18 Years: It’s Not Just Kids Who Grow

We get 18 years with our kids. 18 years that go by quickly at times and painstakingly slow at others. 18 years to instill character, morals and values. 18 years to create family memories and traditions before they leave us for college and to start lives of their own. 18 years of holding on while letting go.

Each milestone in our parenting lives teaches us and pushes us in a different way. It’s not just kids who grow, but parents grow, develop and change, too!  We tend to parent our first child in a different way than our second (or third or fourth!)  It’s only natural that we become a little more relaxed and more comfortable with our parenting skills. As we develop our parenting muscles, we develop a sense of confidence in our parenting and in our life choices that brings us a sense of peace. The one thing experience doesn’t bring us, unfortunately, is any more uninterrupted sleep!

I was 28 and 30 when I had our two children.  Though I had a lot of experience working with children as an elementary school teacher, I had no idea what I was getting into when our first daughter was born or how overwhelming it can feel to be responsible for the 24/7 care and feeding, health, safety and emotional well-being of a tiny little human being!  I was one of the first of my LA friends to have a baby and my family and many of my long-term friends from high school and college lived far away.  I felt like a newbie in a foreign land exploring parks, signing up for Mommy and Me and looking into preschools (yes, people in LA do start touring preschools when their child is a mere year old!)  I was lucky that my friend Krisiti referred me to Allison LaTona’s Babygroup classes, http://www.allisonlatona.com.  I learned a lot from Allison and from the conversations our classes sparked on a variety of parenting and early childhood topics.  On top of that, I also met some wonderful new Mommy friends!

My intention in launching this site is to create an ongoing dialogue and to spark open and honest conversations between parents.  I’d like parents to realize that they are not alone with their worries, concerns, doubts and questions.  We all need support and feedback to do well at anything in life and that goes for our personal lives as parents as well as our professional lives.  I learn so much from my friends who are parents and love sharing the tips I’ve gleamed over the years.  Why reinvent the wheel?  I’m lucky to have a great group of smart and savvy friends who have a lot of expertise and are kind enough to share their know-how with me (and now, via this blog, with all of you!)  And, yes, dads are welcome and wanted in this community, too!  Dads have a unique perspective on parenting and their own style of child rearing that I love to learn from.  In no other field are people as isolated as modern parents who tend to live in cities, suburbs or towns far from their families of origin or other support networks.  It really DOES take a village and if you look at many other cultures, women work together to share the work of raising children. But I’m guessing that if you are reading this, you don’t live in Israel on a kibbutz or in another type of utopian or communal community.

Welcome to Family Life! I hope that you will find support, encouragement and some daily inspiration here. We’re all on this ride of modern family life together!

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