Dear Lonely Mom of Older Kids,
Remember when it was easy to post photos of your adorable baby, or messy toddler on Facebook? Remember how you could publicly bemoan sleepless nights, and kids pooping in the bathtub? How your fridge was full of magnets and fingerpaintings that were impossible to tell what they depicted? You could talk to your friends during playgroups, and get support during those naughty tantrums? Remember how you could Instagram just about any part of the chaos and it was still cute?
It’s not that easy anymore.
It’s hard to snap a photo that your middle schooler will approve of you posting on Facebook. You don’t really want to share about your son’s behavior when you take away the Xbox. You can’t really talk about the grades – good or bad – because your kid will be mad that you overshared. Your sleepless nights are caused by worry, not teething. You wonder about the influence of peers, not playgroups. Toys are now cars and electronic games.
There isn’t a lot of cute in the chaos. Instead, there is acne and braces and attitudes.
It can be a lonely time.
Oh, yes. There is a lot of joy, of course. You wouldn’t trade your kids for anything. But you just want to know that everything is going to be all right. That they’ll turn out ok. That they’ll grow up and make good decisions and all your hopes and dreams for them will come true.
And where are the other moms? Lots of them are back to work, juggling just like you. Most of them are in the car, driving their kids to soccer practice and track meets. All of them a lot more quiet these days. They are pulled in many directions.
I’ve noticed an conspicuous absence of mom-bloggers with older kids. A whole let less sharing and swapping of kid stories. Almost no teenage birthday party ideas on Pinterest. Mom conferences that seem to focus on young families.