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parts of your heart, watching kids grow, heart growing pains There are those moments in parenting when you are reminded (like a swift jab to the heart) that having kids is like having parts of your very own heart, pumping and thriving outside of your body. You can literally feel those outside heart parts beating in your own heart (I don’t think analogies get more confusing). Usually those reminders come with heart pains, from watching our little humans grow and experience things we’d much rather shelter them from.

I have been experiencing some severe heart pains, watching as my my kids grow and learn to deal with other kids who may not be treating them very well (more specifically, being mean and hurtful). All I want to do is jump in and shelter them (forever), but I know in my (real) beating heart that they need to experience these things and learn how to deal with people who may be unkind to them and stand up for themselves. Because sadly, I won’t always be there to shelter or intervene. So what do you do, other then cry on the inside as you feel all the emotions that wave over them (plus your own wave of emotions) and then run to hug them (when it’s all over and the other kid is gone) to tell them how amazing they handled the situation and how proud you are of them. Of course if a situation ever gets violent or to a place where my child is obviously struggling to handle, I am like Flash Gordon breaking things up before anyone has a chance to blink.

I realized the other day (it was a super sad day for all of us) that when it comes to my 4 year old, we are mostly past the situations where I take the lead in the moment and explain how we act (respond or talk) towards others even if they are unkind. I need to watch and let him handle situations on his own (and be ready to jump if he needs me) and afterwards remind and strengthen him on how we treat others they way we want to be treated even if they are unkind and how we can only control how we react and respond, not how others treat us. And holy hell, it’s a new kind of hard – a heart hurting, I want to carry my kid all the way home and rock him to sleep at night and never ever let him go, hard.

© 2013, HEART & HABIT. All rights reserved.

· June 19, 2013 · in Daily,Real Life


{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

rachel del grosso June 19, 2013 at 2:31 pm

such a heartfelt post. my baby boy is only 3 months old and already i think about all that he will go through when he is older, and how much i wish i could keep him as sweet and naive as he is now.


Heart and Habit June 20, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Me too, I wish I could put him in a bubble forever!


@fleurishing June 19, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Oh wow…I have 11 month old twins and know the "heart pumping outside body" feeling all too well. It’s amazing + scary, all at once. I cringe at the thought of them experiencing the meanness the world can dish out, but know it will come one day.


Heart and Habit June 20, 2013 at 1:06 pm

It’s so sad that it’s a part of life, that it has to be a stage in life at all.


Janelle June 19, 2013 at 5:34 pm

This is one thing I think I will have a really hard time with when I finally do have kids. Not being a helicopter mom will be key!


Heart and Habit June 20, 2013 at 1:05 pm

It’s true, I just really want to make sure he has the skills to stand up and defend himself – so I can feel a bit more at ease when he’s at school without me.


Jacki June 20, 2013 at 10:29 am

Ugh, yes. I feel you. I had my first "want to set this other kid straight" moment last weekend. We were at a birthday party and my 4-yr-old stepson and a slightly older boy bumped into each other in the bounce house. From that moment on the other boy had it out for my kid, who came out of the bounce house sadly telling me that he said sorry right away and didn’t mean to but the other boy wouldn’t believe him. That kid went on to taunt him and kick toys out of his hands, just generally act like a jerk to him. I tried to steer them towards an activity they could both enjoy without being too helicoptery, but my blood was BOILING. His sad little face just made me want to cry.


Heart and Habit June 20, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Oh no! That’s so sad, it’s so hard SO HARD. 🙁


Jacki June 20, 2013 at 2:14 pm

SO. HARD. 🙁 Because we can’t just fix it for them always.

He is a fiesty little chap – but his heart is so, so soft and tender. I hated seeing him so dejected and knowing it’s going to happen throughout his life and I can’t fix it all. Ugh. I don’t quite always have the "heart outside my body" feelings – and I don’t know if that makes me a bad stepparent? – I love him to bits but there is a different type of relationship with us – but seeing him happy makes me happy and seeing him sad makes me so sad.


Heart and Habit June 26, 2013 at 12:58 pm

No way, you sound like such a caring and loving step parent!


Paola January 3, 2014 at 7:47 pm

Your blog is hands down my favorite blog! Which makes it really hard to choose a favorite post since I’m just glad your willing to share bits and pieces of your amazing family and kiddos with us readers. But if I had to I’d say that "Parts of Your Heart" really resonated with me and I also loved seeing your #HANDHCALENDAR on Instagram!


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