The Precious Early Years

Lately I’ve become particularly aware of how quickly my kids are growing up. Flump is seven going on sixteen and now rolls her eyes at me when I speak, as if I’m some sort of ancient, clueless ignoramus. Ludoo starts full time school in September and has gone from watching me like a hawk and demanding my constant attention to telling me he doesn’t love me and wants to throw me in the bin. Charming. It seems the tables have turned and I’m no longer viewed as the centre of their world. And as much as I enjoy my growing sense of freedom, I’ve also been left feeling somewhat bereft. The precious early years of childhood are racing by and I wonder if I’m really making the most of them.

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Ludoo and Flump

So often I urge my kids to get a move on, dress themselves, feed themselves, wash themselves – you know, basic life skills. Ludoo consistently refuses to feed himself (unless it’s pudding of course in which case he very efficiently polishes off an entire plate). He insists I sit next to him and lovingly feed him each and every spoonful as he takes his sweet time chomping, chatting and chilling. It drives me nuts as it’s painfully slow and I’ve clearly got other things I could be getting on with. But have I got better things to get on with? Why am I willing my boy to grow up so fast when soon he will not need me at all?  As infuriating as it is, soon I will miss my boy not wanting and needing me.

As for Flump she is already fiercely independent and can do most things on her own. In fact she doesn’t even want to hold my hand anymore when we go out as it’s not cool…SOB! If she misbehaves I sometimes find myself lecturing her about the need to act more maturely and set an example to her younger brother. Of course we all need to set boundaries for our children, but why am I urging my little girl to act beyond her years? Why am I forcing her to grow up when soon she will lose her  childish, carefree ways?

At the weekends, I will often pack the kids off with the Old Git so that I can get a bit of time to myself. Sometimes I practically shove them out of the front door, armed with snacks and water bottles, just so that I can get some peace and quiet. We all need a bit of down time to recharge, but I’ve started to wonder if I’m wasting the opportunity to make precious memories with my children. Don’t get me wrong, I spend plenty of time with them but how much of that is quality family time? The early years are short lived and family days out undoubtedly form the basis of many wonderful childhood memories.

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Hanging with my homies on a family day out..

As the years hurtle by, I feel a growing sense of panic that the children are getting older and a strong need to appreciate every single moment of their childhood. That’s not to say I’m not looking forward to the years ahead, but the early years have a special sort of magic. This is when they need and want us the most. This is when they yearn to be around us. This is when they want kisses and cuddles. Soon those days will be gone and I will be faced with moody, know-it-all, grunting pre-pubescents. As uncharacteristically sentimental as this post is, I feel I need to let my kids be kids, warts and all, and cherish every single, beautiful, frustrating moment so that it is embedded in my memory for years to come.

 

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12 thoughts on “The Precious Early Years”

  1. The early years are really precious but everyone needs a bit of me time. But I agree with you – let them be kids as long as you can as they do grow up very fast. Mine have flown the nest and i miss them a lot and wait for their visits home.

    1. Thanks Mina for sharing your thoughts. I am definitely a firm believer in ME time too..happy mummy, happy home:)

  2. I think we have all gone throgh these feelings as our children grow up and become less dependent on us. All I can say is cherish all the moments each day as they come as tomorrow will always bring change.

  3. Everyone goes through this phase in life. Kids grow up and settle down in life and we have sweet memories to cherish. Once they grow up they are like butterflies.. they fly away and we can never catch them. So enjoy them as much as possible now.

  4. Shazia just as your kids are finding new independence and are pretending they do not need you, they still do. Now you’re stepping into a new phase where you’ll be making new memories with them, doing different things. Don’t feel bad, am sure you have many good memories and will have more to come. Me time is so necessary, so enjoy it.

    1. I know you are right.. We are entering the next new and exciting phase of our relationship. But I just can’t help but feel nostalgic about the early years. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. I know exactly how you feel… !
    I go through those feelings still…
    My kids are now 13, 11 and 8, they argue with me, throw tantrums, yell , scream and still all the rest… constantly telling the kids to grow up….But we also all have our moments when we enjoy family time… I enjoy still being needed.. “Mama can you spread Nutella on toast?!”
    I am always glad when any sort of long vacation is over and the kids go back to school.. But then I wait for them to come home.. we start all over again…
    But you know I wouldn’t change it for the world.. I still enjoy the fact when they still ask me for help or just need me or want me.. sometimes they will just come and hug me or hold hands when we walk.. (not in a public place.. !!!) its not too long till they will be in high school and busy or driving independently..!!!! The thought just shocks me everytime..
    I try and let the kids be kids.. make great memories…. later on I know we will have lots of new memories…

    1. Absolutely Farah. What more can we ask for than to make wonderful memories that we can cherish in years to come? Thanks for sharing your experiences. 🙂

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