You’re Only a Child Once

Forever blowing bubbles

Article by Wendy McCance

Ever since I got divorced, I have been hypersensitive to what the kids lives are like growing up.  Your only a child once and I want to do all I can to insure that their childhood is happy and full of great memories.

Once you are an adult, there are so many responsibilities that crowd your life.  Being a kid should be about play.  Of course the future is important.  Getting good grades, participating in activities and really preparing for your future is part of the responsibilities of growing up.  As far as I am concerned though, there is no other time in your life that you can have moments of complete freedom where the heavy responsibilities of living your life don’t weigh you down from having some mindless fun.

I have always felt guilt over not being able to give the kids the fairytale childhood.  The one where the mom and dad stay happily married, live in a nice house in a nice town and money is easily come by.

Of course my childhood vision of having a family didn’t turn out the way I had thought it would.  Life can throw you some rough curve balls.  You just have to stick it out and make the best out of your situation.

I lucked out in that I have a nice home now in a nice town.  My new husband treats the kids and I wonderfully and although money isn’t easily come by, it has been steadily improving as the economy has begun to bounce back.

This weekend, I took a moment to reflect on where we had been and where we are now.  I thought about what the kids were doing this weekend and it made my heart happy realizing that they are doing what kids should do.

On Friday the kids came home from school and did their homework.  Later in the evening there was a dance that the younger kids went to and a sleepover with a friend.  On Saturday, the girls went ice skating and their brother played football with the neighborhood kids.  All of the kids will get to visit with some family later tonight.  They will have dinner and a sleepover and get a chance to have some bonding time with their relatives.  Sunday, the homework will be finished and the bedrooms will be straightened.  The girls are thinking about going ice skating again.  I have plans to cook a big pot of chili with one of the kids.

This is the childhood that I wish for every kid.  Time with friends and family, fun activities and a chance to just do what a child does best — play!

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Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

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12 thoughts on “You’re Only a Child Once

  1. Just loved this entry–playing, spending time with family, knowing they are loved. It IS the dream childhood! My mother said that kids know when they are loved and being loved is what gives them strength to grow up and cope with life. As my three girls get older, I see how wise my mom, their grandmother is. Love really is the great commandment Jesus said it is. 🙂

  2. I had a difficult childhood so it was very important that my kids had a better upbringing. I married a great man and we’re still together after 32 years. Money is decent and we live in a nice home. But things are far from perfect.

    I believe when it’s all said and done, the most important thing we can do for our children is to make sure they know they’re loved–unconditionally. To accomplish this we must spend time with them. Listening, validating their hurts and helping them realize their dreams–respecting them as human beings.

    Sometimes, actually more like OFTEN, my kids were annoying little turds and I just wanted them to grow up or stop being selfish or just chill. I wasn’t a perfect mother by any stretch. But, unlike my childhood, my kids knew and still know, without a shadow of a doubt that they’re loved.

    From what you’ve said, Wendy. I believe your kids know too. 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing something so personal. Yes, my kids know I love them. They will say, “yeah, I know mom, you say it all the time.” It doesn’t matter. I’m going to say it a million more times. 🙂

  3. Wendy, as a divorced Mom (have been single since my son was 4, he’s now 11), I share your sentiments. The initial worry and guilt over not being able to provide our children with a traditional family life can be painful. However, over time, as you have come to realize, there really are so many precious gifts for our children in the experience of adversity. I discovered that as I found peace with the past, my son also was able to move forward with a different outlook. But as long as I emotionally beat myself up for choosing the partner I did, and carving out a less than ideal path because of that choice, both my son and I stayed stuck.
    I applaud you for reflecting on the beautiful experiences your children have access to. I heard a great deal of gratitude in your reflections – how wonderful!

    • Hi Liz, thank you so much for the beautiful comment. It really does make a difference when you are able to forgive yourself and make the most out of what is in front of you. My kids are very strong and can deal well with change. I know that as adults they will be much more prepared for the changes their life will bring. Even so, it was painful to get used to something so different than what I hoped would be their life when everything fell apart.

  4. I had a great childhood, and I think my girls did too well I hope they did and as for one parent families most of those who are one parent families do not chose to be such they don’t think it will be cool or great or easy to raise a child on my own…………which is why I get annoyed when I hear anyone say they think raising a child alone is easy………….

  5. HI Wendy, I love your writing that is so true you are only a child once. I am so glad that I have so many wonderful memories of my childhood. Even though my mother and dad were not together our dad played a big part in our lives. We always went to visit him and he was always there for us.

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