How do I cope with my child growing up

(41 Posts)
istheresomethingwrongwithme Thu 22-Jul-21 05:51:40

This is ridiculous, I know.

I've got two lovely DS's. Ds1 is nearly 4 and DS2 is 2. I'm a SAHM.

It's DS1's last day of pre-school today. We're going in for a little end of year party. He starts reception at that school in September. He's happy and settled there.

So why oh why am I an anxious wreck. I just can't bear the thought of him growing up. His baby/toddler days are over. No more toddler groups, spontaneous park play dates during the week. No pair of shadows behind me. Days dictated by school runs and holidays. I've still got DS2 at home with me, except for the two mornings a week he attends nursery.

I have suffered from anxiety before and can feel my symptoms coming back. I know what advice I'd give to a friend - you'll have lots of lovely time with DS2, the school holidays are long, he's still really little etc. Yet I can't take my advice and I just want to keep him here cuddled up in my bed forever.

Any advice?! I know I sound ridiculous, so please don't come on just to tell me that.

OP’s posts: |
DisgraceToTheYChromosome Thu 22-Jul-21 07:54:55

I would suggest approaching your GP for SSRIs in the first instance, and self-directed CBT. The DCs will grow up, that's what they do, but it's better if you're not coming apart while its happening. You're not ridiculous, everyone feels this. The transition from the warm little bundle to the independent schoolkid is a wrench. I went through it with DD, I'm about to go through with DGS. Keep it green in memory, and face forward.

Imcatmum Thu 22-Jul-21 07:58:18

Being a mum is a serious trigger for anxiety. It just is!

Yes, speak to GP and at very least, some CBT to get these symptoms under control before they really cause you problems.

And just to add, it's normal to feel like this but if you have underlying anxiety, you need to deal with it rather than just accepting it's normal to feel sad at the changing stages because you don't want to become unwell.

Embracelife Thu 22-Jul-21 07:58:22

Transitions are hard but get some therapist help.

Seek something you do for you beyond the children. Hobby work volunteering.

Growing up is a wonderfulthing....the ,alternative to them growing up would be a tragedy.

Lancelottie Thu 22-Jul-21 08:00:16

Nooo, Disgrace, your little GS can’t be school age! Your post about the joyful elephantine galumphing has stuck with me for years!


Sorry, OP.

Yes, it’s a weird feeling when you go from toddlerdom to being tied down to school terms. It brings different joys, though, and different challenges, and a bizarre short-notice need for Greek togas and Victorian urchin costumes…

Good luck!

DinosaurDiana Thu 22-Jul-21 08:01:27

Your kids will grow up, there’s nothing you can do about it.
And I don’t think you’ll want your grown up kids to look back and think that mum was always anxious.
You have good insight into your anxiety, go and get the help you need.

CeeceeBloomingdale Thu 22-Jul-21 08:03:19

Each stage of childhood has it's merits. Imagine days out or holidays without taking buggies and children being old enough to not need a loo within sight all the time. To not need to plan around nap or snack times. To have them remember the good times themselves and reminisce about what they did with you last summer. Look forward to the good stuff, his life is just beginning and you will see him grow and develop. It's totally normal to feel a bit tearful at the end of their nursery days though. cut yourself some slack.


HPandTheNeverEndingBedtime Thu 22-Jul-21 08:08:20

Think of all the wonderful things that they will learn and rush out of the school doors because they want to see you and share with you. I have thoroughly enjoyed Dds Primary school years, watching her develop her own interests and becoming more independent. I understand the not wanting them to grow up, she's off to High school in September but there are so many good things still to come.

Wolfiefan Thu 22-Jul-21 08:09:47

If your anxiety is coming back you need to see your GP.

Each stage of having children offers its own rewards. My youngest is off to secondary in September and eldest off to uni. (Great timing!) I will miss him like mad and it’s weird to think of my baby in a blazer but I’m excited. They will have so many opportunities. So many experiences. I can’t wait to hear all about them.
Plus eldest was very sick as a toddler. I’m beyond grateful I have two healthy children.

DurhamDurham Thu 22-Jul-21 08:16:36

It's hard but rewarding to watch your children grow up. Each stage brings its own challenges and it definitely doesn't get easier. Nothing prepares you for the teenage years, 13 year olds aren't the easiest to look after that's for sure grin
My two girls are grown up, 28 and 24.I'm a grandma to a 3 year old little girl who lives with us with her mum (my youngest) they're about to move out in August and I'm dreading it, I get quite teary about it but absolutely know it's the right thing for them.

When my two were toddlers I worried about them a lot and I always thought a they grew you'd worry less but that doesn't happen and I still worry about them today.

I think you have to embrace each and every stage, I had my girls quite young and felt I grew with them. If you continue to struggle it might be worth having a chat with your GP or Health Visitor, if your anxiety is affecting your day to day life you may need some support.

TeenMinusTests Thu 22-Jul-21 08:17:49

As they grow you get to delight in different things.
You watch their interests and personalities develop.
You delight when they first come home knowing something you don't.
Your job as a Mum is to help them grow, and to launch them into the world.

highlandcoo Thu 22-Jul-21 08:20:17

Mine are all grown up now and I have occasional moments of intensely missing them as they were when they were tiny so I do get it that leaving these stages behind can make you feel wistful.

However, my friend has a son with a complex learning disabilty who will never live independently, and although a man now in some ways he remains like a child. We wouldn't choose that for our children. We want them to grow and develop and move on.

TheYearOfSmallThings Thu 22-Jul-21 08:26:48

Whenever I feel like this I consider the alternative, and remember to be grateful for all the things DS has learned and achieved, and grateful that he is ready to move on to the next stage with his friends.

I think leaving nursery and starting school is an anxious time for many parents if we are honest, but after the first week it becomes completely normal. Then we move on to worrying about the next thing!

SemiFeralDalek Thu 22-Jul-21 08:30:58

You be glad, and grateful that they are growing, thriving and healthy.

You deep breathe through the emotional moments and delight at the new knowledge and penny drop moments that they have. (and have a cry once they're in bed about it!)

You tell your GP that you are struggling with anxiety and try to access some help.

Stormwhale Thu 22-Jul-21 08:37:07

By realising how lucky you are that your children are still alive and growing. I was like this, and it took a post on here pointing out that some poor bereaved parents would give anything to see their children grow up and that has been taken from them. I honestly had the biggest wake up moment and it turned my thinking around completely.

Babyboomtastic Thu 22-Jul-21 08:37:37

In at the same state, I feel much the same, and if I'm honest, it's thinking about having a third which keeps me going. Not sure whether I'll actually do it, but I'm not ready to be leaving this stage in life.

Having effectively lost the last year to Covid just makes it worse. So many things I wanted to do between 3-4 that haven't been able to happen.

BungleandGeorge Thu 22-Jul-21 08:41:25

Don’t feel in any way bad for feeling like this. We all know the alternatives to growing up are worse but it’s ok to feel sad and very normal. Many of us will have had a few silent tears in private over the years! The big transitions are worse

MayorGoodwaysChicken Thu 22-Jul-21 08:41:50

I get you OP. My son starts school in September and I actually tested up behind my sunglasses walking him to nursery yesterday because I felt so emotional that this lovely chapter of his life is closing. But I’m so excited for what comes next too. Seeing him learning and growing and finding out about the world gives me so much joy. It’s honestly like looking at the world through new eyes (sorry so cheesy!)

I follow an Instagram account of an amazing mum dedicated to her DD with additional needs and she struggles so much seeing other kids meet all their milestones in life while her daughter doesn’t. Thinking of that is all I need to keep my sadness in check. It’s a transition but try and see it as a positive if you can.

MayorGoodwaysChicken Thu 22-Jul-21 08:42:02

*teared up that should say!

ApplesinmyPocket Thu 22-Jul-21 08:43:02

I understand, OP. I remember the shock it was to notice DD's legs as she ran out of school with her friends and noticed they were no longer 'baby'/'young child' legs - they had lengthened, straightened out and gone skinny so her knees looked big (they weren't really). It hit me with such a pang! She was 6 at the time.

But Primary has lots of lovely things to offer, OP, to replace the pre-school years. I have such happy memories of those years, right up to teens. And you sort of 'grow into' each age as it happens - each age has things which are better than the age before even though there are some things you may miss.

(You are years and YEARS off this yet - but my adult DDs came home for the weekend last week - one bringing her lovely husband - and we had the most perfect, fun weekend laughing together, playing games, catching Pokemon in the park, eating icecream - and I didn't have to do the driving - THEY did it all! and organised the weekend meals, etc. I caught myself thinking 'is this the best age yet, maybe?' grin (though what I need now is GC so I can get my fill of little toddler legs again.)

HollowTalk Thu 22-Jul-21 08:49:10


By realising how lucky you are that your children are still alive and growing. I was like this, and it took a post on here pointing out that some poor bereaved parents would give anything to see their children grow up and that has been taken from them. I honestly had the biggest wake up moment and it turned my thinking around completely.

Exactly this. You're one of the luckiest people in the world - please be careful who you complain about this to.

SemiFeralDalek Thu 22-Jul-21 08:58:14


By realising how lucky you are that your children are still alive and growing. I was like this, and it took a post on here pointing out that some poor bereaved parents would give anything to see their children grow up and that has been taken from them. I honestly had the biggest wake up moment and it turned my thinking around completely.

This is sort of what I wanted to say without coming across as a twat.

*OP, your anxiety, I know, is not something you can control, that is the nature of that particular beast. And I'd encourage you to try to access some support for it.

I have one ds who finished nursery school yesterday, and one who passed away shortly after birth not long ago.

So I absolutely get the anxiety of the growing up, the fear of the unknown as they grow and change and you have to give up control. It's new and scary but it's also exciting and interesting and lovely.

But I also know I'd absolutely give my right arm to have my youngest here to worry about, instead of knowing exactly where he is, and will be, at all times, forever.

worktrip Thu 22-Jul-21 09:06:06

Kids grow up and it is a big wrench to know you will never see their cute toddler faces except in photos. DS called me Mum yesterday instead of mummy. Broke a little bit of my heart again, just like when he asked me not to kiss him when I dropped him off at school. Sadness is normal but shouldn't overwhelm you. I would see your GP for some help

VanCleefArpels Thu 22-Jul-21 09:10:37

Get some help now because there will be many more transitions to come - from primary to secondary school, first periods, first love affairs, leaving for university or work…. The list is endless. Our job as parents is to guide our children through these stages, hopefully instil them with the values we hold dear and prepare them to lead independent and useful lives.

MissMissTorrance Thu 22-Jul-21 09:13:39

I've just waved my ds off on a transition day to 'big school' OP. He's 11. I get you.
I'm looking back thinking about how far we have come and how much he has grown.
When I hear him running down the stairs I'm often taken aback when he bursts through the door as I expect to see my mischievous little boy but he's a young man now.
It's bittersweet.
It's life.
( And your ickle one is still very ickle reallysmile)

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