In a blink of an eye, your children grow up, do you ever want to hit ‘pause’, or ‘rewind’ to truly appreciate their childhood before it’s too late?
Do you ever stop and realise how quickly time is flying and wish for some of the different stages back with your kids?
As a mum of toddlers, your life can be so frantic and absorbed in your children’s lives and not your own, that you crave those days when they’re at preschool and you can “get a little of you back”. I say this in quotes as if others have said it, but really it’s come from my own mouth often.
And then they grow a little more and start school. Which means you have so much more time to be you, to work, to exercise, to do whatever, and to have a think about who you are again. Nothing show-stopping here, this is just the reality of life and growing up.
You think back on the “hard” days (I’m thinking of a wet frozen mum, one shivering toddler and one squirmy baby in the swimming pool change rooms as you attempt to quickly shove reluctant, damp legs into trousers while stopping the baby rolling off the change table and simultaneously open a bag of rice wheels). It’s these moments that you realise you’ve just blown $30 on half an hour of singing Hokey Tokey in the water, when you could have done it at home for free, while warm and dry.
We’ve all been there; we all have our own version of pain.
- Three powerful lessons I learned when my son turned 21
- Three things I wish I knew before having kids
Occasionally, while trawling through the TV channels, I might stumble across some of the children’s TV channels. The days of these programs are over for me now. My children are at the next stage of their TV viewing life span. I will never have a curly headed fella laying in a Thomas the Tank Engine beanbag at 3.30pm on a weekday afternoon, still foggy from his afternoon sleep, watching Blues Clues or Postman Pat. Peacefully.
These were the days we had nowhere to race to, no need to bang on about homework, or to nag about electronics.
My boys don’t even do playgrounds anymore (unless they’re allowed to take their scooters in and terrorise other kids racing around at breakneck speed).
I don’t get to push my squealing little guys higher and higher for as long as I can before the next child comes along wanting a turn.
There are so many things that are over, but possibly the most significant is that I don’t get to carry my children anymore. After years and years of carrying my babies’ places, they are now too big and too old to be carried anywhere.
That’s a sobering thought when the children you’ve carried their whole life can no longer be carried. Perhaps this is just another metaphor for growing up and away.
The tragedy is this era finishes before you even realise it’s going to. And then once it’s over, it’s over. Pouff, gone.
Don’t yearn for “more me time”. Don’t begrudge the “tough” time. And don’t wish away these years – just cherish them.
What do you miss as a parent? Are you appreciating the stage you’re in now, knowing it won’t last forever?