Monday, March 9, 2015

New Parents vs Veteran Parents

We took Olive to a fun playground when we were in Oxford last weekend.  She loved it and seems to be getting braver and braver around playground equipment.  It's an exciting milestone and equally terrifying.  She is too little to be afraid of things and seems to think she's a tiny invincible human.  Not so, baby girl.

We hovered around her making sure she didn't get hurt.  We held her hand, counted as she slid down the slide and were very attentive to her.  I caught her at the bottom of the slide and Kevin made sure he walked her to the top of the slide.  She went up and down the steps until her little legs were too tired to go a step further and we were right there with her the entire time.  We chased her around, we helped direct every step.  Kevin climbed and I snapped pictures of their adventures.  

We had a great time and so did she.  

Then, I noticed another set of parents on the opposite side of the playground.  They were sitting on the benches, talking away to each other and only occasionally commenting to their three children or intervening.  They would say things like help your sister or watch out for your little brother but they were not hovering.  They could see what was going on at a distance.  I could tell that they were completely comfortable in their role and felt no need to hover.

It made me wonder if their roughly 8 years of parenting caused them to mellow out or if they were always that mellow?  I imagine they've mellowed as a result of years of parenting and adding more kids to their crew.  Makes sense.  It would be exhausting to hover times three and the older ones would require much less safe guarding.  Their youngest was close to Olive's age and he was really good at taking care of himself.  It was interesting to watch and compare their kids in their different roles - oldest, middle and youngest.  The oldest was shouting about zombies, the middle was pretending with fairies and their youngest was a rough and tumble kind of kid.  It was fun to see a family several years ahead of us.

We all got braver the longer we were there.  

We gave Olive more space and she was able to do more.  She was becoming more independent right before our eyes.  I felt proud with a tiny hint of sadness all at the same time.  I was happy for her new skills, the squeals of delight and enjoyed watching the joy she had when she'd do something on her own, but my heart strings were being tugged as I was watching her grow up right before my eyes.  A little dramatic - yes, but true, nonetheless.  

 Kevin and Olive's confidence was overflowing at this point and he was trying to convince me that Olive was ready for the tornado slide.  I protested and suggested he go down with her.  He said he was too big, but he'd help her.  She climbed to the top of the slide with ease and I tried hard to talk them both down.  It wasn't happening so I prepared myself to catch her.  The first time, she came barreling down like a ball of tumbleweed and seemed confused about the whole experience.  I figured that was the end of that, but no.  She climbed right back up to the top and did the slide like a pro the second time.  So on her last time, I figured I'd snap a picture of her big smile when she came down just like she did the second time.  Well, she came down like tumbleweed again and it reminded me that she's still little.  

She still needs our help and our guidance and isn't ready to do everything on her own.
Thank goodness :)
 Here's to braver parenting and feeling more confident in our roles every day.
You can do it!!
What brave thing have you had to do recently??


  1. I'm a hovering mama! Jack is one of those wildly brave kids so I have to stay on him. The child has no fear. It looks like Olive was being very brave and having lots of fun!

  2. I'm a bit of a hover mama too. I try not to be because I don't want Caleb to be afraid of things, and I want him to be independent. But as my first child, it's hard not to hover!

  3. Love this! I'm not a hovering parent at all, but I think it comes from being a toddler teacher before I had kids. I loved your perspective.

  4. I'm sure years of parenting experience help you relax a little, but it's so hard right now! Especially when they are enjoying new experiences or are so fearless they'll head dive right off the steps (that was us this weekend!). I keep telling myself to enjoy the moments now!!

    Katie @ Cup of Tea

  5. I'm definitely the mom sitting down and having the big kids take care of the littles lol! Sounds like Hayden yelling zombie stuff, Allie and Krissy in fairy land, and Austin being rough and tumble! Glad Olive had fun at the playground :)

  6. Awe - sweet Olive coming down that. We are always so worried Olivia will fall and hit her head. I dont know if it will ever go away.

  7. We don't have any kids yet but based on the way I've been with Ms. Kay, I'll probably be hovering like a helicopter for a while. I think it's normal to hover with your first child and then loosen the reigns as you have more or as they get older. Kid of like that diaper commercial where with the first kid the mom is having everyone sanitize their hands before holding him/her and then the second kid she's handing him off to a dirty mechanic, ha! Y'all seem to be great parents and Olive seems to be one happy camper so keep up the good work!


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