What Season of Parenting Are You In?

seasons of parenting

Parenting is a journey with seasons that fade and change with more of a whisper than a bang. You will spend days or weeks or months wondering if your baby will ever learn to sleep through the night and then several nights will pass without interruption. The season of late night feedings are over. You will celebrate and then realize the dark and silent moments rocking and feeling that warm breath on your neck are also over.

I have straddled more than one season of parenting for years now. My oldest is a teenager in high school who talks about learning to drive next year, while my youngest is not quite three and has just transitioned out of diapers. I have reached many milestones four times over and with each achievement I celebrated and silently took note.

The other day I had a phone conversation with a Mom who has one teenager at home and another away at college. She spoke about hating the season of parenting she was in because the holidays were not the same. The magic of Santa was gone and her traditions were changing because her family was changing.

I held my breath as she spoke because I knew she was foreshadowing what it will mean to parent in the years to come. She is the Ghost of Christmas future. The one I fear the most.

I actively choose not to focus on what will be lost or what seasons have already passed. Instead, I try to appreciate and love the season I am in with each of my children. I love being able to watch late night movies with my teenager. I relish seeing my almost 8-year-old give me the thumbs up after making a basket or scoring a goal.  I beam each time my six-year-old daughter asks me to wiggle her teeth to see if they are ready to come out yet. And my heart soars when way my youngest squeaks out a new word or discovers something for the first time.

But, it is not always easy balancing the needs of children with such vast age differences. I sometimes feel torn between all their needs. Family outings are becoming more rare because the oldest is not always interested in what excites the two-year-old. I am learning when to push and when to let go. I am learning that parenting and our relationships with our children change with each season, but there is one constant… and that is the love.

From baby breath on our neck to carpooling a group of teenagers, love is what lingers and binds us through each season.

So, what season of parenting are you in?



Nicole Dash is a writer, blogger and business owner who lives in the suburbs outside Washington, DC with her husband and four children. She started her career as a journalist and copy editor. She also managed public relations and corporate communications for a national franchise company, but in 2006 started a child care business. In 2012, she launched Tiny Steps Mommy, a lifestyle and parenting blog that quickly gained a following and connected her to an expansive group of women-owned businesses. In 2013, she started a digital marketing consulting business that focused on growing community in an authentic way. Through those connections she was inspired to open Play, Work or Dash, a coworking space that also offers onsite childcare up to three hours per day. It is where like-minded professionals pursue their business goals with the extra level of support parents desire; a place where you "bring your kids to work." She is an active member of the Washington, DC blogger community. She has been published on The Washington Post, Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Mamalode and Pop Sugar.




  1. My children are only two years apart, so our seasons will never range too far. Although since they are still both under 5, there are milestone points where they feel like extremely different seasons. Our son, being older, has already mastered some of the thing we still give his sister praise and grace for. We have to explain to him that he may not remember it, but we did the same for him at that age, AND there are some things he can do NOW that she can’t. I look forward to the season when the gap doesn’t seem as large, but also enjoy that right now, they each get their own separate victories. BONUS: We are almost done with diapers!
    Heather Rebekkah recently posted…..but What if my Best isn’t good enough?My Profile

  2. Blanca Alvarado says:

    Enjoy each season( the good and the bad), because they zoom by so quickly that before you know it,they’re all grown up. I love the way you are living life in the moment,thus enjoying it to the fullest.

  3. I am loving the season I’m in right now – my kids are 7 and 4, they still love hugs and holding hands, and they can play together while I make dinner (or blog!). The sibling bickering drives me crazy, but overall I am enjoying this one… Great post.
    Sarah | LeftBrainBuddha recently posted…My Word of the Year. {And Why I Totally Think It Should Be “Frog.” Seriously.}My Profile

  4. I felt that keenly this Christmas when I realized my kids are past the toys and Santa stage. While we had a nice, relaxing holiday I miss the excitement. My three are all close in age so once the stage is gone, it’s gone.

  5. I love this!! I’m terrified of the ghost of Christmas future, too! Miss you. (Also, love the pics!)

  6. So very true , Nicole! I feel very much the same in our house. Family outings are just different now, but still very fun and full of love. Hope you are well, your kiddos are adorable.

  7. With a four-year-old and a six-month old, I am still very much in the early stages of parenting. I am trying to enjoy each season as they come but sometimes I find myself jealous of friends with older children…they seem to have a little more freedom. 🙂
    Karen recently posted…The Culinary Perils of RentingMy Profile

  8. What a sweet post! It’s nice to come across other bloggers that write about the love they have for their children and appreciation for the time they spend with them. I have a 2 and 3 year old, so I’m always in the same season, and I can imagine the challenges that come along with having kids in vastly different life stages! http://www.tiny-trots.com/