I was chatting with some moms the other day that have toddlers and reliving the terrible two’s (and threes!) for a moment through their stories.  The potty training struggles, the kid that didn’t want to eat any vegetables, the nights where kids don’t think sleep is a requirement...so thankful I’m past those years because that was A LOT of poop to clean up.  But...I will say...I am having my own moments as a mom and there are days when I’d take a poopy diaper change over all the feels I’ve currently got.

I know how to handle the toddler years - and maybe that is why I’m more comfortable in that area.  I even did daycare for about 8 years so I was consumed with toddlerisms at a level many wouldn’t be able to handle - other than teachers, camp counselors, and daycare providers.  (FYI - all of those individuals are saints and need a raise!)

The struggle though today isn’t even about rude teenagers or the attitudes - or the piles of food that are consumed on a daily basis.  Seriously, I need to just go buy stock in a grocery store! The hard part right now is the fact that I know the time I’ve got with my kiddo is quickly fading away...and I will soon be doing some moments with her for the last time.  We are in the final years of high school and this is one mom that is still in denial that I actually have a high-schooler!

(Cue the big ugly cry!)

This new phase of motherhood for me is once again coming without a book.  There isn’t a countdown anywhere on the web to follow with a week-by-week guide until your child leaves your home.  Trust me. I’ve done a lot of Google searching.  No one out there is able to tell me exactly how to deal with all these feels and know how to handle this balance my child is doing as she goes from dependent to independent.

I have learned something over the last few weeks though...and it is just a gut thing, but I thought I’d share this tip with all the parents out there that are wishing a book would land in their laps too.

Jessica Williams - TSM - Rochester
Jessica Williams - TSM - Rochester

Mom Tip #101:  Just say “yes”!

Here are a few examples of where I am saying “yes” more to my kiddos (especially if the teenagers ask):

  • “Mom, do you want to play a game?”
    • I don’t always want to - and there are some games I despise (cough, cough “Hi Ho Cherry Oh”) but that time and the conversations that take place during a game night is irreplaceable.
  • “Do you want to go on a bike ride with me?”
    • This is a tough one for me because I’m a bit competitive and I ride way faster and can go a lot farther than my kids.  Teaching them how to have a healthy lifestyle and providing them with that quality time though encourages me to slow down, enjoy nature with my kids (as long as there aren’t snakes!) and teach them that being active is fun.
  • “I’m going to play basketball. Do you want to shoot hoops with me?”
    • To be honest, I would rather read a book and sit on the sidelines...but I can use basketball (or any sport) as a great avenue to encourage my kiddo.  Teaching him that we aren’t perfect all the time and won’t make every shot is also a valuable lesson...and he can definitely learn that from my airball!
  • “Mom, I won tickets to a concert at Target Center! Want to go with me?”
    • First off...Yes!  Then I started to think about how I would feel with 4 hours of sleep and if it was possible to stay awake until 1:30 am while driving home from the cities.  I had to quit thinking about the negative stuff though and just treasure this unique opportunity with my kid. This was more than just a concert. This was 3 hours in the car where we could talk and 2 hours on the Metro in the cities on the way to Target Center.  As a parent of a teenager that works and is driving all over with friends...that is valuable time that I couldn’t pass up!

I know.  We can’t always say “yes” to everything our kids ask.  Our world would be even messier if there were no rules or boundaries taught and I would have the entire Lego aisle at Target in my home if that was the case.  But before you say “no” immediately to your kiddo, take a second and think about what might just happen because of a “yes”.  

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