Even children get older

Yesterday I picked up Maggie’s enrolment forms for school next year. I know. It’s as much as a big deal for me you guys. Then, later in the afternoon I also had a call from her preschool teacher asking if she was going to be going back next year for another year of Preschool (should she? Maybe? No. Yes, no she’ll be right). And in the afternoon light, I caught her playing in the sunshine looking like this.

She’s big. No denying it. And we are coming to the end of her time at home. It’s the final end of big chapter for me over the past 12.5 years (except for the year that I had Harper in school before I got preggers) it’s the end of little people at home.

Needless to say, I have been feeling all of the feelings this week.

We are all so busy with life at the moment: things have shifted up a few gears with my work and the shop, Maggie is at preschool 3 days a week, Harper at school with dance and hockey and then Daisy with ALL of the things that come with Highschool. And I mean ALL OF THE THINGS. It’s busy and a week starts and then it’s over and then it’s August how did this happen we are thinking about Christmas. It goes fast, too fast and I can feel the panic as I know that this is all coming to an end. For real it’s coming to an end.

It was this same time and panic that saw me get knocked up with Maggie in the first place…knowing that Harper was heading off, I just wasn’t ready for it to be over. You can read a little about it in this post. And while I completely, totally and honestly do NOT want another baby, it’s making me feel a little, actually a LOT, emosh.

It’s onto a new chapter for our baby, who is no longer that, but will always be that. Just like we have let the little hands of Daisy and Harper go through the years, it will be time to watch Maggie grow and flourish. And I know she will.

She will be young for her year (not turning 5 until May of her first year of school) but she has got this, and apparently I need to get the memo too. She’s ready and soon enough I will be too.

This is literally what I will see when she lines up at Assembly

Where do I begin with what these past 4 and a bit years have given me? These precious, precious times where I have been able to have the time and space to be the kind of Mum I always wanted to be with m other two girls. The confidence she has given me, the laughs, the frustrations, the sheer joy of being in our beautiful home, garden and village being a kid, and me a Mum. It’s been the most precious time of my life and I will never, ever forget it or how lucky I have been to have it.

My baby.
My teacher.

I know that we spent so much time deciding on whether we would have a third child because I wasn’t ready, then Rob wasn’t, then we just weren’t going to and then I HAD TO. Being a Mum/parent/woman/human is complex isn’t it? The time was never right though, until it was and then she was here. I know how lucky we were to fall pregnant, have an easy pregnancy and then for us to have the time together – I know it’s not a luxury that everyone gets and I know, I REALLY know how lucky we are.

It’s been a ride.
And it’s gone way too quick.
And I’m not ready to get off yet.
But I will. We will. And on we’ll go.

Maggie, ready to learn so much, do so much, become who even knows what with that cheeky smile and determination, and quiet shyness.

She has her whole life ahead of her, and what a lucky thing she has to have had this time here, to get her on her way.

I am really going to miss her.

Like I miss all the little versions of my girls as they grow up. I wonder and marvel at who they are, but boy do I miss them needing me, those little cuddles, the playing in the sunshine, the walks with baby toys in prams, the puzzles, the colouring in fireside, the simple bits that become harder to find as they grow up.

But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I’m gettin’ older, too

And next week as I turn 42 I really can realise that the 29 year old me who first became a Mum is most definitely older. Maybe this is actually all about me, not them, as hard as it was to start to become a Mum, lose who I was, that all consuming and confusing and exhausting time of becoming a Mum for the first time will be just as confusing as we start to let go.

Anyone else have their last kids heading to school next year?
Anyone else dealing with 4 year olds and teenagers and 40 year old hormones and are as emosh and tired and frazzled as me?
Want some cake? Me too, me too.

Comments

  1. My eyes leaked a bit reading this! I’m so emotional this week. My eldest baby, the one who made me a Mum, is turning 17 in 2 more sleeps. This week I have told her stories every day of what happened each day 17 years ago….Waters breaking early, ride in helicopter to another town with a bed in the neonatal unit for her, transfer back to our local hospital, scans to check her, who came to visit etc. So many emotions we go through daily, the teenage grumpiness, the stress of school and exams, extra curricular running around, first loves, did I mention the teenage grumpiness? But today when I dropped her and her sister at school, she looked at me and said “I love you Mum”, and my little girl was back. Enjoy each stage with your girls, I wish I could go back in time and appreciate each stage more. Xx

    • Hope your biggest has the BEST birthday. 17 is big – I remember it all so clearly. Thanks for sharing this with us – beautiful words xx

  2. You’ve made me cry. My baby is 8 and is away on his first school ski/ice skating day. I am not ok. They can live at home forever. That is all.

  3. I just made the mistake of reading whilst sitting at my desk at work… oh Beth. It was the Landslide verse that sealed the deal … tears. My eldest just turned 18 and I’m so thrilled to see her soar, into an independent young lady. But my heart is a little broken too, I am wistful. I truly loved being home with my girls as little ones….but time ticks on.
    Miss Maggie is going to love being at big girl school .. oh my god I need to get a grip wipe my eyes and do some work! Xxx

    • Oh Emma – sozz! Hope you pulled yourself together. If it’s any consolation I cried and cried writing this. I’m useless these days!

  4. There is nothing quite like being given the privilege of being a Mum is there? Man the roller coaster ride of emotions is quite something else.My eldest turns 20 next month and is currently living over seas studying for 6 months. She is flexing her independent self and spreading those wings far and wide and honestly I could not be prouder of the amazing woman she is becoming. Enjoy all the stages, we are so blessed to be able to experience them.

  5. Polly McDougall says

    You’re a beautiful writer Beth! I’ve never felt more clucky than this year watching my little girl start school. It goes so fast and I didn’t realise at the time. Maggie and the girls are lucky to have you as their mum xx

  6. Oh wow! It seems like two seconds ago we were sitting next to the pool in Dubai and you were talking about maybe having a third!

    Third kids are special (I know, I’m one myself!)

    Recently, I’ve suddenly realised I’m over the “hump” with my kids. The end of raising them is closer than the start. Which is scary, sad and exhilarating at all once!

  7. Sandra Scoott says

    A beautiful family story, your words are so easy to read and I can feel the emotion, maybe time now to write a book?

  8. You know I have all the feelings & lots to say about raising adults & littles at the same time But I cant say them because I’m crying.

    • Oh love – what is going to happen when your littles are big? Cheer! Cry! It’s all very complex. I think bread and butter is the only answer. Truly x

  9. Oh Beth, what beautiful legacy this blog is and will always be to your girls. Loved, loved, loved, no doubt about it.

    • There’s SO much of it! I trawled through the baby files and newborn files yesterday to get these images…my word…so much! I love that I can travel back through time and pictures whenever I like – it’s so special x

  10. The years since Maggie’s birth have sped by, especially the year from 3 to 4. I can’t imagine what it’s like for you because, I who only know your girls through this wonderful blog, can hardly comprehend that Maggie will be starting school next year. She was a beautiful baby, she is a gorgeous 4 year old and she’ll be a wonderful girl before she turns into a fantastic young woman. You’re a wonderful mum and a very honest and generous writer.

  11. Oh great, now I am crying and I am 58?? I still miss our 3 kids, 30, 28, 24 but they are still our babies. I wish I could have our time again with them. When they were little, I miss it. I now watch other families and there kids grow, not a stalker haha. Kids will always want their mum and dad. There may be a couple of years they will drift but they find their way back. Your 3 girls are beautiful and to think, YOU made them.

  12. Beautifully expressed as always Beth, hugs to you as you navigate all of this. We Mums have to be so elastic … present and reliable when they need us, standing back and joyfully giving them their space when they don’t … so often my heart is soft and squishy as I put on a brave face. And my two are 30 and 25! Empty nest. Miss them. Miss the daily tango of parenting. Yet the memories .. so many memories to call upon at will and relive all over again. Parenting is a gift and like you Beth, I am so grateful. For all of it. xx

  13. Oh Beth! My baby is going to school next year too and the house will be oh so quiet. I am going to miss my little Sam so much, I already do, but there’s also a part of me LONGING for the space and the quiet. This mothering thing is full of contradictions isn’t it.

  14. Vanessa Clarke says

    So much crying Beth!! My Ruby is heading to school next year as well, I do have baby number 4 due at the end of the year so I know it’s not the end of having little ones at home but it still feels big! God knows how I’ll be in 5 years when the final one heads off!!

  15. This was me a year ago, all the feels!
    My baby started school this year & sometimes I still feel sad that he’s not at home with me during the day. I find myself squeezing him extra tight, while I can, before he becomes too big & doesn’t want them at all. It’s funny this parenting gig, it drives you mad but the love for these babies is everything & beyond. Enjoy your time with Mags this year, life will be different next year x

  16. Ugh, why must they keep growing up?? My baby is at the opposite end of the school spectrum, she’s in Yr 11 (which somehow ends after Term 3 then she’s Yr 12), and she’s only 10 hours away from being able to get her P’s. Then she won’t need me to run her around anymore and I truly don’t know what I’m going to do with all the time I’ll have on my hands.

    If I could turn back time….

    • Oh Mel – driving! HSC – it’s all so BIG. Good luck with it all needless to say I will be giving Maggie an extra big cuddle…because she still lets me!

  17. This brought me to tears too Beth, so beautifully written. My 3rd and last one starts school in 2020 and I am already feeling ALL the feels. Savouring every small moment, making conscious choices to sit and play with her. Like you, I really feel number 3 afforded both my husband & I the opportunity to be the parents we always wanted to be and she has just felt like the biggest of life’s blessings. Thanks for sharing

  18. You have such a wonderful talent for putting all our feelings into words. Thank you. We have to see each new stage as an adventure, not only a loss. I had 19 years from first child born to 4th child starting school and it was a huge adjustment. I have a March baby who went to school young and a May baby who started school older. If you are interested in my perspective on it just let me know. I don’t want to impose advice or thoughts on you if they arent helpful.

  19. Yvonne Duke says

    My youngest of 4 turned 18 last week ! How can it be that I have no dependant children anymore? It seems just like yesterday they were all running around the house and now it can be eerily quiet at times. Very emotional 😳😍

    • Oh Yvonne I can only imagine how quiet it is…so busy and so many demands on us for so long and then they fly the nest! What a rollercoaster. Lots of love to you x

  20. Beth I feel like I’m reading my own story with this! My biggest heads to high school next year so there are all sorts of decisions, emotions & hormones associated with that. Even boys have so much change ahead of them too. My baby turns 5 in January & while we have put in the school forms I also had the conversation with preschool this week about is she ready? Yes probably but am I? Her big brother won’t be there to look after her & her big sister would ignore her across the playground I’m sure. My 43 year old hormones have just cried over a kids movie!! This article has al the feels!! I’ll keep reading everything you write so I know I’m not alone. Go embrace that big wide world babies of ours.

    • Oh it’s quite the business isn’t it? And how did we get here so quick? She will be ready next year – and they will BOTH nail it. It’s been such a huge year for us but both girls have loved it. Good luck!

  21. My eldest is 19 and has her own life. My heart aches, I miss her so much. Yes, I see her all the time but she doesn’t need me and I’ve (I am!) grieved hard for “little” her. Has been more painful than anticipated. Now crying but also so so proud!

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