Transitioning to being a mom of big kids

Happy Wednesday!

1. The next round of Flourish Through Divorce is open for registration. It starts August 15 and will run through October 10. I've added two more weeks so there's more time to process in it. All the details and sign-up is here.

2. I've had a couple of requests to hop in to the Kindergarten support group from people who didn't think they wanted it before but have decided they'd like to be in now. If you're one of them, you can still get in, and now's the time. Spirit Fingers: Kindergarten info here.

3. My kids are coming back from 3+ weeks of vacation with their dad tomorrow. I've missed them so much, but this summer has been different from previous summers, when the missing them made me depressed. I've started to feel more separated and independent, more like missing an adult child who's moved out than wondering where my babies are and why they're not touching me.

Has anyone else gone through a transition like this? Last night I dreamed that my 11-year-old came back and was a full-grown teenager, and in the dream I was so happy to see him but not sad that he was growing up.

I had anticipated the transition to being a mother of bigger kids, and then later of adults. I think I hadn't realized that it wouldn't be hugely painful. This doesn't feel like missing my little boys as much as it feels like being excited at who they are now.


12 thoughts on “Transitioning to being a mom of big kids”

  1. Whenever I think I am missing on the snuggles, I have one of my girls come over and ask me for a hug.I have 11 & 9 year old girls. The 11 year old is very insistent that she wants to be at camp all of the time. She doesn’t miss us and while this makes me sad, it also makes me proud to know that she is independent and doesn’t need us to be on top of her.
    I love snuggling with the 9 year old, but then when she does something brave, I remember to let her go. It’s hard, but fun.

  2. I still have moments of sadness. More so with my oldest. It has gotten easier now that he is taller than me for some reason. But I still cherish those random snuggle attacks.For my ladies, it is sneaking up on me. I know it is happening, I can see puberty creeping in and changing my babies ever so slowly, but it hasn’t hit me that hard – yet. I’m not sure when it will happen, but in the meantime I’m preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.

  3. YES, I totally feel that with the older two, and some with the younger two, heading there fast.I remember a short, slightly off kilter transition phase, where I was a mangle of fretful missing and gap plus really excited for Mr G (I think that was his first sleep-away camp that got me through that, and it was only a few days of it before it was all YAY BIG KID!).
    I’m definitely in the ‘easy’ where I still miss them, but I am SO excited to see what they’ve learned without any intervention or participation from me. It’s more a celebration of them and their them-ness instead of a constant noting of the relationship interactions – like, you don’t notice how much growth there is on a mature tree year to year – you notice the seasons of it, but the GROWINGness is no longer really as relevant after a certain point. Relationship of parenting is THERE solid, not as dynamically changing, the conversation is a pattern, not an effort, the entity is generally understood, even if there’s still plenty of learning to go.
    Maybe also as they get older, there’s less that is directly interacting with me (dyad mother:child), and more that is them being them in community (multiple relationships with many people), of which I am a part.
    I *like* this stage, this grownupness-in-practice thing, the letting go. Still feels a little stretchy-tight sometimes, still want to hug them until they squeal sometimes, still miss them when they’re gone. And also loads of faith in who they’ve become, and how their lives are experienced, and that they’ll do themselves proud, and it then doesn’t matter if they do me proud (even if I like that).
    I also like that I cherish the connection points more as they become less frequent and less constant. I am easily touched-out, so they’re now naturally sliding toward a space where I’m more up for hugs, and they feel more satisfying that way for me. And I feel less like a jerk for not enjoying being overtouched. (PLEASE do not pet my shoulder incessantly, pleasepleasepleaseplease…)
    Anyway, yeah.

  4. Yes! I have always felt a little out of the ordinary in that I do not miss my kids being babies, not at all. They are not quite 13 and 9, and I like them more and more the older they get (and the more independent they get). I just love to see the people they are becoming, and liking those people gives me a feeling that we might just be doing ok as parents. Does that make any sense?

  5. My own children are small, but my mom told me when I was a teen, that she liked having older kids. (That was really good to hear at an age where I thought people assumed I was a jerk cause my age ended in “teen.”) She described it as getting her life back in some ways, but also I think we went from being a joyous responsibility to companions for her, which is definitely a good thing too. Hoping it goes so well for me when my littles are big.

  6. I have an 8-year old who is on the cusp of being a big kid, and sometimes the transition is bittersweet. I also have a toddler, so there are days when the toddler gets most of the attention but the 8-year old doesn’t really need it (and occasionally even rejects it!) Other days, I enjoy the companionship of my 8-year old and how we can have real and interesting conversations and mutual interests, and then I want my toddler to be more like that. Trying to get the swing of it, but the contrast is striking.

  7. My 11 y.o. is away for a month with family members. I miss her because it’s not as fun without her around. I guess she’s at a great age? Or I just really prefer older kids? I hope this bodes well for teen time. I think it will, and I want it to be so. I know she’s having a great time, and she texts once in a while and that’s kind of cool. I almost want to say it’s good to get a chance to pine for them, you know?

  8. My youngest are 5 and 10. The 10 yeara old, who clung to my legs at daycare dismisses us when we drop her off at day camp or sleep away. That is kind of strange. Last year was her first year at overnight camp and it was really strange and I was kind of homesick for her (homesick isn’t right, but worried about her and it was strange that I wasn’t the one keeping an eye on her.) This year it was fine, NBD. She’s at shoulder height on me and is growing into being a nice sidekick.The younger is working on wrapping her head around kindergarten and the unknown and working furiously to drop her nap. She’s been playing “parent-teacher conference” and “planning meeting” with us a lot. She is at an age where I’m looking at her and saying, “she’s not a baby anymore.” and torn between being wistful when I see people with little babies and thinking about all the good things about having all big kids.
    The other thing that’s neat is seeing how the 19 year old is interacting with the younger two and how that’s changing – they’re all starting to have more in common and are able to help eachother with stuff.

  9. Yes. 18 and 23 over here. The space between me and them just kind of slowly and gently widened. They do both work very hard at being with me on a weekly basis though – it’s a beautiful thing.

  10. My oldest will be 10 in two months and it’s been hitting me really hard. I keep thinking,”Ten years ago I didn’t even know if he was a boy or girl; I had it all ahead of me, etc.” Earlier this week in the elevator of Target a mom had a sweet 2.5 week old boy and he was making all of those little newborn, eyes closed head tilting lovely very new baby gestures and I almost started crying. I definitely do not want any more kids! But I can’t get over how quickly 10 years has gone and I fear the next 10 will be even faster. I’m starting to cry as I write this.I just want to make sure I’m giving him everything he needs and so often I feel out of my depth with making the “right” decision.

  11. Feeling so happy where we are (7.5, right on the pivot point, or so it feels). I love the combination of snuggliness and complex, funny, deep conversation. But now I’m starting to have some “slow it down please, world” feelings. Last week he asked me to call him “Baby” only in private. I’m working on it – asked him to cut me some slack while I change an old habit. He said he understood.

  12. Yep. This started for me last summer, when my then-5.5-year-old broke her leg and yet wanted to do everything herself. (Amazingly enough, she did really well with a full-leg cast!) This summer, with no cast to hinder her, she’s making up for lost time: learning to ride a bicycle, mastering the monkey bars, trying to do a cartwheel,…it’s like watching 2 summers’ worth of learning squished into one. (And it’s no even over yet!) Bittersweet, for sure.

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