It’s hit me recently that Molly is no longer a little girl. Yes, she’s only six but in the past few months she has changed so much. Not just physically but in her mannerisms and personality.
I’m finding it tough and I’m not really sure how I feel about it all. Then I get scared that Alice is four and another year or two and she will be the same. Both my little girls all grown up. It’s that delicate balancing act of wanting to slow down time and keep them small but also giving them the space to grow and develop in to the amazing people I know they will be.
A lot of you have commented about wanting posts about older children. I can’t quite cover the teenage years yet but with a six and a four year old I thought I would share some of the things I’ve learnt in the last few years.
You won’t miss the baby stage as much as you thought you would. Well I don’t anyway. Yes I look at those cute baby pictures and remember those sweet toddler moments but I am embracing having my life back to a degree. I am well and truly past the baby stage and I can honestly say I love it. I have time to think and breathe (well sometimes!) and generally get on with life. If I want to do a quick workout for 30 minutes I know they will happily play barbies whilst I do so. If I’m taking a shower I’m not thinking I hear crying as soon as I step in. Having that bit of time for me makes the world of difference and means I can appreciate the time I spend with them. Even if it is bribing them to get dressed for school or to clean their teeth!
They will amaze you every day. Once they reach school age they just become these completely different little people. So many new things to share with you, information they want to share and the immense pride they have when they run out of school to tell me that they got on gold or silver that day. It makes me smile so much.
They have a whole other world you aren’t really part of. Once they start school there are suddenly these six hours a day that they fill with their own friendships, learning and fun. Things happen in those six hours you know nothing about and probably never will unless your child happens to impart all the information on you. Molly used to tell me everything that had gone on at school but recently it’s changed to ‘Ugh, I can’t remember’. Useful.
If you have a shy child that will change. Molly used to cower away from everyone, crying when people she didn’t know came near her. She does still sometimes grab on to me if she’s unsure but watching the way she has grown in confidence over the last few years is one of the reasons I don’t want to keep her little. Alice has never struggled in the that department mind you (That girl needs to be on the stage!) but for Molly it has meant the world to see the shy three year old change in to this happy and confident six year old. She’s surrounded by friends, sticks up for herself at school and tries her hardest always.
They will start to answer you back and have mood swings to rival a teenager. In recent months I have found Molly being narky with Alice a lot more, being short in her responses and there is a lot of eye rolling going on. She has even taken to grunting at me sometimes.
There may be love interests. Speaking of teenagers, can we talk about the boyfriend situation?!! Since Molly started school she has had a little boyfriend. Luckily it’s my friend’s little boy so I approve 🙂 They write love letters to each other which they pop in their book bags, stand coyly next to each other at pick up and generally have each other’s back. It still feels a bit odd though and I’m not sure how on earth I am going to cope when it’s all very real and you are having to deal with emotions and heartbreak.
You have to learn you can’t protect them from everything so matter how hard you try. You don’t realise how easy it was when they were small. Once they head off to the big world of school I have had to get used to those heart wrenching moments when someone has said something mean to them or try not to feel sad when Alice tells me she had no-one to play with at lunchtime. You have to let them work it out themselves and they will, believe me.
You will learn to appreciate the small things. Whilst I am embracing the changes I am also making a conscious effort to appreciate the every day. Those little moments that represent the person they are now. The little smiles, the silly dances and the hand holding. Every night before bed Alice asks me to ‘stay with her’ and normally I would say ‘mummy can’t right now as I have to go and tidy up/put washing on/make my tea’ but these last few weeks I’ve realised that those ten minutes lying quietly with her whilst she drifts off mean more than anything. The washing can wait and my tummy can rumble for a few minutes longer. There will be a day when she doesn’t want me to cuddle her or will be telling me to leave her alone so I’m going to enjoy it whilst I can.
Finally, don’t be scared of them growing up. It’s hard to accept your little one’s are no longer little but they still need your cuddles and most importantly your support. You will always be their mummy and deep down they will always be your your little baby. Enjoy watching them change in to these amazing human beings and be proud. Proud of what they achieve, proud of who they have become and proud that they are yours.
On that note I also wanted to use this post to say goodbye. Sadly I am moving on from the wonderful world of Rock My and it is with a heavy heart that I say that this will be my last post on Rock My Family. I want to thank you so much for all your support, advice and general chatter over the last few years. It’s been amazing being part of this little corner of the internet and I will miss this ‘virtual’ support group so much. You’ll never know how much your comments have made me smile on a daily basis and how much respect I have for each and every one of you navigating this world of parenting.
But, as I talk about above, change can be a good thing. It leads to new adventures and that is what life is all about. Whether they are small moments or big life changing decisions. Do what you love, keep smiling and remember, you’ve got this! I hope each and every one of you have the most magical adventures this year in whatever form they take.
Toodle-oo for now