Parenting On the Side

It's 7:05 and my three children are playing with the neighbors in our backyard.  Their voices carry through the screen door while I sit in another room, occupied with reading -- and now writing this post.

I'm here if I'm needed, out of sight if I'm not, and within hearing range just in case.

It's a new development, this in-the-next-room parenting, one that is ushering a phase of life I couldn't even envision when I was changing diapers and hoisting toddlers onto my hip.  When I feel adrift, like I'm not pulling my weight, I remind myself that my children are doing exactly what they're supposed to be doing at these ages: growing into greater responsibility, social maturity, and independence. 

I'm trying to do exactly what I'm supposed to be doing at this age, too: watching, guiding, praying, and incrementally letting go.

Parenting on the side.  I'm enjoying this development.


  1. I will admit that, in days when I'm in desperate need of a nap, it is a joy to retire with the baby while my almost-five-year old and six-year-old watch an appropriate tv show. (My husband works from home and keeps an ear out.)

    1. I understand this entirely, Brandee. You *deserve* naps on those desperate days, and I'm glad you can take them. :)

  2. I am shifting into this phase too. I have to say I love it. As much as I want more kids, I kind of dislike the idea of going back to the constant dependability that is required of an infant. Course, I'm sure once I have one and know it's my last baby I will probably see it differently.
    Angela @ Stepping into Motherhood

    1. When I see a mother with a newborn, I love observing. (And holding? Yes, please! I'll always hold a baby to breathe in that amazing baby scent!) But, like you, I'm loving the freedom and flexibility afforded by this next stage. In other words, I don't mind handing the baby back. ;)

      I was grateful for that stage then, and I'm grateful for this stage now. One more reminder to be in the moment.


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