As the Mother of a 5-Year-Old…


As the mother of a 5-year-old, I am required to know which dinosaur is my favorite (it’s brachiosaurus, if you’re interested…I like the long neck).

I can sing the PJ Masks theme song, but I prefer the Super Why theme song.

I’m often invited to play, and, almost just as often, told I’m doing it wrong.

I’ve learned that 4 is the magic number of good, deep breaths I need to take in order to shake off most irritating moments.

I relish in the super-tight hugs that are my son’s self-proclaimed “specialty,” and delight in the feel of his head sinking into my shoulder as we read together.

As the mother of a 5-year-old, my refrigerator is filled with artwork: self-portraits and doodles of volcanoes, sticker collages, and creations made solely with tape and pipe cleaners.

My otherwise clean and tidy house always has a slight odor of urine to it.

My cooking is most appreciated (ok, only appreciated) when it involves pasta.

As the mother of a 5-year-old, I try to engage in every conversation…I really do. But somewhere around the 47th chat of the day (usually around 7:45 a.m.), I’ll admit to tuning some things out.

I think about Kindergarten looming ahead of us. About how I’ll be letting go of so much once he walks through that door. About whether or not I’ve taught him enough, prepared him enough. Not for math or for reading, but for being kind and confident and good.

As the mother of a 5-year-old, I tie shoelaces now (double-knotted, of course!).

I (mostly calmly) fend off his frustration-driven hits, focusing on his emotions and reminding myself these tantrums are thankfully growing more rare.

I marvel at the genuine conversations I can hold with my son (mostly during car rides) about any matter of topics from God to superheroes to ants to…well, basically, you name it – we’ve probably discussed it.

I research how to make a monster costume for Halloween and frosting recipes for his birthday cake, thrilled and even honored that he hasn’t requested store-bought yet.

As the mother of a 5-year-old, I make apologies when I mess up and I forgive when he does.

I watch him grow and change and learn.

I hold him to me…and I let him go.

As the mother of a 5-year-old, I wouldn’t change a single exhausting, lovely, frustrating, wonderful thing.

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Elizabeth Bettencourt holds a BFA in Theatre and a BS in Secondary English Education from the University of Rhode Island, a Masters in Reading & Literacy from Endicott College, and a Doctorate in Education from Northeastern University. Prior to becoming a stay-at-home parent full time, Liz taught English Language Arts and theatre at Plymouth South High School, where she also served as the ELA department head and the drama club advisor. Liz has also worked as an instructional coach and education consultant specializing in literacy instruction and differentiated instruction. In addition to her work as a mother, Liz currently directs theatre productions for Massassoit Community College and serves on the board of directors for New Bedford Festival Theatre. The majority of her time, however, is spent raising her son James and daughter Muriel with the help of her super supportive spouse, Matt. Liz is excited to be a part of the team at Providence Moms Blog, where she hopes to refresh her writing skills and reflect on this crazy and beautiful thing that is motherhood.