Watching your children grow can be bittersweet, I love watching them grow and become their own little people with their own likes and dislikes, but I often feel sad that another phase is over and they are growing too quickly. The truth is I love a baby, I love the cuddles, the smell, the kisses and I even love the excitement of labour (not the pain), but like any other human I find them exhausting, draining and I have often missed having to give up such a big part of me. I don’t feel guilty for these thoughts anymore as I have every right to feel like this and being a parent to small children is relentless and hard at times. I now savour the time I do get a break from being a mum, which is rarely, but it’s ok as they will only be this young once and one day things will change, not to how they were before children, but they will change as they grow with a new set of challenges. I’ve written a list of what I have to look forward to as my little ones grow to full fledged teenagers.
The things I will look forward to as my children grow.
- No more toys in the living room. This has got to be one of the things I look forward to most. My living room is filled with plastic junk and no matter what I do with the stuff it always looks un-kept and cluttered. The day I say goodbye to Toot-toot will be a good day.
- No more nappies or reminding someone to go for a wee. Nappies are a complete ball-ache and after that’s done you have the fun job of potty training to undertake. I can’t wait to be done with buying nappies, nappy sacks and nappy rash cream.
- No more changing bag! I love bags and even love my changing bag (I’ve had a few), but I’m looking forward to the day of not having to remember to take my purse out to put in my handbag for work. I have so many beautiful bags that’s rarely make an appearance these days.
- No more dummys. Not everyone goes down this route but I would love to turn up to work and not find a stray dummy in my pocket and having to do the dummy hunt behind the cot every night.
- Go out for a meal and eat my dinner hot. I try to take my kids out for meals so it becomes normal for them and they are pretty well-behaved, but it’s stressful and I usually end up eating my meal cold. God forbid you have a long wait and a screaming hangry toddler.
- Lay-ins! I know some people are early risers and I applaud you, but I’m five years into parenting and am still not an early starter. My children are great and generally never wake until 7am and sometimes even 8am at the weekend, but I look forward to the day of having to wake them up.
- Not having to persuade them to eat their food. Meal times with our oldest can be exhausting as she has a limited diet and is an extremely fussy eater. I hold onto hope one day she will just eat normally and I won’t have to bribe her.
- No more bath toys. Bath toys are ruining my life, the mould when water gets stuck, the space they take and the intruders in my bath tub when I’m trying to relax.
- privacy. The day will come when I get pee in peace, bath on my own and not have to dress in front of an audience. As this day comes the children will probably putting up their own boundaries of privacy away from me.
- No more school run. I enjoying having a chat with other mum’s, but as of next year I’ve got a much longer walk to school and I expect I will probably be late most mornings. It will be lovely when the day comes that I can pack them off and say goodbye.
- No more having to dress small people. I look forward to the day that the children can dress and coordinate themselves. Miss J can dress herself with most clothes but her style when left to her own devices often resembles a pink marshmallow. Mr T on the other hand just prefers not to wear clothes at all.
- They can feed themselves. Some days all I seem to do is try to fill my children with endless supplies of food yet all I hear is ‘i’m still hungry’. Life will be good when they just feed themselves.
- Freedom again to be husband and wife. As the children get older I know it will be easier to leave them and that is something I look forward to most, I can’t wait to spend time with just my husband again and be a couple for date nights.
- Getting my bed back. First thing when I wake up the kids are in our bed jumpy all over us and often Miss J finds her way into our bed at night. It will be nice when our bed is just ours again.
- Saying goodbye to Peppa pig and all those other terrible programs. I can’t wait to not watch kids TV, but I worry it will probably be replaced by some other rubbish.
The things I will not look forward to as my child grows
- No more pushchair for carrying my shopping bags. The day I say goodbye to my pushchair will a sad day as it has helped me on many a shopping trip. I’ve had seven in total and finally found my perfect one (Mamas and Papas Armadillo City).
- When the cuddles start to disappear it will be tough, but I live in hope as they become adults, again the cuddles will follow.
- Holding their hands. I love walking along and holding my children’s hands, but Miss J is keen to pull away as soon as she sees her friends at school.
- Letting them out and having curfews. I was a nightmare and I’m dreading trying tot find the balance of giving them freedom that is fair and also safe.
- Finding dirty plates in their rooms. I don’t know why, but most teenagers seem to do it and it’s something my husband still does today which drives me crazy.
- Moody teenagers and backchat really fills me full of dread. I was such a ‘Kevin’ as a teenager and from Miss J’s diva strops she has now I can see her being a challenge.
- Being eaten out of house and home. With teenage growth spurts comes teenage superfast metabolism and I’m guessing if these children grow like weeds as I did then my food bill will be going through the roof.
- Mum’s taxi. I hear it often from parents of older children and living a good 15 minuets away from anything and a rubbish bus route I expect I will be doing lots of driving about.
- Homework or getting them to sit down and focus enough to do it. I hated homework at school and am not looking forward to trying to motivate someone else to do it,
Parents of older children do you have anything else you can think of?