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Years ago, I can remember as a young mom being told, “Enjoy every minute, they grow up so fast.” It was hard to even imagine that, as it seemed just so far away. I will have to admit in the throes of poopy diapers, sleepless nights (young parents, sorry there are still sleepless nights but for different reasons), and temper tantrums, I was at times thinking, “When will this ever end?! “

Now as our oldest is starting college and moving into her dorm soon, one son is finishing middle school this year, and one son is starting middle school, I find myself saying, “Now, I get it! ” I am wishing I could turn back time or as my mom jokingly says, “We are going to put you in the dryer and shrink you!” You hope and pray you have done and are continuing to do everything right! You want them to grow up to be confident, independent and successful adults. Yet, the realization of letting go is so hard!

What I am learning throughout this process is your kids NEVER stop needing you and in some ways, they need you even more as they get older. You have to learn how to enjoy every minute of them growing up in whatever stage in life they are in. You have to be the one to show them how to deal whatever is thrown at them. Whether it is teaching them how to save money, washing their clothes, clean the house, cook, learn how to take the L or helping them deal with a difficult person.

You have to enjoy them being older. Whether it is watching a grown-up movie, appreciating music from the past (thrilled that my daughter loves Queen, Prince and Elton John)

or having a conversation about the serious issues going on in our world and listening to their opinions. It is so fun having an adult child and little adults in the making!

Now we are in the throes of helping our daughter prepare to go out into the world while getting our sons to their never ending sports activities. Whether you are a parent of young children or older children, the feeling of being pulled in a million directions never ends! There is still that ever growing to do list of chores and shopping while balancing it all with work and kids.

Your head is spinning! But you have to just stop at some point. Remember what I said earlier, “Enjoy every minute.” There are times you just have to say forget the laundry, the dishes, the errands or work. Have a funny or serious conversation with your kids, go see a movie or go out to lunch with them! Or even better work out with them or bring them to a class!!! (The trainer part of me had to come out or sooner or later.) Embrace them being older!

Most importantly, remember they NEVER stop needing you! They need your love and support. That is that is what will carry them through the hard times. They need your hugs and kisses (virtual ones work too!) It does not matter how old or big they are. They can be going off to college, towering above you (my 13 year old is 6 ft tall) or in their pre-teen years (middle school is just awful). Or they can be a middle-aged adult. I don’t know what I would do without my mom- love you mom!! Or my Dad when he was here with us – miss you everyday!!

Hug and kiss your kids!! Shower them with love!!!

Tamara Homolka, FITT-RX Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor

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