Just when I think I have parenting down, the universe says: Hold my beer. Is it weird my five year old feels like a stranger to me some days? I know it’s not just me, Brandon is feeling it too – and we are dumbfounded at how quickly Annabelle is growing up. There is a certain struggle with adapting to the next stage of childhood. With new behaviors, attitudes and habits, Annabelle is rapidly changing and I can’t keep up.
We’re now entering unchartered territory… next stage of childhood
After doing a bit of research, I realize Annabelle is entering a new stage of childhood: school age. That’s unchartered territory for us as parents over here. Despite my experience as an elementary school teacher, no amount of time spent in a classroom can prepare anyone to be a parent. One moment you have the nicest kid in class and the next you find out she isn’t so kind after all…
It seems like just when I thought I figured out infancy, Annabelle became a toddler. Then overnight she went from toddler to preschooler…
Did we teach her these behaviors? Is she getting in trouble at school because of something we did (or didn’t do)? Is this our fault? HOW CAN WE FIX THIS?
Watching my oldest morph out of a sweet toddler stage into an eye-rolling almost kindergartner is tough on my heart. She isn’t little in the same way anymore. Her voice is matured, her vocabulary explosive, and the defiance in her “No” upon being asked to do something is frustrating. Annabelle was always polite, respectful, and sweet – but now there’s an undeniable sassy tone. An obstinance in her attitude. Lately she has been shocking us – those moments have an impact on us as parents because we immediately question ourselves. Did we teach her these behaviors? Is she getting in trouble at school because of something we did (or didn’t do)? Is this our fault? HOW CAN WE FIX THIS?
The past couple days I’ve struggled with a lot in terms of parenting. I’m feeling lost, but actively trying to figure out how to navigate this new stage of her (our) life. I can’t figure out who Annabelle is going to be… and I don’t know if I’m supposed to be able to know that right now.
Annabelle is developing rapidly before our eyes and I want to make time slow down… I know these moments are difficult, but fleeting and soon to be nothing but a memory. All of that combined is overwhelming. There’s too much to understand… too much to learn… too many trials/errors… and not enough caffeine, lavender, and wine in the world to accompany parenthood.
It’s hard when they are growing up and everyone has their own personality hard-wired inside of them. All three of my kids are different and I have one who is always in trouble. You can’t blame yourself. They grow out of phases and often-times the ones who are always in trouble are there because they are extremely intelligent and challenge authority. She will grow up and conquer the world! You’re a great mama, keep on going and your daughter will grow into a fabulous adult!
Aw, while I can’t relate as a parent, I can definitely relate as a teacher! It’s such a pivotal time when children make the shift to school age – all a part of development, and you’re doing great! 🙂
Sarah Lindner says
The school age is definitely a tough stage for any parents. Don’t be so hard on yourself you’re doing better than you think – plus she is just gorgeous!
Jordan Burgess says
Oh Mama I am with you 100% on this! My daughter is 4 and started pre school this year. I worry everyday about how she will act or react to certain things at school BC I know how she does at home. I too blame myself and husband sometimes for her behavor. When she lashes out I don’t even know who she is. It’s so hard to watch somedays. Her becoming someone totally different. Her growing out of this sweet toddler stage and into the tough attitude stage. I try to take it one day at a time and I try to talk to her about manners and being kind and nice. I don’t know if it will help or get through to her but I can’t say that I’m not trying! There is always something difficult in each stage they go through. You are doing the best you can and that is enough! Motherhood is the hardest job on earth! I hope you can find some relief or comfort knowing you are so not alone! I think school age is going to be a tough one!!!! Thank you so much for sharing and being real! ❤️
Jamaria Johnson says
Aww! I’m not a Mom yet, but I can only imagine once that time comes for me I will feel the same way.
Tanvi Rastogi says
I can only imagine … bringing up kids is a full time job for which you have no prior education. She is adorable though.
If you find any books that are helpful with this…. let me know! My 4.5 year old is the same way and I jump right to the “what can I do better” conclusions! We’ve got this!
Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood (available through amazon). Depending on your parenting style, you may find not all techniques are doable, but the ones that do work for can get you through the rough spots.
Laura || Walking in Memphis in High Heels says
You’re doing a great job! It’s so hard when they begin changing their personalities but it’s new territory so we’re not sure how to curb it or if to curb it.
I’m not a mom but this sounds so confusing and frustrating! Hang in there mama!
The struggle is totally real but I think you are a great mama! We are all doing the best we can, these developmental stages can be difficult but hang in there!!
cute & little
I’m not a mom, but can imagine how tough this must be!
Thank you for such honest feedback!! It’s so crazy how much children change, grow, and really become their own little people. I never thought about how different it must be to have a school aged child vs. toddler!
Laura Leigh says
You are just the sweetest mom ever! I hope you know that. And I hope you know you’re doing an amazing job!
xo Laura Leigh
Okay your gals are the sweetest!!
Meghan at megmcsharry.com says
If it makes you feel any better, I was literally a devil child – constant eye rolling, picking on my brother, you name it. She will grow out of it so soon! I thank my parents for being strict with me.