Friday, May 16, 2008

Parenting = Sharing

I was talking to my grad assistant this morning about the kids and I had this realization about how a very big part of parenting is about sharing. We try from a very young age to teach our children the importance of sharing since it's something we all need to do in our daily lives, but I don't think I had realized how much as parents we end up sharing everything with our kids. Here are the things I was recounting today:

Food - unless we're all sitting down to a meal consisting of exactly the same thing, I have to share my food. Sometimes on weekends, I'll eat my lunch quickly at the island while they sit at the table with theirs so that I can eat my food without someone requesting a bite. It's not that I mind the sharing, it's just that it's EVERYTHING that mommy has seems better than what they have. Jason and I have even contemplated no longer giving them plates at dinner and seeing if they would just eat a good helping off of our plates since putting the food on their own plate doesn't always seem to work.

Bed - we're not a cosleeping family, but as soon as my kids are up in the morning, they want to be in our bed. And not just in our bed, in our bed and right up against us.

Sick days - When I was terribly sick with that stomach virus a few weeks ago, I couldn't even be sick by myself - I had 11 hours of being sick on my own and then Bryce had to share the day with me.

"Toys" - As the kids get older, we're having to share our "toys" more with them. They want to play on the computer, they want to talk to the same person I'm talking to on the phone, they want to listen to their music on the stereo, they want to watch their shows on tv, they want to wear the same lip gloss. (Bryce included!)

Space - While I always love hugging and cuddling with the kids, there are just times when you realize that your space is no longer yours. You sit on the couch and they are right there next to or on top of you. You go to sit down at the table and someone has already taken your seat and given you a teeny corner to sit on next to them. You're in the bathroom after a shower and they want to be right next to you asking about your lotion, your clothes choice, or your brush. You lay on the floor to play with them and instead of playing, they jump on top of you.

I think as a parent, you are prepared to become a parent by being told things about how much you love your kids and how you'll be tired and frustrated at times, but I don't think anyone tells you how much you end up sharing with them. Most of the time I don't even realize I'm doing it or even think twice about it, but then there are days when I just want to have something for myself. (And I think that's probably what working outside the home provides for me.)

It's funny if you think about it because you're always telling your kids to share or to take turns and then applauding them when they do a good job of exhibiting the behavior, but do they ever realize how much mommy and daddy are always sharing with them? Nope. Probably not until they have their own kids.

So I guess, I should tell my own parents "thank you" for all the sharing you did with us. Sharing your time, love, and probably your food and "toys" with us. I'm sorry I didn't realize but maybe it's all that sharing you did with us that has prepared me to share with my kids.

1 comment:

BJ said...

I read this post to Jenna and we just nodded our head and smiled! It is just like in our household. We actually have tried the no plate for Sydney at dinner and it works. She won't always eat meat when it is on her plate but she will eat it off of mine:> Go figure! Got to love them!

Here is to a few minutes of peace!!!