hug. Then you cry!
**Remember....this is me talking, my perspective, some of my personal experiences or experiences of parents who are close to me. These things may not apply to you, but you never know they may....there is my disclaimer. Also remember as parents, we are all in this together. Do your best to be helpful, encourage and be kind to other parents....sometimes you have no idea what their day has held or the shoes they are walking in.