Tuesday, 30 August 2011

This is the best age you know

I'm going to make a stark admission on the blog today.

It's very possible that I do not appreciate my children quite as much as I should.  I'm going to go out on a limb and say that's also very possible that I am not alone in this.

Let's face it, it's hard to appreciate them when they've done nothing but whinge all day, belted you in the face with a mini golf club, wiped their snot on your bottom and told you seventeen times that day that they don't like you and grandma is better.  It's no wonder that many days are spent counting the minutes down to bedtime and the glorious wine-o-clock, forgetting that in the meantime you've got to get through the "witching hour" - that awful hour before bedtime when children seem to be at their most mischievous.

I try not to, but both Mr M and I, are and have always been guilty of wishing their lives away to some extent. Things are always going to be easier when they get that bit older aren't they? Yes, they are. Don't tell me otherwise. We've lived the past few years moving from one milestone to another and each one throws up a new set of challenges, because that's life isn't it? We've recently come back from a holiday that should have been, and was in many ways, the stuff of dreams but the complaining that the children did sometimes make me wish I was there on my own. I needed to remind myself sometimes that they are only 5 and 4.

I spend way too long moaning at my children - be quiet, sit up straight, don't interrupt, don't play with your food, stop squealing, don't run, don't poke people in the eye... I'm starting to feel like I am sucking the fun out of life for them. Don't get me wrong, I love my children more than anything and they bring me immense joy on a daily basis but sometimes the daily grind wears you down and well, it can all become a bit too much.

Just the other day in the local shop the children were doing the worst. We were all a bit jet-lagged, my nerves were shot, I was more than likely on the edge of The Rage and my patience was at an all-time low. The children were happy. Happy means noisy. Noisy, playful, giggles, screeches, incessant talking at 50 miles per hour. At the wrong time this can be a "nails down a blackboard" scenario and it was. I was short with them, threats of punishments never to be carried out were made if they didn't calm down a bit and they were given The Look. This brought them in line enough for me to complete my shop for the essentials but the bobbing around and general giddiness, you know, normal child behaviour, recommenced at the till.  A middle-aged lady behind me looked at them smiling, leaned over to me and said "This is the best age you know".  I looked over at the two little faces poking up from behind the trolley and back to her "I miss my daughter being this age, she's in her thirties now, I'd love to have her like this again". 

In that instant I felt guilty. Terribly guilty. For not appreciating what I have now and the little people that they are. For wishing their lives away and planning their futures when I should be living in the moment not like spending time doing other things when I should have been snuggling down with them when they watched a film.

I've spent many a day on the phone to Mr M at work telling him that they are driving me crazy and I can't wait until they go to bed and how I just Need. A. Break.  Now they're both preparing to return to school, with the little guy starting full-time and do you know what? I'm going to miss their whinging, I'm going to miss getting Playmobil embedded in my foot a couple of times a week (don't worry, there's still weekends...), I'm going to miss not being able to open a packet of biscuits without being lynched and I'm going to miss all the incessant chatter and nonsense that they spout throughout the day. 

So from this point forward I am going to make a vow to appreciate my children more, stop moaning at them so much and remember that "this is the best age you know" - they won't be like this for very long.

love & kisses
Mrs M x


  1. That lady is so right! It actually brought a tear reading this, cause I see myself so much in this post! It's really made me stop and think, and stop shouting for a moment! Lovely post. Nat

  2. I'm sure you're right but I've such a day of it with my 2yo that in no fit state to comment :/

  3. I second what that lady said...My eldest is 21 and my baby is starting senior school next week. I would sooooo love to have all four of them little again and driving me up the wall. They are precious days and fly by in a flash x

  4. Reading this actually brought tears to my eyes because it's so true! The next time my children are driving me up the wall and I can feel the "rage" coming I shall think of this post and remember what that lady said to you! Lovely writing x

  5. Oh good grief you should have warned me about this one - I'm blubbing like a baby here! Very wise words Mrs M x

  6. We all feel like this at times. Maxi reminded me that all I say at the moment is negative, No, do not so that, be quiet. So I am trying to be more positive with them.

  7. This is a wonderful post. I do this all the time! I often find myself counting down the hours until Milo's dad picks him up instead of thinking about making the most of the time I have with him and it makes me feel so guilty and awful. It's a feeling I think many parents don't admit to, especially us mum's and it's great to read it. Thanks for the post.


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