Monday, March 16, 2009

FIFO Parenting

Who knew that a little "two truths and a lie" game would give me three blog posts? This week I'll give you the whole story on my three facts presented in the post I wrote for the Daisy Chain blog tour.

A good lie always contains a kernel of truth. The truth is that I was an English major. That's what I declared when I applied, I made it official when I enrolled, and it never changed. However, my junior year I began to craft my own business minor -- taking all the foundational classes that Business majors take, such as accounting, marketing, business law and management. They were interesting classes, but they didn't really help me get a job.

I took the easier non-business accounting (called Ag accounting at my once agricultural-based college Texas A&M), and I enjoyed it. For whatever reason, I love the terminology, and wrote a post last year about FIFO and LIFO in regards to stress.

Lately I've been thinking about FIFO parenting.

Amanda is my first-born child. For many years, she was all alone in the Snapshot family, and then in May when she was almost six years old, Kyle arrived on the scene.

But you know what happened at the end of August? That first-in (FI) firstborn was also the first-out (FO). She went to school all day. Things changed. Although my parenting philosophy was still the same, without a doubt Kyle's experience as a child have been different than Amanda's were.

My husband and I are both firstborns, and we often discuss how different life was in our homes once we moved out and went to college.

When Amanda leaves the house for college, Kyle will only be in the seventh grade. I'm sure that when Amanda comes back home, she'll feel like things have changed a lot as well.

But just as with my stress theory, there are benefits to this strategy. I was able to focus on Amanda while she was young, but she also got my full attention as the "first" to do so many things as she got older (from soccer to sleepovers).

Once Amanda leaves, Kyle will have our full attention, and we'll be able to tailor our lifestyle to his preferences (and that glorious freedom that having only one-child brings).

For more on the whole truth behind my prom dress and the crash with a football player, stay tuned. . . .


Martha said...

I am so happy that I was right on this one! Have a great day!

Katrina said...

When I went off to college, my brother (6 years younger than me) had a really rough time adjusting to being "left behind," and I often wonder what it will be like when that day comes for Camden & Logan...

I agree with you though -- about being able to focus on both kids in a widely-spaced situation. The one thing I've found, though, is that since I'm 7 years older than I was when Camden was little, I'm just plain tired -- thus, a shift in my parenting when it comes to Logan!

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

There is 5 years between my oldest and youngest but since we will (probably) be homeschooling all the way through I'm not sure how much our lifestyle will change when the first 1 flies the coop. And since he's only 5 I prefer not to think about that day. ;)