‘We no longer push strollers and cut up chicken fingers. Play dates have been replaced with late night drives for ice cream and conversations about politics.’: Mom to teens gushes ‘this stage is incredible’

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“We are long past getting up with a hungry baby in the middle of the night. We no longer push a stroller, or have the need to carry a baby bag.

I don’t remember the last time I was asked to cut up chicken fingers (or blow on them to cool them off).

Bath time? No one needs help anymore; no one has to be reminded.

And most nights I’m in bed and already asleep as bowls of cereal are being poured up downstairs in the kitchen.

Can I be honest with you for a moment? These were the days I dreaded when my children were babies.

I was team ‘Keep Them Small Forever,’ and even the thought of them growing up, well, it scared me to death.

But can I tell you something? This stage is incredible.

That’s right. It is a freakin’ blast!

A journey that began with sleepless nights, exhausting days, and unidentifiable stains on my shirt has somehow turned into me having the time of my life.

They make me laugh. Like, that deep down belly laughter; the kind that hurts your sides. My absolute favorite.

They are fun to be around. So fun. They even have this sort of sarcastic humor we oddly seem to like around here.

They hug me – and really, really good hugs, at that. Their arms (no longer the chubby arms of a little toddler) can wrap fully around me now, and the amount of comfort found in those arms? Well, it is unquantifiable.

Play dates, baby group, and 7 p.m. bedtimes have been replaced with late night drives for ice cream and conversations about politics, religion, and current world events (all over a cup of hot tea, of course).

I respect their thoughts, their opinions, and their beliefs. They are steadfast in who they are, and while their feet are planted firmly in place (not to be swayed by my persuasion), I would never want to change them anyway.

It’s living out the days of seeing your children become who they are – and it’s really, really cool when you like what you see.

Parents of Littles, I’m not saying rocking newborns to sleep isn’t lovely. Or that holding that dimpled toddler hand to walk across the road isn’t so incredibly sweet.

I’m not telling you the moments you’re living right now won’t be amongst some of the best moments in your life, because they most certainly will be.

All I’m saying is there’s just something about this teen and preteen life that tugs at my heart strings like no other stage of motherhood has.

So, no, Parents of Littles, I’m not saying don’t cherish the season you’re in, I’m just saying don’t be scared of what’s to come, that’s all.”

Courtesy of Heather Delaney

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Heather Delaney of Love Always, Heather. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

Read more from Heather here:

‘I don’t wait for my sister to ask before I take her baby. ‘I’m bringing him to the bedroom, turning on my favorite show, and he is mine for the next 2 hours.’: Mom of 3 urges ‘stand in the gap’

‘While I sit at home, worried about the children under my roof, you sit at home worried about the children under many roofs.’: Mom urges to teachers ‘give yourself some grace’

‘I’m not a good quarantine mom. There are no school charts, no stickers for rewards. No fancy math sheets printed off Pinterest.’: Mom says ‘give yourself grace, you are doing enough’

‘She’s been angry, quick to argue. I promise it’s not always you. It’s everything else.’: Woman pens letter to partners of stressed moms, ‘Her story needs a hero, and you’re the perfect part’

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