I have a confession to make.
Lately, I’ve been feeling very nostalgic about my boys not being babies anymore. I’m not ashamed to say I’ve cried awful tears reading blog posts about kids growing up. Even worse, that with tears running down my face, I’ve reread posts that I wrote about being done with preschool. That time I watched Michael Bubble’s gut-wrenching video for his song “Forever Now”? Yep. You would have found me in a fetal position bawling because my kids will be all grown up in the next 10 to 12 years. You get the idea.
Putting aside the fact that it makes me a little sad that the years are passing by so fast, I’m starting to realize that not having “little” kids any more has some perks. Sure, I miss the constant cuddles and the toddler cuteness, but there’s a silver lining to this. Here are a few great things that happen when kids are not so little anymore.
For me, this is probably the best thing about not having little kids in our house. I remember the nighttime feedings, continuously waking me up at random hours of the night, midnight potty breaks, teething, nightmares, sleeping in my bed and kicking me in the face. For a period of time there, I was in zombie mode. Lack of sleep is no fun, but with school-aged children now, getting a good night’s rest is becoming significantly easier.
I loved our amazing double stroller with all the bells and whistles. It was the best thing ever but t it was also very bulky and heavy. My trunk space has been freed and I don’t have to fold/unfold it at every stop we make. We brought it on vacation and while it was totally worth it, traveling with that thing was not easy. Now we travel light, and it’s the best! The only thing I miss about my stroller is having a place to put stuff like a water bottle, my purse, or any bags that I’m carrying, but I’ll survive.
No diaper bag
I used to carry this ridiculously gigantic bag, with diapers, a change of clothes, bottles, toys, snacks, and everything that would fit in it. It was very useful but very big. Having to get the bag ready every time we left the house was always a hassle. Make sure you have enough diapers! Did you pack snacks? Don’t forget a water bottle! Now, if they’re lucky they’ll find an old crushed granola bar in my purse and that’s it.
Leaving the house on time
If I wanted to leave the house by 10:00 A.M. when my kids were younger, I had to start getting ready to leave at least 30 minutes before we were scheduled to get out the door. I had to put on their clothes, brush their teeth, comb their hair, take them to the bathroom or make sure they have a clean diaper, pack the bags, put on their shoes, and chase them throughout the house to get them out the door. Now, I just yell, “Boys, we’re leaving in 5 minutes.” Boom! Like magic, they’re ready to go. Full disclosure: I sometimes have to threaten to leave without them, but we’re getting there.
A flexible nap schedule
Planning your day around a nap schedule can be overwhelming. Whether they have to nap in their crib or you let them nap in the car, your time is limited. You don’t want to wake a sleeping baby or you’ll pay the consequences of a cranky one, so I remember having to leave early because of bedtime, or being late everywhere because they were napping and wouldn’t wake up. Either way, that’s no longer an issue here.
No more diapers
As in No.More.Diapers. I am so happy that I don’t remember the last time I had to wipe a butt, change a diaper or potty train, all that is over, yay! My kids now do their business without help, and I don’t have to buy diapers anymore. It’s a win-win situation from any angle you look at it.
It was a beautiful day the day my kids didn’t come straight to my bedroom when they woke up on a weekend. They let us sleep in! My husband and I couldn’t believe it. They woke up, started playing together without fighting and got something to eat without waking us up. It was wonderful. They can also pour their own milk, fill up their water bottles, tie their shoelaces, and read! If they’re playing a board game they don’t call my name every two minutes saying “Mom what does this card say?” It’s amazing!
Better car seats
If I ever wanted to change the car seat when they were younger, it was a full workout. If we needed to go on someone else’s car we had to put the bulky car seat in their car and have a wrestling match with the latch system. Also, sometimes I would have to wrestle my children to buckle them in. And every time I would have to open the back door and help them unbuckle. Now they can unbuckle themselves and let me tell you this: booster seats are way easier to manage.
They can help
As in, they can do chores! Remember when they were babies and you had to do every single thing? Well, now they can help unload the dishwasher, put away their clothes or water the plants. Full disclosure: I never said they would always do it willingly.
Baby talk and toddler words are the cutest, but now that my kids are older I can have real conversations with them, and it’s amazing. They are becoming their own person right before my eyes, and I love seeing how their personalities are taking shape, how they’re making their own decisions, and it’s incredible to hear what they think. They ask a lot of questions and have a lot of insight into a lot of topics. I love talking to them.
So if you are feeling a little sad and nostalgic, remember there is a new phase of life that is ready and waiting for you, mama!