Thursday, September 24, 2009

At Least I Can Still Make Charts

When I was a first year teacher, this chart was often presented to us. It was kind of used as a 'this too shall pass' kind of motivator. In general, it was pretty true. By the 2nd semester, I began to feel like I was at least treading water and no longer drowning.

So, as you've probably guessed, I kind of assumed that parenting would be similar. I'd start out just trying to survive but would eventually, say around 6 months of age, feel like I was getting the hang of it. I mean at the least by one year. Oh how wrong I was.

See the thing is, I've since learned that my kid, unlike students in a classroom, continues to change, grow, and develop. I'm not saying students didn't do that too but they only did it so far in my classroom before they moved on to the next grade. As a parent, I've got Linus for the long haul. I'm his mother, teacher, supervisor, and friend for the long haul. I never get to pass him on to the next grade.

Thus, I offer to you the revised chart of parenting attitude phases.

I'm just hoping that we'll eventually reach that rejuvenation phase. And I mean without the aid of any substances prescribed or otherwise.

We will, right? Right? Bueller?

(Chart borrowed from


Chelsea + Jonathan said...

There is research generally supporting the idea that parents have better life satisfaction than non-parents, if that helps :) So I guess it gets better.

I also like the teacher graph. Do you think it applies to year-round calendars too?

Jo from Dixie said...

Just remember, kids continue to change every step of the way, but it only gets better. Now that I'm on #3, I've finally gotten the message so many of my older mom friends have tried to get across to me all these years...sit back and enjoy every stage. Now, that doesn't mean I don't still want to pull my hair out some days, but I've learned to laugh at things that used to make me scream. It will get better, I promise. Love the chart, too.


Midwest Mom said...

I got over the hump (or climbed out of the graph valley?) once my kids were potty trained. There was something about them being able to do that independently that made my life satisfaction meter level out.

Good luck with it, sweetie. (It's okay to take time off if you need it. -- preferably with another mom of a toddler you can commiserate with.)

- Julia

Grump said...

The phases are very similar only they take longer. Survival is pretty much birth till seventh grade.Disillusionment begins at that time and continues through Senior year of high school. Rejuvenation starts when they move out to college but only if you've done a good job up to that point (potty training and all that)! Reflection is when they are really on their own and the anticipation kicks back in when they call home with "Hi dad, or should I say GRAND-PA."

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

It gets better--Rejuvenation happened for me when my kids turned 5. These are glorious years!

@juniandpip said...

I think the marriage curve works a lot like the first-year teacher curve, too. As for parenting, I think it's actually the same curve, but it happens in smaller increments (sometimes over minutes or hours) and not always in such a linear fashion. There's always those beautiful moments where your toddler does something brilliant and you get that glimpse of rejuvenation -- usually just before they do something stupid or exhausting again.

Miche said...

HAHAHAHA OMG that had me laughing so hard! That was so great. Oh I'm crying! Abby, that was way too funny; just loved it; thanks!