A Chicago mom enters a new era and takes a look back

 
 

By Marianne Walsh

Member of the Chicago Parent Blog Network
 

My youngest child, Joey, is turning 7 this week. Seven, according to the learned experts, is the “age of reason.” I am finding that this next phase of mothering includes an ousting from the Land of Little Kid Moms. I am too far removed from diapers and potty training to be welcomed into the twenty- and thirty-some group at school pick-up. My laissez faire attitude about not getting a phone call when Joey scraped a knee at recess clearly distinguishes me as someone who has either medicated her neurosis away or lost it after the fifth or sixth trip to the ER in one year.

If my kid is still alive after school, it is a banner day in my book.

A few of the young moms seem appalled. I don’t blame them. I would have been appalled, too. Back when I was trying to be all things to all people, I would actually go to every open house, call all the teachers the first week and pack carrots.

CARROTS, PEOPLE.

Now? I could not identify my kids’ teachers in a police line-up. And Fiber One Brownies have long since replaced fresh fruits and vegetables.

As an elder statesmom, I have made a few hard-earned realizations I would like to share with those who will undoubtedly not believe me until they have traveled the same path. But here goes anyway:

Ignore the Mommy Olympics. Comparing achievements is a fast track to alcoholism.

Outside of a real life-or-death medical crisis, most little kid problems aren’t worth the worry spent on them. It is critical to pace oneself. The real drama will be coming soon enough, and parents need to have enough left in the coffers to bring their A-game.

Just love them. I know this is a given, but I would do anything to go back and soak up every last second of being the all-knowing, beautifully divine figure in their lives. There are so many eye-rolls now (usually accompanied with the sole word designed to express displeasure….MOOOOOMMMMM) that my heart aches for one last simple “Mommy.”

That’s all I got. I hope the Land of Little Kid Moms occasionally allows me entrance into their glorious circle so I can hear about adorable Halloween costumes and sparkly shoes. I still appreciate those magical years of having little ones, and sometimes my heart aches to be part of it for but a moment.

Joey requested a dog bed for his birthday this week. With my oldest, I would have been practical and rigid: WE DON’T EVEN OWN A DOG, why on earth would you want a dog bed?

But with my baby?

I paid for Amazon two-day delivery.

I plan on milking the magic for as long as possible.

 
 
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