Blog Motherhood

Please Don’t Grow Up

It’s strange, I’ve been a mother for almost four years, in June. And I’ve never really felt like this before.

But I think I’m scared of my children growing up.

And maybe scared is the wrong word. At least, I’m not scared for them, I’m scared for me. And it seems like such a selfish thing to say, because they have their whole lives ahead of them, and their lives will definitely move away from the days where their silly, old mum is their best friend.

I have started to notice how grown-up my son really is these days. And some of my friends, family and even those who read my blog or watch my videos have noticed it too.

I think the anticipation and arrival of his newborn sister is teaching me that time goes very fast. And I don’t know why I’ve never noticed that before. I have thoroughly welcomed and adored every stage of my son’s life. While some times have been harder than others (the early months of three I’m looking at you), I’ve found a lot of joy in all of them.

I loved the sleepy newborn cuddles, the downy baby hair on his head, the way he smelt. The way he needed me. The way he lay on my chest.

I enjoyed the delight with every milestone. The joy on his face when he first sat up unaided. Or commando-crawled towards me. Or the first steps he took where his face lit-up with a mixture of joy and terror as he wobbled on shaky, pink baby feet. The first words and sentences. The way he picks up the lyrics of songs just like I do. The way that walk turned to a run. The climbing. The adventures. The sheer ability of my monkey child.

And now I have a son who cares about me. He rescued me when I fell. For the first time in his life he chose to help his mum. He put me first. And the love he had for me knocked me flying harder than any fall ever could. Because I felt so proud to have this little person who, in his own way, had my back too.

Now, if I sigh, without even saying a word, my little boy will pipe up suddenly: “What’s wrong Mama? Are you okay? You know you can tell me anything?” A sigh. That’s all it takes for him to think: “Hang on, maybe my mum needs me?” I hear my own voice in his. And I hear the genuine concern.

And I don’t know if I’m ready for this, as much as I love this new stage too. Because Bill, I will always need you. Just as much, if not more than you need me.

He was with his dad on Wednesday night. And I walked upstairs to bed. And reached the top and came face-to-face with my son’s bedroom door. It was closed. And normally he’d be sleeping right behind it. All sweaty and flushed as he always is. And looking beautiful.

I wondered when he’d tell me to stop checking on him before I went to bed. I wondered when would be the last time he’d need help getting dressed. Or opening a packet. Or washing his hair.

And I lay on his bed, facing upwards, looking round, and seeing what he must see every night before he goes to bed. Trying my best not to cry – though it gets me every time because I can’t explain how much I miss his company. The glow of his bubble lights that match his bedding. Or the way the little birds I strung from the ceiling slowly rotated with the warmth of the room. His books filling his bookcase. All bright, mostly animal-themed, with big pictures and few words. The way his stuffed, toy animals tumbled from their storage bag. And his favourite pieces of artwork stuck to the walls.

My little boy’s childhood bedroom. The place I feel closest to him when he’s not here.

A room that, in time, will change over the years. The animal theme will surely go. The clothes will get bigger and fill his wardrobe, top-to-bottom. The books relocated to his sister’s room. The duvet cover something more ‘grown-up’.

I don’t want him to grow-up just yet. I feel very sad at the years that I didn’t quite make the most of with my son. Back to work when he was tiny. Missed opportunities. And school in September.

I know we have many more years ahead of us. At least I hope that we do. And I hope that he will always tell me I’m his best friend, and that I’m “the best Mama in the whole wide world.”

I don’t want to lose this. I’m scared that we will. That he might never remember the times that I will never forget.

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  • Reply
    Nicola Bradbury
    10th March 2016 at 1:33 pm

    I can totally relate to every word. Alfie is not four until September, so he won't start school until 2017, but I completely understand what you mean about them growing up. Sometimes, I just take a minute to sit and watch him play or go about his day. It makes me happy and sad at the same time because these years seem to be whizzing by and I just want time to slow down. For him to stay my little boy. I know he's going to grow up and I'm already dreading the teenage years where he's too cool for Mum and Dad, or when the 'Kevin' stage starts and he doesn't want to talk to us at. all. My mother in law told me that my husband went through an awful stage of shutting them out, but he grew out of it and they're closer than ever now. I guess as Mama's, we have to take the rough with the smooth. Lots of love chick. xxx

  • Reply
    10th March 2016 at 3:23 pm

    I wrote a post recently about how the realisation that my son no longer needed his pushchair got me feeling much like how you're feeling. My pram pushing days are over and I didn't even realise it. We're onto the next stage now. School starts in September and from then on I know he's just going to get more and more independent. Of course that's the way it's meant to be but you can't help but feel a little nostalgic for the days when their whole world revolved around you.

    You've got it all to come again with little miss though 🙂 xx

  • Reply
    Amy Antoinette
    10th March 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Such a beautiful post, and exactly how I feel. Even though I've spent all day, every day with Henry in his 2.5 years, it still overwhelms we just how quickly he's changing and growing up, and I want to hold on to how it is, but it's so hard. Since Everly was born, he seems to be growing up even more quickly. It's so bittersweet isn't it. Xxx

  • Reply
    10th March 2016 at 8:43 pm

    Oh my goodness this resonated with me so much! My daughter just turned 4 and is such a sweetheart. I too am excited for her to grow up, discover the world and be her own person but I am also dreading the days when she doesn't want cuddles and stories and calling me her best friend. Emotional!

  • Reply
    Natalie Ray
    12th March 2016 at 6:03 pm

    Oh I totally know how you feel, my little girl will be 4 in June as well and she's so grown up now. She swam half a width on her own today and it's so lovely to see the achievement and we're so proud of her but at the same time it's just such a grown up thing to do, what happened to that chubby little baby that we used to take swimming??x

  • Reply
    Sarah Ebner
    13th March 2016 at 2:14 pm

    This is an absolutely beautiful post – all I can say (with kids aged 14 and 10) is that there are so many wonderful times to come as they grow, so many more things you can do together and lots and lots of happiness.

  • Reply
    17th March 2016 at 7:11 am

    Such a lovely post!!!We can enjoy every stage of kids.Every stage will give some kind of pleasure and happiness.Be cool:)

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