Big Kids, Big Problems


big kid problemsAs I transition to being a mom of big kids, I keep hearing “little kids, little problems, big kids, big problems” in my memory. I remember talking to moms of older kids when my boys were younger and complaining about the lack of sleep and never being able to drink a cup of coffee in peace and they just nodded at me with the knowledge of what was to come. 

How can there be a problem bigger than not sleeping or figuring out how to keep this human alive? 

I am now a mom of only big kids (ages 6 and 10) and am eating my words. Now my problems are more like:

  • How can I keep them safe as they start to go out into the world without me?
  • How do we manage to protect them from COVID?
  • How do we guide them to be inclusive and upstanders in their community?
  • How are we going to balance school and all these activities?
  • How do we tame the technology beast?
  • How do we help them navigate social media?
  • How do we instill more responsibility without weighing them down?
  • When do we transition to the next car seat/booster seat?
  • How do we help them maneuver their social scenes? 
  • And of course, how do we get them to sleep more!

Whenever I talk to my other big kid mom friends, it feels like the blind leading the blind honestly. To be fair, many of these “problems” are based on personal family beliefs. 

For example, for the technology beast, we are a fairly low tech family. My solution to technology is to limit it as much as possible. Not brain surgery, but also not easy to always follow through with, if I’m honest. Thankfully our school supports no cell phones until 5th grade and limited screen time.

Regarding keeping them safe when without a parent, we trained both boys before kindergarten to know their home address, our real first and last names, as well as both parents’ cell phone numbers. 

Lastly, how to get them to sleep more? I’m still at a loss. We have yet to get our boys to sleep past 6 a.m. consistently. 

I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same, but I am getting worried for the teen years!

How do you manage your big kid problems?

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Maria is a full-time mom, teacher, wife, daughter, and sister, who feels pulled in too many directions! Her older son Michael took over 24 hours to be born, and at six-months-old was diagnosed with allergies to dairy, eggs, nuts, soy, shrimp, and wheat…all after exclusively nursing because she was SO SURE that would help him be a healthy kid. Luckily at age 1, he began to outgrow some of his allergies. Fingers crossed the others will soon follow because that plus a husband who doesn’t eat any veggies and Maria always battling her weight makes for three meals to prepare every night. Luckily, Christopher, her younger son, is a cooperative eater! As someone who has always been committed to making positive change, Maria uses her privilege and position as an educator and mom to work toward a most anti-racisit, equitibile, and inclusive world. Recently, Maria has even started getting up at 5am to workout in her basement. (Thank you pandemic living!) She is addicted to reading chicklit on her Kindle app in the dark, most Trader Joe’s products, and watching TikToks.


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