Facing the Inevitable
Are you qualified to be a parent?
I'll begin this letter at the end. After months spent talking with moms and dads of teens, collecting your concerns and curating these articles—from navigating the recent trend of co-ed sleepovers to how what we say about ourselves affects what our kids see in the mirror—I sat down to write this note, and I had no idea what to say.
When confiding this block to my mentors, one responded immediately with: "Easy. Just write 'I don't want my kids to grow up. Ever.'" Eureka! And so here I am, saying exactly that.
You see, the main conflict in my house tonight was attempting to get my 5- and 2-year-olds to put on their PJs (a feat that culminated with much drama related to unbending knees). After you recall those days in your own homes—fondly by now, I'm sure—I suspect your next thought might be: "What? She doesn't have teens?" Nope, I don't. And, if you were to ask me whether I'm qualified to edit a magazine on raising them, I'd say, "Nope, I'm not." But, in all sincerity, I do believe that my response to the question, "Are you qualified to be a parent?" would be the same. "Nope." (Are any of us, really?)
Recognizing that before I know it, I'll be using unbending knees as a metaphor for any of the trials of the challenging teen years, I'll relish the pajama wars and the fact that my boys still like to cuddle with me. And since the goal of parenting is to raise happy, functioning members of society, I'll work toward raising my sons to one day have better things to do than kiss their mommy.
Thanks for letting me take this journey with you. I want to hear all about your conflicts—and your happy times, too—so please join me in conversation over on Facebook.