To wish my two teenagers were toddlers again?

(77 Posts)
CrabbyJo Fri 19-Aug-16 22:24:56

I have a nearly 15yr old DS and nearly 13 yr old DD. Both are lovely of course and I'm very proud of them and the young adults they're turning into. But recently I've been really down, bordering on depressed based on the fact they're growing up. I keep going through photos and watching home videos from when they were little and just feel utter sadness that all that period is over. Of course I knew they'd grow up and they still bring me lots of happiness but I just can't help feeling so so sad that the having small children phase of my life is over.
Does anyone or has anyone felt like this?

Hassled Fri 19-Aug-16 22:30:59

I do see what you mean - I've had moments of this as well. I'm looking forward to grandchildren - where I can get all the pleasure from little ones but then give them back at the end of the day grin. But I prefer being a parent to teenagers than toddlers - I think I'm better at it. You're still needed just as much, but in different ways.

Do you work? Hobbies? You do need to find a way to embrace having more time and freedom, because they'll be off and out in the blink of an eye, which will of course mean you've done your job well - but you just need to make sure you have plenty of distractions and your own purpose.

Liiinoo Fri 19-Aug-16 22:33:29

I feel very similar and my DDs are lovely, lovely young women in their 20s. I am very proud of them, but I miss the days when they were little and their dad and I and our home were the centre of their lives.

Of course there are compensations. I have more freedom and more choices in my own life. When I turned 50 I went to uni for the first time in my life and I now have a Masters degree in my my new professional field. I have the time and money to travel and my DH and I can spend more time together.

But would I swap it all to cuddle up with my three year old DD2 and sing her to sleep? OR have another night on the settee with DD1 watching Galdiators and discussing her nursery friends or spend an impromptu evening having a picnic on the downs watching the rabbits? Of course I would, in a heartbeat. They were the happiest days of my life.

SimonLeBonOnAndOn Fri 19-Aug-16 22:33:56

I'm exactly the same, my sons are 16 and 13.
Both lovely, but I miss all the little things that we did together when they were little.
Picnics, seaside trips, going to the park.
I get really maudlin over it.

Euphemia Fri 19-Aug-16 22:34:02

Put the photos and videos away and focus on now. Spend quality time with them now. In a few years they'll be grown up and you'll be regretting wasting these years wishing for the impossible.

SimonLeBonOnAndOn Fri 19-Aug-16 22:35:13

I'm not in any rush to have grandchildren though!

SimonLeBonOnAndOn Fri 19-Aug-16 22:35:59

Good advice euphemia.
Although they don't want to spend time with me!

citybushisland Fri 19-Aug-16 22:39:16

I miss the small children phase too, I do love the young women my daughters have become, I enjoy their company but I miss holding a little hand and snuggles when reading stories. Sad but true.

Sparklingbrook Fri 19-Aug-16 22:39:26

The school holidays do this to me. Remembering summers gone by and desperately trying to fill the 6 weeks. Zoos, the park, swimming, picnics etc. Getting the paddling pool and the paints out in the garden. Long walks with the buggy and buggy board.

Now replaced by endless driving to friends/jobs etc.

CrabbyJo Fri 19-Aug-16 22:40:59

Yes, I work full time. I don't really have hobbies, just the usual lunch or coffee with friends when I can.
I think I took it for granted when they were small. It feels like they turned into teens overnight almost. I wish I'd appreciated it more at the time I suppose!
And I agree, looking back it was the happiest time in my life. My DM says she still feels the same about her DC, that she'd go back if she could as it was her happiest time. She also thinks it's because I'm approaching 40 and want one more baby before it's too late lol.

Wellywife Fri 19-Aug-16 22:45:31

OP I know what you mean. I love my DC as teenagers, they're great company and lovely thoughtful young adults. But I also wish I still had them at two years old and five years old as well. They were delightful then too. It was a magical time, I was a SAHM and we had lots of day trips to lovely places. Funnily enough they don't want to go to Greenwood Forest Park anymore!

Time moves on though and there will be lots of other lovely times coming in the future.

CrabbyJo Fri 19-Aug-16 22:46:10

Maudlin, yes! That's exactly the word I feel. Well it's a relief to know I'm not alone.
School holidays probably did spark it, they're independent and don't need or want me to entertain them.
And that's a good point, feeling down now is spoiling what little time I do get to spend with them.

Hassled Fri 19-Aug-16 22:47:04

Yes, the summer holidays were the best. I miss paddling pools and sandpits. Day-trips to the beach and enthusiastic blackberry-picking.

Dammit CrabbyJo - I wasn't nostalgic before but now I am grin

Sparklingbrook Fri 19-Aug-16 22:51:26

I remember the times when if we went shopping they would be happy to clutch a new 99p Matchbox car on the way home.

Now we are looking at £70 jeans. hmm

CrabbyJo Fri 19-Aug-16 22:52:00

Sorry Hassled lol. We're off to the seaside next week so I'll try and force them to have a paddle in the sea with me. I suppose I should be thankful that they're both still very affectionate. DS strokes my arm whenever he passes me to go and hibernate in his bedroom and DD still grabs my hand to cross the road.

CrabbyJo Fri 19-Aug-16 22:54:26

Sparklingbrook yes they certainly get more expensive. I miss the £1.99 happy meal days, now it costs me £20 to fill them up on fast food lol

Greenandmighty Fri 19-Aug-16 22:54:59

Ooh, I do sympathise CrabbyJo. I frequently get such moments when I can see the last toddlers that I had all those years ago, climbing on to my lap for a cuddle. I especially miss reading them or soothing them to sleep. Although my teenager DD often has a cuddle and is very affectionate. The ghosts of those babies and toddlers still roam in our imagination. I have photos of them at this age by my bed. I also remember the restrictions on my life at that age and comfort myself with the thought that they're healthy young adults now and myself and DH contributed to making that happen. I understand how wistful you can get about their childhood which is in the past.

BoaConstrictor Fri 19-Aug-16 22:59:31

OP can I be harsh & say you may be seeing it through rose tinted spectacles. My DC are 6 & 4 and I have had a completely delightful summer with them, I love the fact that they still look to me for a lot of things and that the 4yo can't get out of bed in the morning unless he has had a cuddle with me BUT I am so glad that they are as old as they are and that we no longer need to plan our days entirely around naps & meals, that these plans are no longer destroyed as there is a massive tantrum over some perceived transgression (such as the Babybel not coming out of its case in one piece), that I don't have to lug a pushchair & change bag everywhere we go or have the same pointless conversation eleven million times in one morning.
I know that I am going to look back on this summer as being a magical time but I look back on the toddler years & wonder how I survived the sleep deprived, mundane frustration that made up at least 75% of it.
As I said though, I do love DS' cuddles and the fact that he is small for his age so can still nestle in and fit just so.

Sparklingbrook Fri 19-Aug-16 23:01:09

I also have moments when I think if I had my first baby again now what a much better job I would make of it than in 1999. Poor DS1 was the guinea pig, then DS2 came along and I sort of knew what I was doing by then.

CrabbyJo Fri 19-Aug-16 23:02:08

Greenandmighty I suppose I'm blanking out the bad times of tantrums and sleepless nights lol.

SpookyPotato Fri 19-Aug-16 23:02:46

This doesn't happen much but I'm sobbing at this thread (I'm blaming pregnancy grin I was expecting everyone to say the toddler period was nice but you're all so glad those days are gone and life is easier. But you're not saying that.. I have a 2 year old DS and love him like his, and hate that time is passing so quickly.. But was hoping I wouldn't miss it too much as the years go by. Thanks for posting this, going to appreciate it even more now.

RaggyDoll1 Fri 19-Aug-16 23:05:37

I have two teens, a preschooler, a toddler and a newborn. I'm trying to savour every moment as I know I will miss it.

ImperialBlether Fri 19-Aug-16 23:06:16

My two are in their twenties now and my happiest times were when they were very young. However, now is really lovely - they live away from home (that took some getting used to) and we have proper conversations and a lovely time when we're together. It's only in the last couple of months though that I've thought I would love to have grandchildren. I'm really glad they're not at that stage yet, but I will love it when they are.

Make the most of every stage, though, OP.

leopardgecko Fri 19-Aug-16 23:06:18

I totally understand your reaction, OP, and sympathise. My children are all in their 20s now, but when the youngest was about 16 we decided to become foster carers. As some of our children had special needs we were quite experienced in that area. So now we have young children running around the house again, doing the same things we did with ours, having the same highs and lows....and then of course the best thing in the world happened. We became grandparents, and believe me a grandchild is the most precious, wonderful, special thing in the world!!

CrabbyJo Fri 19-Aug-16 23:06:47

BoaConstrictor I don't think I am really as I certainly wouldn't go back to them being babies as I struggled in the early days but I'd happily return to them being 2 and 4 once I knew what I was doing.

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