Towards the end of June, just before school holidays started, I had one of those very tough weeks that comes with the territory of life with a young family. Some of the highlights of that week included: having my blog hacked which diverted readers from Google to a porn site (sorry if that happened to you), sleep deprivation caused by baby with a cold that was waking from coughing so much, me forgetting important appointments and confusing times for the boys football matches.
The positive from having such a horrible week, was that I really appreciated the next week, which wasn’t perfect but it was just so much better! It also made me think about what life is like with little children and I realised that without a doubt there will come a time when I miss this stage of my family’s life. For all the hard work involved with parenting young children, the joys are really so immense. It wasn’t hard to whip up a list of things that I cherish about having a young family.
1. Excitement In The Small Things
I have a three year old boy and on our walks to and from school, I love how excited he gets over the small things in our environment. Like when we see a digger working on a building site, or a train at the crossing or how he runs ahead so it is he who gets to push the button at the traffic lights. (That button pushing is second though to pushing a elevator button, which is always a cause of great jubilation!)
2. Holding My Hand
My two older boys (10 and 8 ) will no longer hold my hand, but I still have little ones that will happily hold my hand. I love walking along, talking with them and holding their hand. It gives me such a sense of connectedness.
3. The Warmth Of A Freshly Woken Child
When my kids wake up, they seek me out and we have a cuddle. I adore the warmth that radiates from their little bodies when they have just woken up. I am not 100% sure, but I don’t think my adolescent boys will really be into cuddling me first thing in the morning!
4. The Company
Although I think that I am busy now with after school activities and children’s social lives etc, I know that this will certainly take on a different angle when they are in secondary school. I enjoy the kids company and know that as they need to and begin to move further away from me and out into the wider world, I will miss having them around me as much as I do now.
5. The Ability To Make Things Better With A Kiss
Now if the kids fall over and hurt themselves or if something happens and their feelings get hurt, a kiss and hug from mum can make things better. As they get older and begin to experience emotional turmoil, there will be times that I know there will be nothing that I can do to make things better. Being let down by friends, first heart break etc will be experiences that they will have to go through and although I can be there for them, I will no longer be able to fix it all with a kiss.
6. They Laugh At My Jokes!
I can remember going through a stage and then seeing my sisters do the same, where you think your parents are very unfunny and sometimes down right embarrassing! Right now, my kids find me pretty funny, it will be sad to see that go.
7. They Want Me To Sing To Them
I am a terrible singer, but my 3 and 5 year old still love me to sing them a couple of nursery rhymes after their story each night. They sing along with me and it is a nice way to bond with them before they go to sleep. Eventually like their older siblings, they will stop wanting me to do this.
8. Their Honesty
The younger four at least have yet to learn the subtle art of diplomacy. So if I am wearing a new outfit and it is not to their liking, it is not uncommon for them to laugh or look aghast! Our eldest child is now a bit more savvy about what to say and will say something like “It is okay, but I wouldn’t wear anything like that.”
My three year old is also great for alerting me any blemish that I may have on my face, “What’s that big thing on your nose mum?”
9. We Can All Squish Into Our Bed
On the very rare mornings when there is nowhere to be at by a certain time, we can often have all the kids come into our bed in the morning before we eat breakfast. Albeit this involves top and tail action, but it won’t be long before even with this we won’t all fit in our queen size bed.
I have breastfed all my children until they were over 12 months old. When I stop breastfeeding for the last time, I know it will be something that I will miss. In particular the last feed of the day, when the baby drifts off to sleep on the breast. There is something so lovely about looking down into your little ones eyes as they begin to flutter and you see their absolute contentment.
I would love to hear what you cherish about your family in the comments!