Big Kids.

by Lori Dwyer on February 3, 2014 · 7 comments

Who are these enormous children? And when did they eat my tiny, sweet, Playdoh-scented toddlers?  

Once upon a few years ago, I comforted myself with the thought that this was just the nappies-and-dummies time of my life. That it would pass soon enough, and I’d be grateful when it did.  

And it has passed. But I’m not sure if  I’m grateful that it has.  It’s easier– how can it not be, when they are so much more independent? When my kidlets can now dress themselves, feed themselves? When I have more free time than I ever did before?

One is at school, the other at kindy. There are six full hours, four days a week, to spend my time as I see fit. I am no longer woken every day with the question of “What are we doing today, Mumma?”. I no longer plot and plan things to fill what felt like an endless amount of time- day care, playgroup, swimming lessons, playdates and trips to the library. Most days now, the answer is the same (“School”) and the onus for entertainment is no longer completely mine.  


Me and my big kids

But there’s a grief that comes with that, too. A funny vapour of emptiness in the shape of PlaySchool and sippy cups, comfort toys and day naps.

Older children are easier. But the experience is somehow not as sweet.

I’m not even sure exactly when it happened. One day not too long ago, I still felt mired in the responsibility of doing everything for them. Then, suddenly, I looked at them– properly looked at them– and realised they had grown up insurmountably while I was not paying close enough attention.  

Some days I am inexplicably, irrationally angry that the first part of their growing up is over. I feel as though I’ve been cheated out of it by life, by the actions of their father. That I struggled so hard to enjoy raising very little children, when it should have been that much easier. That I missed so much of it, because I was disconnected for so long.

I ache for them as babies. I hope I did okay, in spite of what happened. That they didn’t miss out on too much. And that if they did, they won’t realise it. That it won’t affect them adversely for the rest of their lives.  

My big kids, so happy to be big kids. It’s so bittersweet, watching them grow.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Eliza February 4, 2014 at 1:49 pm

I understand what you mean. Mine are eight and six and while their independence is great, but I really miss their younger selves sometimes. They’re not excited to see me when I get home from work anymore, and I dread the day when they won’t even want a cuddle in bed at night. When I look at old photos there’s a feeling of grief thinking that little person is gone forever. :(

Don’t worry about your kids Lori, you are doing fine and they will be ok.


Wanderlust February 4, 2014 at 11:50 am

What a gorgeous photo. I get this, viscerally. I too feel like I missed the opportunity (luxury?) of just enjoying being with my kids when they were little, because of the trauma brought about by their father. I mourn the loss of that time with them. But look at your beautiful kids. You are with them now and you all got through it. xo
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Rachel @ Reality Chick February 4, 2014 at 11:07 am

Your kids are beautiful, and what a lovely photo of the three of you! I reckon you did okay :-)


Spagsy February 3, 2014 at 10:14 pm

Look forward and at what is now for you might write a repeat post in a couple of years.

And if you miss it feel free to come down my way. Mine are just in between yours.

Xx rah rah from Lara


Suzy Mac February 3, 2014 at 9:50 pm

They look really happy, and loved – this gorgeous photo answers all your questions. You are obviously a great mum to two beautiful kids who absolutely adore you.
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Vanessa February 3, 2014 at 7:03 pm

They certainly look happy :)


Joy February 3, 2014 at 6:42 pm

It is bittersweet. My oldest baby is almost 12, and I can wear his track pants and tshirts for lounging around the house. Soon, they will be too big for me. My littlest baby is almost 7!!! In the blink of an eye, I’ve transitioned out of sleepless nights and the tyranny of toddlerhood, into running to sports events and music lessons.

It all moves quickly, and is shrouded in a haze of not remembering. At least, it’s that way for me.

Hugs, Momma. Their happy faces are beautiful. Well done. :)


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