Enjoy the baby years while you can
Dealing with those toddler and baby years is tough, really tough.
Sometimes it feels like you are trapped on a never ending roller coaster, that will just never stop.
Sometimes you feel like you are a walking, talking zombie and it’s all you can do to get through each day.
Have hope, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Also be warned, accompanying that light there is also a little bit of darkness.
For all of you with small and infant children, this stage in your children’s lives, is but a blip on the radar.
I am in a few parenting groups on Facebook and my news feed is constantly bombarded with questions like…
- “How do I get my toddler to eat”?
- “How do I get my toddler or baby to sleep?
- “Will my toddler ever be toilet trained?”
- “I’m just so tired”.
- “I can’t wait for this phase to be over!”
- “How can I get my toddler to stop sucking their thumb and leave the dummy behind?”
Be reassured no child rocks up to school on that all important first day sucking a dummy and in nappies.
As our kids grow older our worries and concerns obviously change.
We no longer have to worry about all of the above.
Other worries are there though ready and waiting to take their place once our kids start getting older, once they start asserting their independence and once they start discovering who they are.
- As parents we now worry about the type of crowd they are starting to hang around with.
- Are their friends a good influence or do I sense trouble?
- We worry that our kids are now discovering alcohol and are perhaps involved in underage drinking. Or experimenting with drugs.
- Some teenagers are obtaining their drivers license and venturing out onto our roads for the first time. Or perhaps they are passengers with a new driver (which is even scarier).
- Are they driving safely, are they speeding and are they concentrating? You truly never breathe easy until they are safely back at home.
- Are they coping with the pressure of the final two years of school and will they achieve their hopes and dreams, that they have set out for themselves?
- Is the party they have been invited to well supervised? Is there going to be alcohol there and can I trust my teenager to do the right thing?
- Who else is going and do I sense there may be trouble? Is there organised security? What if my teenager is offered drugs?
On top of all the added worry there is there are the inevitable changes that accompany teenagers growing up and finding their independence.
- Say goodbye to those early morning snuggle cuddles. Once they hit the teenage years, they will never get out bed before you ever again.
- They no longer wear what you tell them to. Shopping expeditions become a mammoth exercise and a test to human endurance, as you plough the length and breadth of the shopping centre, looking for that all elusive, perfect outfit.
- They “borrow” all your clothes, makeup and hair styling equipment.
- They are never home. Once again you find yourself sitting alone in a big, old quiet, yet lonely house. Yet you are expected to pick them up at a moments notice.
- My kids no longer draw on the walls or furniture and they do help out with the washing and cleaning. They are still the major contributor to the reason most of the cleaning necessary in the first place though.
- They pretty much eat everything in sight (and I can show my grocery bill to prove it).
- They sleep like the dead. Well until I turn the vacuum cleaner on outside their bedroom door on a Saturday morning.
- They can take themselves and pick themselves up from friends houses, or the shops. They can even help with the chauffeuring around of their younger sisters.
But Don’t Wish It Away
Don’t get me wrong, it’s wonderful getting some sense of your life back after it has been consumed by the toddler and baby years for so long.
There is however also a sense of melancholy, as you glimpse back and remember, when your argumentative and independent teenager was once a tiny little human who was dependant on you for everything.
Remember when it all gets too much and you are struggling to find enjoyment in those trying toddler and baby years that they won’t be babies for long.
[Tweet Struggling to find enjoyment in those trying toddler and baby years? They won’t be babies for long. #parenting #babyyears”]
It may seem so difficult at the moment, but this special time goes by in the blink of an eye and ends far too soon.
Enjoy all those baby cuddles and stolen moments while you can, because before too long and a lot sooner than you think, they will be but a memory.