I’m not ready

My eldest child is ten.  Ten.  Last time I looked she was a toddler.

I’m scared.

Puberty is galloping over the horizon, and I wish it wasn’t.  I want her to stay as a funny, quirky imaginative little girl.  Already the hormonal ups and downs have started and she’s losing her little girlness.  I know I should embrace her growing up, but so far I’m struggling.

She’s conflicted too.  She feels things differently.  She’s always been an easy, happy child, but now she wakes us in the night with random worries.  If we get cross with her, she thinks we don’t care.  This week saw us both crying at 10pm about something stupid.  And this is only the start of it.

I love having primary school age children.  They’re funny and thoughtful and interested in everything.  They’re potty trained, mostly, they can walk for miles and read books and they sleep through the night.  They’re amazing travel companions.  They do what I say, on the whole, and they need me.  I like being needed.

The next bit is a complete unknown, as a parent.  I can remember the hideousness of being a teenager;  shy, awkward, worrying that everyone else was having a much better time than me.  Periods, greasy hair and spots: I wouldn’t wish them on anyone, let alone my gorgeous little girl.

And as for drugs, sex and teenage pregnancy, I’m adopting an emu pose.

I wish the future would hold it’s horses.

32 comments
  1. *holds out hand* You’ll be fine. Shall I let you into a secret? Teenagers are lovely too. x

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily said:

      I know. But they’re so ungainly and smelly.

  2. Love my teenagers, they just present totally new challenges. The primary school years now seem like a breeze. No point in getting too comfortable. ;-)

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily said:

      Thanks, that’s very reassuring :/

  3. I feel your pain. My baby joined secondary school last year and already she has undergone a huge transformation from a little girl to a teenager-in-waiting. It’s scary, and it’s also made me realise how unprepared I am for the not too distant future when neither of my girls will need me as much.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily said:

      I’ve still got a five year old, so I feel relatively buffered from the whole leaving home thing. But I guess it’ll happen before I know it.

  4. Even though mine are much younger than yours I totally get this. I have a very wise friend (you) who would say something like, each stage is new and there will be things you like about her getting older. I often think its the thought of these things that is harder. Now if only I could listen to my own words…..

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily said:

      You’re right, it IS the thought of it. In reality you just get on with it on a day to day basis and it’s not so bad.

  5. It is very scary. Just today I was looking at my 5 year old wondering where all that time had gone… I hope teenage years will treat you well :) x

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily said:

      Thank you, she’s a pretty good girl at the moment, so fingers crossed.

  6. And there I am freaking out that Kate is almost one. I am sure that this will be on me in a blink of an eye. Perhaps we could bonsai them in some way. What would be the perfect age to freeze them at? (It is not almost three as if I had to answer why? for the rest of my life I would crawl under the table and never come out!)

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily said:

      Ned was a why man, still is really, but it’s not so relentless these days. I think five is a great age, young enough to still be funny and babyish, but just about old enough to be relatively civilised. Relatively.

  7. I feel the same way and my are younger. I think for me it is about time passing far too fast for my liking. I want to bottle things and keep them..

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily said:

      But we can’t, I think it’s healthy to accept change, I’m working on it.

  8. shar13 said:

    They still need you as teenagers too, sometimes more than when they are small. And even though my youngest is 22 this year and all four of them have left home and are wonderfully independent (which is what we want for them isn’t it?) they still call for adivce and to discuss problems. Enjoy ALL their years, even the difficult ones, because before you know it, like mine, they’ll be gone. I spent my time wishing the years away, I was SO exhausted and frustrated with them all and people that used to tell me to ‘enjoy it, they’ll grow up before you know it’ got short shrift from me, now I wish I’d listened!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily said:

      OK, I’ll listen, I promise!

  9. shar13 said:

    I wish I’d listened more when people told me they’d grow up before I knew it, I was so exhausted and frustrated with them all, practically bringing all four up on my own as my husband worked away a lot. But even though my youngest is now 21 and all of them have left home and are wonderfully independent (which is what we want for them isn’t it?) they still ring for advice and to discuss problems and we all love to get together whenever we can. Sometimes they need you more as they get older than they do when they’re small, but in different ways and that can be the challenge. Make the most of every stage, because soon, like me, you will have an empty nest. (The plus side is that now I have some grandchildren, you just get the good parts!)

  10. Mrsnige said:

    I was told ‘pick your battles’ ‘always give them choices – but limit them to the choices you want them to make’ ‘give them privacy – but within limits’. I listened, forgot it, then remembered it. I have boys, they went through some torrid times, and some wonderful times, they turned out to be wonderful human beans (at the moment) and now one has left home completely to set up on his own so very far away from me (only 3 hours away but it could be the other side of the world). I am in turns devastated and so proud of him.Boys don’t communicate too well and i don’t ring him all the time because I don’t want to seem as if I can’t let go.
    They do take over the bathroom, they will do things you don’t like. They will in turn suprise you with things that are very unexpected.
    Enjoy the time to come, it will go too quickly.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily said:

      Thank you, lovely to hear a balanced view.

  11. I know others have already said it but the thought of it really is worst bit. I am awful with change I really am and the thought of my eldest two now being 14 and 12 terrifies me but on a day to day basis? I don’t think we do too badly. I think my children teach me how to be a parent in fact!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily said:

      I’m sure you’re right. It’s the same with every stage, you just get on with it.

  12. Jacq said:

    Snap. My eldest will be 11 at the end of the year and is very interested in periods and bodily changes. We’ve already had *that* talk which resulted in her yelling at me to tell her I was joking.
    I had an awful time as a teenager and I’ve promised myself I will do what I can to make things as easy as possible for her.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily said:

      Mine said that her teacher (a rather attractive man in his late twenties) wouldn’t have done ‘it’ because he’s not married.

  13. Chuffy Chufnell said:

    Chin up old girl! Make plans for when they grow up and become your chums all over again!

    • Victoria said:

      Thanks Chuffy, most appreciated.

  14. Aw, I feel for you. I have one 2yr old daughter at the moment and I already have moments of worry about her teenage years. I guess it’s like with having your first baby, you just have to dive in and see how it goes. I hope the ride isn’t too bumpy – I’ll be checking back for tips for years to come!

    • Victoria said:

      And actually we always cope, don’t we?

  15. Mine are still only 3 and 5, but my 5 year old. My DD makes me scared about the teenage years already!
    I fear us coming to logger heads because we do, sometimes, already.
    But I just hope that we can keep talking, though we can have our tiffs, we also come together afterwards to talk it over and say our sorrys.
    I am a bit emu like over the whole teenage thing, but look forward to them being young adults when, I pray, we will be good friends.

    • Victoria said:

      And then grandchildren!

  16. Paula said:

    I’m going through exactly the same thing. I turned up at a friend’s house recently seething and ready to kill my 10yo, who then proceeded to be the best child anyone has ever seen for the entire afternoon. I hate seeing all of the anxieties creeping in, the temper tantrums and jutty chin,especially as I still feel as if I’m getting in wrong and need him to stay put until I’ve worked out how to get it right. Suffice to say, I feel your pain, and will be right there with you x

  17. Victoria said:

    We’ll always be getting it wrong, no matter how long we do it for. I’m feeling cheery tonight.

  18. Emu pose – I like that. I think I’ll assume that posture too. Actually, that might be a cool blog name, for a blog about parenting a tween/teen…

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