I was putting away laundry tonight and I had two epiphanies. Have you ever heard that it is harder parenting girls as they age. Maybe you've heard the opposite about boys. My epiphany was this: that is a load of crap.
It's not that kids don’t get more challenging to parent as they age, but I was lying to myself that it is hard. Learning a new language is hard, parenting is challenging. Things that are challenging I absolutely want to do because they create struggle. That struggle is where you find yourself learning and growing. That struggle is beautiful! The struggle between a parent and a kid or a kid in their own life is really something to be treasured and enjoyed.
When a child’s life is put on display in front of their parents and they can actually see what's going on, that is such a great place to meet your kid and join them in their own struggle. It gives you an opportunity to really learn about them and learn about yourself in the same way. I've been telling people all this time that girls are harder and what I've been denying myself is the joy of that struggle with my own kids. When we struggle together, we learn so much more about ourselves and about each other.
Another thing that I realize is that with our kids’ struggles, we end up wishing that this part of their life would just get over with. That things would be much easier for them if they could just jump forward a year or two. Something that my dad always told me is, “Don’t wish your life away.” That is wisdom that he got from one of his mentors. I take that knowledge with me everyday. I tell that to people myself. When you are wishing that something would just get over, maybe it's a business deal, maybe it's a week at work, maybe it's just the entire year, don't wish your life away.
So I said I had two epiphanies, and the other one is really important. Everybody should do more housework. Housework is great, right. Because I'm standing there in my closet putting away my laundry and all of a sudden I had this moment of clarity about my daughter and how her struggle has really allowed me to connect with her on a really deep level and it is great. We have had hour long conversations for the last two weeks and I have learned so much about myself and about the strength that my kids have. It validates what I have been doing as a parent for a long time. It really allows me to see my daughter for who she is – a strong, intelligent kid who has problems just like everybody else, just like me. And she is telling me that my own admissions of struggles are helping her. It is awesome to sit there with my daughter and struggle together and to grow together and to get better together. Keep struggling, keep growing!