I think I actually like my kids?

This weekend we had the pleasure of being kid-free two nights in a row. One was planned, and the other was a spur of the moment thing. But the point I really want to make is how your kids get to a certain age where a kid-free night is wonderful but not the same as THOSE days when you would have considered leaving the baby in the house alone, in your desperation for a few hours of uninterrupted sleep. Sorry for those of you still in  the throes of this phase!

It was one of those moments when I was like “wow, these kids are BIG.” And while it was great not to have to get up and fix breakfast, put out sibling squabbles and have my ear chewed off by a very talkative 4 year old, I must admit that I missed them. The kids go to bed at 8pm and I don’t hear a peep out of them until I wake them up the next day. My mother called one Friday night and it was just after 8 and she was like “are the kids in bed already, it’s Friday?” In my house, the days of the week or the occasion make no difference, bed time is bed time. The only time we deviate is if we have visitors and for REALLY special occasions like the Soccer World Cup where I allowed them to stay up for the opening ceremony – which they found utterly boring. So my sleep is uninterrupted, I love my sleep and they’ve reached an age where they do to!

So my point is, having them spend the night away from me is not as exciting as it used to be! And strangely, I missed them not being around. Husband had things to take care of on Saturday morning so I was home alone, and I felt quite bleak without them. Is this the age where parents actually start to enjoy the company of their children? Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy alone time as much as the next run down mother, but without me realising it, I think I’ve actually reached a stage of LIKING my children and WANTING to be around them. Now now, don’t judge. Parenting is not all about the fun loving stuff that people put on their IG pictures. Most of the time, those first few years are just plain HARD and tiring and annoying. You love your kid, you’d jump in front of a moving bus for your kid, you love each smile and giggle, but it’s hard work.. often very thankless. And I won’t lie and say I didn’t wish those sleepless nights and those horrible teething patches and those stinky diapers away, because I did! And even though I’d do it ten times over without hesitation if you asked me to go through it all again, I must say that this actual LIKE I have for my kids at this age is rather surprising and refreshing.

Needless to say when they got home, they hadn’t missed me AT ALL. My 100s of questions were answered with as little detail as possible and all they wanted to do was to be left alone to play secret games with each other and have as little to do with me as possible. The nerve. I forced everyone to have lunch around the table so we could TALK because we were not going to be there for dinner on Saturday night and after that, they scurried off to do their own thing again.

I must say this is all weird to me – this growing up business. And weirder still because I clearly remember a day crying in my kitchen with a crying toddler wrapped around my thigh and a crying baby on my hip , thinking WHEN WILL THIS BE OVER, LORD!!!! And now that we are here, it’s weird but all kinds of awesome too. I like my kids, they are cool. I want to spend time with them. I want to hear their opinions. I want them to laugh at my jokes. I want them to LIKE me as much as I LIKE them. I actually WANT to go on holiday with them! After Cape Town 2011 – a disaster family holiday, I didn’t think those words would ever come out of my mouth! I love being able to do my own thing while they are somewhere else in the house. I like them popping their little heads around the door to make sure I am OK and asking “are you googling on your iPad again, mama?”

This is the age of AWESOME for me. It truly is!

9 thoughts on “I think I actually like my kids?”

  1. I guess we are never happy where we are! When they are too demanding we wait till they will be more independent and when that happens we long for the old days! I guess it is all about appreciating the moment. 🙂

    1. I don’t long for the old days, no thanks!! LOVE this stage!! I think the only thing I’ll miss is the cuddles and the love they are still happy to give at this age, when they get too big for their boots and don’t want to cuddle, that will break my heart! lol!

  2. I totally get that and I completely agree. Kids are sooooo much nicer when they get older. You can actually have conversations and reason with them. I just LOVE that they can actually entertain themselves. I could NOT go back to less sleep. I nearly died the other night with all that broken sleep when Joel was so sick!

  3. We are still at the stage where would happily ship our child off for some time alone. At this stage I want to be alone, not even the hubby. I do remember the crying I did over not breastfeeding anymore and when Honeybear would rather walk then have me carry him.
    We are still waiting for sleeping through the night in his own bed.
    I like that you give some hope, when we all will get to liking our kids and it will be easier. Thank you.

  4. I would love some alone time with hubby but I do miss my kids! A few weekends ago the whole lot were on a camp and I was alone at home (arm in sling though) – it was a very long and lonely weekend. I thoroughly missed them

  5. I am clinging to this thought while I have the baby on my hip and the toddler around my legs :))

    But I really started enjoying my kids a lot when they were a little more independent. Even where Jack is now is a nice age!

  6. I haven’t slept through the night in more than 5 years!! Sigh …
    My oldest is in this stage and I do really enjoy talking to her and listening to the kinds of things she says and thinks. My second is almost there … wanting to be a big girl but also not wanting to stop being a baby just yet. And Mister is a full-on-hell-on-wheels toddler 🙂

    I think I have a couple of years to go before I can write this post 🙂

  7. So I’m one of the lucky few who doesn’t mind the baby stage because my child God bless her soul has been sleeping through for a while, except she’s ill. But yes each stage has its perks and the stage that frightens me is when kids don’t want to be seen with their parents or be cuddled or kissed!!!

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