I’m glad I don’t have babies anymore.
Or toddlers for that matter. Actually, I am profoundly grateful. Don’t get me wrong, I love babies. I had five of them, after all. And now, every time I see a baby, I want to hold it and squeeze it and smell its hair, and love on it, but in my head, I’m thinking, “Thank God we are done with this phase!” After having five babies, I’m allowed to say that. Don’t judge me.
I now look forward to holding (and babywearing!) other people’s babies, (until they cry or poop), until many, many years from now, my grand babies will hopefully appear on the scene. A new baby is always a blessing and I will forever share in the joy and wonder a new life brings to the family and community and world!
I am just glad my phase of mothering babies and toddlers has passed.
I am enjoying the new dynamic my family of school and teenaged children affords. My kids are 17, 12.5, 11, 8 and 4.5. There is a new-found freedom that comes with not having multiple completely dependent little people.
I have more time, more flexibility and again, more freedom. Freedom to make self-care and fitness a priority again, freedom to be late getting home from work, freedom to call and have the older ones watch the little ones, and start a package of hamburger defrosting, and freedom sleep through the night!!! Can I get a hallelujah on that one? I get to sleep through the night y’all! Better days are coming!
My relationship with my older girls has progressed into something I didn’t think it ever would. Something deeper. With their increased intelligence, maturity, awareness of the world around them, and burgeoning and blossoming personalities- we can have conversations on an entirely new level. Perhaps not as stimulating as adult conversations with your girlfriends, but so much more special than naming each body part and animal noise.
Preparations for family outings are so much more simple. I don’t have to have an anxiety attack over packing water bottles, snacks, diapers, wipes, changes of clothes, etc. My kids pack what they want and experience the natural consequences of their choices, good or bad. (With the exception of my almost five year-old, who still needs a bit more guidance).
Raising older kids isn’t all sunshine and roses. There are hormones and driving and dating and more intense and encompassing sports practices and extra curricular activities, and schedules that make my head spin just thinking about the mass coordination that goes into getting everyone where they need to be, but our “team” has had to adapt and become mutually dependent in order to make things work. There are time and comfort sacrifices to go around, no doubt. But we are a family, a team, and we make it work, together.