Over the last week I have spoken to a number of mothers with younger children than my own and have chatted about the stages they are at, at the moment.
Whenever I chat to other mothers I really hope I am of some use; I certainly know that I often look to friends who have older children for advice and reassurance, because sometimes it is comforting to know even if you feel like you are in the middle of a parenting storm – it will pass.
One of the things, mothers of younger children say to me is “I just want to make the most of this phase, they grow up so quickly.”
This is of course true. All our lives, whether we are parents or not, seem to fly by at an alarming rate.
I remember when my children were babies, or toddlers how much I wanted to cherish every moment and make the most of that age. I also remember many women, my mother included, telling me I would miss those days.
Of course, there are days and stages I miss, but talking to mothers with younger children this week made me realise that though precious moments pass you don’t actually lose anything – you always have the memories and you just gain a new phase and it is as great as the one before.
I would still standby the statement I have made many a time – that the teenage years are by far the most challenging I have had to date. And I will hold my hands up and say I know I have had many a whinge on my blog about my teenage kids.
We don’t snuggle up and read stories together anymore, my children don’t run to the door when I get home and I certainly don’t get notes like the one above – but we still watch TV together, we chat about each other’s days, we even go to the pub together, which is a new but wonderful development, in my opinion.
Even last Sunday, which was Mother’s Day in the UK, was notably different to when my kids were little. My day was spent working as my kids had previous commitments and weren’t around for the day.
But on Monday my daughter went to the supermarket, did the food shop, bought me some flowers and made a delicious supper and my son took me out for breakfast this morning.
When my kids were younger they would be full of good intentions but often the reality wouldn’t materialise; my adult children seem very true to their word.
So, yes they do grow up far too quickly but that’s just the way it is – none of us can change that.
A phrase comes to mind that both my children used to say when they were little. They used to come back from nursery or school and say, “Look what I made…”
Now when I look at them, that’s often what I am thinking with a huge smile on my face…