I’m pretty confident that my almost 11 year old daughter is firmly in the grasp of Tweendom. She’s my oldest child. Coming up behind her is my other daughter who is eight, and could be called a tween as well. And while I’m a bit nervous for what the future may hold, there are many things I don’t miss about having small children
I’ve been taking comfort in reading some other mom bloggers who have already trodden this path. Elizabeth at Guilty Chocoholic Mama is one of my favourites. (Check out her post You Might be the Mom of a Tween Girl if…)
What I am enjoying is the many things I’ve left in the past. Things that I don’t have to deal with any more. Things that my kids had ridiculous and frustrating tantrums over. And things that frankly cluttered my house up so badly I hated coming home after work.
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Here are four Things I Don’t Miss about having small children:
Babies seem to acquire a lot of “stuff”. Ten thousand blankets, baby specific decor, high chairs, bouncy chairs, Bumbo chairs, baby swings, Jolly Jumpers, unending piles of toys, the list goes on.
Don’t get me wrong, my baby swing was a LIFESAVER and those bouncy seats with the toys attached worked well when you had to set the baby somewhere but didn’t want her rolling away. (Ours had wheels when we were babies, but that’s a no-no now. I’m pretty sure everyone went down a set of stairs in one of those things!)
And then there’s the gifts like piggy banks, commemorative coin sets, picture frames, and other classic new baby gifts. My daughters each have about 6 banks, 3 or 4 small picture frames (with nothing in them) and collectible lovely things that are just on a shelf. Thoughtful, wonderful gifts, but what I do with them all?
The tantrums for no reason
Who hasn’t given their kid the dreaded WRONG COLOURED CUP? Instant meltdown, am I right?
What about when their sibling takes a toy that they are not playing with? Another reason for tears.
I cut the toast the wrong way (or it’s too toasted, or not toasted enough.)
I handed her a fork instead of letting her get it out of the drawer herself.
This list goes on too. (Share your child’s best meltdown reason in the comments – I love reading this stuff!)
The “I’ll Do It!” phase
What takes longer than a small child trying to put on their own shoes? That same child trying to do up their own zipper.
The “I’ll Do It!” phase makes parents late for everything. And it’s so hard to manage because you know that being a good parent means you have to let them try. Even if they break down in tears EVERY SINGLE TIME, you still need to support their attempts.
But the triumph on the face of those little ones once they master a new skill is priceless. No matter how many playdates you were late for.
Now I send my kids to change when they’re dressed inappropriately for either the weather, or the scenario (church, school etc.) But they do it themselves – with eye rolls and big sighs – and it shows me the “I’ll Do It!” phase was a necessary evil.
Drawn out bedtime routines
This was really only a thing with one of my daughters. My eldest resisted sleep from the moment she was born. Once she was old enough she’d ask for “just one more story?” with pleading eyes. We read about 20 (short) stories a night just so she would eventually let us out of the room without hysterically crying.
Read what bedtimes were like in our house a few short years ago.
My younger daughter had no such problems, but she could draw out bedtimes sometimes too. “Can I look at my fairy figurine?” was a popular after story question for a while.
Sure, I could have said no and let my girls be upset at bedtime, but I didn’t want to do that. (And sometimes they – mainly Emma – would cry unendingly until we finally went up and read another story.) And now I’m sad sometimes when they just want a hug – no reading required.
But I sure do like that we can do a little tv time, maybe read a few pages together, and then leave them to read on their own until lights out time. (Or later, if you’re Emma. Soon she’ll be putting me to bed first!)
I can’t be the only parent out there who is cherishing the role of parenting older children. So far my daughters aren’t too much to handle. I try to keep communication open with them, and let them open up to me in their own way.
That being said, these four things I don’t miss about having small children brought me back to the baby-faced years. Sometimes I miss my babies, but all in all I am excited to watch my daughters grow into young women. And I hope I can look back fondly on these tweenaged years and realize that every stage of growing up has precious and beautiful memories.
Now it’s your turn – what don’t you miss from the baby and toddler years? I’d love to read your comments below!
Yes to the accessories! They take over the house don’t they?! We still have the tantrums though and plenty of them. #MMBC
I’m so glad we’ve been able to pare down the “accessories” now that the girls are older. We’ve even gotten rid of our abundance of plastic cups and kiddo utensils!