My children are seven and five. I love life with “big kids” but I would be a liar if I didn’t say that sometimes, I pine for their baby and toddler years. It was sweet to have a little baby snuggled on my chest or a tiny human grabbing my hand and hanging on for dear life. These days, my kids run off without me and play on their own and I am left to my own devices. It still makes me a bit sad that I am not as needed as I once was but when it comes down to it, there are a lot of perks to your kids getting older and becoming more independent. If you can get past being sad that they are done being babies, then you will recognize the things that are wonderful about life with older children in your family. Here are my very favorite perks of life with big kids:
1. No More Car Cart. Oh, the freaking car cart. Basically, a rolling germ mobile and also, an 18-wheeler that no one can maneuver gracefully between the aisles. I do love my Wegman’s but their constant availability of car carts made shopping with my little ones total hell- once they spotted one, good luck telling them no. Now, they are too big to fit. SWEET FREEDOM.
2. They Wipe Their Own Butts. Mostly. While my 5-year old still has the occasional sticky situation, we are pretty much done wiping their butts. I don’t think I have to elaborate about why this is awesome.
3. They Can Talk To You. Yes, this can be a double-edged sword. My kids can get super chatty and if I zone out, they catch it and then, start their whole tale over again. The plus side is this means hardly any tantrums because we can talk about whatever is bothering them. Phew.
4. They Are Fun To Hang Out With. Sure, babies and toddlers can be very fun but my kids are now at an age where I find them genuinely entertaining. If you ever saw my son dance or witnessed my daughter’s amazingly dry sense of humor, you would know what I mean.
5. They Get Themselves Dressed. I have their clothes arranged in their drawers in a way that makes it easy for them to find and put on their own outfits. Yelling out “GUYS! Go get dressed for school!” and having them actually do it is pretty sweet.
6. You Can Make Them Do Chores. I am no tyrant, but my kids are more than capable of helping out around the house. I am proud to say that they are great about keeping their own rooms picked up and putting away their laundry after I fold it. My 7-year old even feeds the dog and takes him out after school. Learning to empty the dishwasher is our next project.
7. Their Sports And Activities Are Fun To Watch. Of course, toddlers chasing a soccer ball are pretty cute but this past spring, we saw some truly exciting and suspenseful baseball games now that our daughter is old enough to be on a team where they all know what they are doing.
8. They Can Shower On Their Own. After years of back-breaking baths and rinsing my daughter’s mane of thick hair, I am happy to say that with minimal assistance, my kids now shower on their own. I still miss baby bath-time but my Old Lady back pain does not!
9. They Want To Play Games That Are Actually Fun. No more miserable Candyland and Chutes and Ladders– now, we do Uno, Monopoly and Connect 4. Huge upgrades.
10. “Get In The Car And Buckle Up, Guys!” No more wrangling into car seats. Enough said.
Related post: 5 Big Fat Lies About Parenthood – Scary Mommy
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