Growing Up and Parenting.

It takes me by surprise in odd moments…my girls are growing up.

It’s the little things they say, the offers of help without being asked, the putting away of shoes, the way they don’t melt down over things that used to destroy their equilibrium.

Don’t get me wrong, there is still plenty of nine year old melt downs and man are they ferocious and heart wrenching at times… but there are these little glimmers of ‘sucking it up’ that make me catch my breath and realise that they are growing up.

And then there is my ‘middle child’. He is a school boy now, and just as I had feared, he has been hard to let go of.

And the baby… he is my baby but not a baby.

And when all these things collide I am struck by the idea that one day I won’t have a lounge room full of plastic animals. One day there will be no nappies, no readers, no demands to change the laws of physics.

One day I will be the mother of teenagers.

The idea both thrills me, and scares me to death. I can not see myself as the parent of teenagers.

You know that ‘ideal family’ image you have in your mind… the family around the dinner table, chatting and laughing, you being the perfect mother… my image, however naive and ridiculous, does not stretch to the idea of teenagers.

What will my life look like in ten years time with two 19 year olds, a 15 year old and a 12 year old?

I don’t want to waste time worrying about things that are yet to come, and by doing so miss the amazing things that are part of here and now, but slowly and surely I am trying adjust my inner voice, to ease myself into the idea of us all growing up.

So I’ve been trawling for blogs written by mums of teenagers and peering into their lives to try and stretch my perfect family image a little further…

Under the Yard Arm – Teen Life Posts.
On Brad Street.
Rhythm Of the Home – When He’s Here.

And I’ve been contemplating the joys of the days to come while gulping down the joys of the days that are here in big hungry mouthfuls.

One day they will all be grown, and it will be different, but it will be good.

Do you ever get melancholy at the thought of your children growing up?
Does the idea of parenting teenagers scare you?
Do you have an ‘ideal family’ image?

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Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:

  1. Katie Rainbird says

    Um, yeah, I shudder inwardly at the thought of navigating the skimpy clothes, dates with older boys, thick black eyeliner and shut bedroom door! :(

  2. says

    I experience both sadness and joy at the thought of my children growing up…joy for all the things we can do together that are hard when everyone is small, joy to see who they will become but sadness because they will not be my babies anymore. No morning snuggles, not being the one and only person that will soothe a sore knee etc but im hoping as they get older the happy times will be more than the sad ones and I will be ok with letting them grow…not that we really have much say in the matter!

  3. Susan, Mum to Molly says

    This post really speaks to me Kate…

    It decribes exactly how I feel about my girls, currently 10, 7 & 4.

    They’re very proud moments, seeing the older ones taking some things in their stride.

    And yes, the teenage years terrify me.

  4. says

    Thanks for the links to bloggers who write about teens – that is where I need to spend a little time this year. We are dealing with hormone changes, lots of questions, and lots of new ground to cover (and no net that I can see).

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