In the early stages of parenting (I’m talking EARLY…first kid, early 20s, no clue what I was doing), I picked every battle. Everything was a heavy, deep decision that troubled my heart. From vaccines to diapering to which blender I’d use to make homemade baby food. I hadn’t slept in days and I couldn’t determine which decisions would have long-term effects and which ones didn’t really matter. Because with motherhood, it feels like every moment matters. After a few years of experience, I started to realize something: most of this stuff actually doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. If your child has a safe space, full belly, love and affection, and a warm place to sleep at night, everything else is small potatoes.
I teach kindergarten. I can’t tell you which kids were formula fed and which ones were breastfed. I can’t tell you which ones still sleep snuggled next to mommy and which ones sleep alone. I can’t tell you which student has an all-organic diet at home or which ones were potty trained early. Most nights, like clockwork, my nine-year-old crawls into bed with me.
I used to worry that something was wrong with that. Is she too dependent on me? Am I “spoiling” her somehow? I finally realized this: kids will get where they’re meant to be, but it will be on their terms, in their own time and space. I’m learning to roll with it. Now, I don’t overthink it. I just embrace the love and tender moments. Someday, I won’t know it, but it will be her last time crawling in my bed at night. She’ll be too grown up for that, and I’ll be missing her.