Parenting in the “In-Between”

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Photo Credit: Kelsey Messinger Photography

I cherish this photo because who knows how much longer she will hold my hands like this, let alone stand this close to me!

 Dear Mom of Little Girls at the “In-Between” Stages,

How do you get past the eye rolling? How do you not smack her when she’s correcting YOU 24/7? How do you let go? How do you not let your heart break when she’s breaking? How do you get past the fact she’s no longer fitting in the children section clothing? Or when she asks if you can take her to Victoria Secret?!?

Am I the only one who wants to hit pause? I want to crawl into her bed at night and hold her. Give her a bath and wipe her little nose off with the towel while singing. I am missing that sweet new baby smell and rubbing lavender lotion on her before rocking her to sleep.

No one can prepare for what’s yet to come and what already has come! The ups and downs. The highs and the lows. Moms, all I can tell you is HOLD on TIGHT! Things I have learned is to chose your battles. Be open. Be accepting. Listen. Find another mom, grab her and RUN for lots of coffee and drink dates!

Every morning you will think, today I can do this. Every night you will go to bed thinking, how am I going to do this? How do you explain to her that she’s no longer the baby, but yet not a teenager, either.

She wants to grow up so fast. She wants to grab life and run with it! You, well you want to crawl into a hole with her and rock her to sleep! She wants Victoria Secret Underwear and pants with PINK on the backside. You want Dora undies and Old Navy leggings back. She wants to dye her hair blue and cut it all off. You want to put pigtails and bows in. She wants to do all Vegan Diet. You want her to just eat the peas you’ve made. She wants to hit the movies with her friends. You want to watch a movie with her. She wants to hide in her room all day and night. You want her to join you on the living room couch.

Meanwhile, she still wants you to watch her do her dance moves. She wants you to go to the water park with her. She will ask you from time to time to put her hair up in a messy bun. If you ask her to go to Starbucks with you, I promise it will never fail. She won’t say no. Once in a while, she’ll try to sneak into your bed in the early morning because “younger sister” is in her bed. She will cook with you or for you (WINNINGS!!). She will ask for your opinion on music and shows. And maybe, just maybe, she will grab you just to hug you or hold your hands just because. She still calls you Mama and deep down inside you are praying she still will for the next few years.

Together, you are both trying to figure out this in-between stage season. She’s not patient with you and you are trying to be patient with her. Together, you both are letting go of that baby girl while learning to embrace that not yet a teenager season.

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