Motherhood – Round Two

January 26, 2007 at 2:31 am 21 comments

Its very odd raising young kids again at my age.  I deliberately had all my kids in a lump, when I was young.  Pap and I thought we’d do a better job of parenting if we took it on while we were brimming with youthful vitality.  That was pretty much true.  I certainly got through the mountains of laundry, taxi service and tutoring with energy to spare when my kids were Jazz and Bri’s ages.  I’m not yet 50, so its not exactly like I’m toddling around on my walker to take care of these kids, but it definately feels odd.  The world has changed so much since the last time I was waiting on afternoon announcements and the cannon ball attack of a small kid just set free from classes. 

During round one, taking care of my own kids, everyone was about my age in the lobby at school.  We were picking up kids in our suits and high heels, mentally ticking off the number of minutes it would take to shove some macaroni and cheese down their throats before we ran off to gymnastics, karate or dance lessons.  We were 80’s Mom’s – bringing home the bacon and frying it up in the pan.  That’s how I learned to multi-task.  Back then I could supervise homework while I cooked dinner, planned a birthday party,  called around to organize a car pool and prepared the agenda for the next day’s meeting.   

Here in round two, everyone in the lobby is still my age.  In fact, we’re pretty much the same people.  We’ve traded in our business suits for wind pants or jeans, there are more grandfathers than grandmothers hanging out waiting for the little darlings… but there are many of us on round two of parenting.  I wonder if this new generation will come out better than those 80’s kids.  We grandparents are a smart, savvy group.  We know stuff and are not easily fooled. 


Entry filed under: Social commentary, The Grandkids.

ReRun – This Writer’s Life, April 2006 The Law of Attraction and Other News

21 Comments Add your own

  • 1. sunfloweroptimism  |  January 26, 2007 at 3:12 am

    Yikes, I just turned 50 and sent my second (and final) off to college this year. My daughter, graduating college this year, just committed the next two years to Teach for America; after that she has three years of law school. By the time she even thinks about having children I’ll be in a wheelchair!

    But my hubby and I did have a lot of fun in our seven years of marriage before we had the kids. Can’t complain too much 😉

  • 2. QuillDancer  |  January 26, 2007 at 4:02 am

    Only one child in my classroom lives with a grandparent this year. That is highly unusual.

  • 3. Shelli  |  January 26, 2007 at 4:38 am

    This nearly brought tears to my eyes and surely it gave me a lump in my throat. It is the sad but true reality of the times. I was only an 80’s parent for 4 years and a young one at that. Yet, here I am mostly raising my granddaughter in my not yet 40th year. I know plenty of grandparents who are actually raising their great grandchildren. Where did we go wrong with these children and, God help me, don’t let whatever it was happen with my granddaughter.

  • 4. katcampbell  |  January 26, 2007 at 5:39 am

    Sunflower – What fun to have had 7 years pre-kids! Pap and I have had them from the get-go (he’s my second husband), that influenced our decision to go ahead and finish our family.

    Quilly – Maybe things are turning around out there on the western end of our country.

    Shelli – I’m not so sure we did anything wrong, Grandgirls mom is the only one of my five that puts herself above everyone else.

  • 5. bobciz  |  January 26, 2007 at 8:20 am

    How well I remember all the running around with both kids to all those sports and extracurriculer activities. Don’t know how we did it and still managed to work. I don’t think I could do all that again now that I am on the brink of 60. But I would kinda like to find out what it would be like to spoil a grandkid. Neither of our two children has proven to be a breeder just yet.

  • 6. rel  |  January 26, 2007 at 2:08 pm

    I give you alot of credit. I’m not sure if I’d be up to the task again. On the otherhand, our only grandchildren live 2500 miles away. As I think about it, They would be better off living with us.

  • 7. Mr. Fabulous  |  January 26, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    I think you’ll be able to stay a couple of steps ahead of them 🙂

  • 8. Gela the city dweller  |  January 26, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    Oh, this is funny but it does beg the question. Does that mean that todays parents really suck big time if the gran-mammies and granpappies are now taking it on again?

    Is it that we’re not as good at multi-tasking and all that why we can’t have the job, pick up the darlings and do all that stuff?

    Or. Yikes! Does it means that the 80’s parents did a lousy job of passing on the parenting skills that would allow the today’s parents to do all the wonderful multi-tasking that the 80’s parents were able to do?

    Hmmm, now that I think of it? I think of my mom as a super-mother- was telling her this the other day. She cooks, bakes up a storm everytime, has big house parties without assistance from a caterer,doing it all herself, she crotchets, she knits, she sews (sew all my school uniforms and early work clothes plus that was her ‘second job’ and was in demand until she migrated to States). With all that she encouraged, supported. Managed to have two careers in her lifetime that she studied, trained for (not including the promising clothes designer one) But, how comes I’m nothing like that?

    Yep, it probably means that the 80’s parents while great at multi-tasking, did a not so good job at passing on the necessary life skills to THEIR children.

    So it’s OUR grandmothers (yours and my mom’s moms) who rock!

    lol. Not a criticism of you dear Kat (or my mom), just had to play devil’s advocate.

  • 9. katcampbell  |  January 26, 2007 at 5:07 pm

    Bob – Your great kids will eventually deliver a grandchild, and you are going to be a fantastic grandfather.

    Rel – If my alternative was to have them so far away, I’d have to keep things just the way they are.

    Mr. Fab – Look at you out visiting after a hard days work! I’m sure I will.

    Gela – LOL, what a shining star you are! I am often told by my children that they “can’t live up to my example”. Which is pure bunk. I think we 80’s mom’s, fresh out of the liberation movement, were trying to prove something that our children are smart enough to know didn’t need proving.

  • 10. Linda  |  January 26, 2007 at 7:24 pm

    Even though I am a bit younger, I can appreciate the situation you find a school. I was 33 before I had Sophia and will be 37 in April. I thought for sure that I would be the old mom at preschool when Sophia first started going, but I am probably the average age. People wait so long to get married now. I was only 23 when I got married, I just waited ten years to have kids.

    I am glad that your grandkids have you. I am sure that you make them smile, but I am sure that you also challange them to be the best kids that they can be.

  • 11. The Rev. Dr. Kate  |  January 26, 2007 at 8:32 pm

    I don’t know how folks who have kids close in age live through the experience. Mine are 10 and 1/2 years apart and don’t want the same things from me, one can drive and tie his shoes by himself and only one car seat is required. Blessings to you for embarking on another round at 50. By the time my youngest has children , I’ll be in my mid- 60’s! And my older one could make me a grandmother tomorrow (please, God, he has better sense than that!) Your grandchildren are fortunate to have the grace and the benefit of your wisdom, knowledge and love!

  • 12. Catch  |  January 26, 2007 at 9:34 pm

    I hear ya Kat. My grandchildren are here half the time. I do pretty well with them although I do get tired. But I can remember how much I loved being at my Grandmothers. I do think I have much more patience with the Grandkids.

  • 13. DaveM  |  January 26, 2007 at 10:34 pm

    I’m sure your calmness and coping ability will be picked up by the kids. Being older than their parents you’ll be more relaxed about things and take things in your stride. Possibly with all these skills you will be able to give them more time than a younger, less experienced mom would have been able to do. after as you get older you can adopt “the I’ve seen it all before” approach.

  • 14. Mimi  |  January 26, 2007 at 10:48 pm

    I am hoping this generation turns out better than the 80’s kids. Being in Navy housing I see a lot of them since most neighbors are newlyweds staright out of highschool. The dumb shit they do never ceases to amaze me.

    Anyway, I know you are doing a great job. Those kids are lucky!

  • 15. John Linna  |  January 27, 2007 at 3:41 am

    I moved to be near my grandkids but my children seem to be doing a fine job of the raising. WE JUST GET THE FUN STUFF.

  • 16. Stacy  |  January 27, 2007 at 4:24 am

    Take lots of notes, Kat. I’ll look to you for wisdom if I become a grandmother one of these days soon (god forbid).

  • 17. katcampbell  |  January 27, 2007 at 8:40 am

    Linda – You’re the perfect age to be starting your family. Past the reckless twenties and not yet the doddering middle ager like me.

    Dr. Kate – I’d have gone crazy with so much space between kids. Once I was in diaper mode, it didn’t matter how many were in diapers, once they were done – I was very done. I’m like that with everything, so having 5 kids in 7 years perfectly suited my personality.

    Catch – Tired is the operative word. They never stop moving!

    Dave – So true. Even though I don’t really have the time to sit and listen to every minute of their day, this second time around I know how important that is, and I make the time.

    Thanks Mimi, we all just muddle along doing the best we can don’t we?

    You and Betty are very lucky Dr. John.

    I got your back Stacy.

  • 18. guyana-gyal  |  January 27, 2007 at 7:19 pm

    I’ve noticed that grandparents are much more patient with the grands than they were with their own children. And they say things to the parents like, “Ohhhh, he’s little, don’t be so hard on him.” hahaha.

  • 19. Hammer  |  January 27, 2007 at 7:22 pm

    It all goes back to the old adage, work smarter not harder. 🙂 you sound like you are doing great.

  • 20. katcampbell  |  January 27, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    GG – That’s true. We’re too tired all the time to get overexcited about much.

    Hammer – Yeah, we’re doing well. Most of the time I think of these girls as my “do-over”.

  • 21. Shelli  |  January 28, 2007 at 12:14 pm

    Good point, Kat. I always am in need of reminding that I have 2 other children who are doing just fine.


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