Why I’m Not Sad My Kids Are Growing Up

I am reading a lot of my friends’ social media updates and blog posts about being so sad that certain parenting stages are ending, and while I understand the sentiment completely, I haven’t experienced it so much.

You see…

I’m not sad my kids are growing up.

I didn’t cry when my youngest stopped nursing or started sleeping in a big girl bed. I didn’t cry at the first day of kindergarten or when I dropped them off at camp for the first time. I didn’t mourn the last pacifier going to the trash, and Heaven knows I didn’t mourn that last diaper!

I’m not sad my kids are growing up.

I’m not void of emotion, don’t misunderstand me. My girls evoke such emotion in me it’s hard to see straight sometimes. In fact, isn’t that true of many of us mommas? We don’t see what is straight in front of us because of our emotions? What I mean is, we can miss what is right in front of us, because we are always looking forward or back. We can go from the “I can’t wait until she can….” to “I don’t want to take away the paci because he won’t be a baby anymore…” It’s easy to pick a favorite stage of parenting and want our children to hurry to that stage or stay a certain age.  But, we all know that keeping the pacifier won’t keep him a baby, it’ll just make him a boy with orthodontic issues. On the flip side, rushing them through to adolescence or adulthood will just make an emotionally immature adult. Neither of which is desirable.

I can honestly say that with every stage of parenting, I have thought, “This is the best stage.”

I’m not sad my kids are growing up.

I’m excited for them. Sometimes I’m a little nervous for them too, but mostly I’m just excited for them. I was pumped for that first day of kindergarten when I chatted with the teacher so long, my daughter gave me the cutest stink-eye and said, “Mom. You’re talking too long.”  She was ready. More than ready. When each of them took off on their bikes for the first time, I wasn’t crying behind them. I was screaming!! “GO, SISTER! GO!” I loved it FOR them. Truly. It was, at the time, “the best stage.” Now, I have a teen and a tween and there are plenty of reasons to wish we were back in the snuggly age. {ANYBODY FEEL ME, HERE?} Still, I stand by it…

I’m not sad my kids are growing up.

I’m embracing this time in which we have real worldview discussions about songs, books, movies, current events {tough stuff}, and what we believe about these things. I love that they are competitive at Jeopardy and can cook dinner. They can see a need and meet it. It’s so cool for them to work hard at school or volleyball and see the fruit of hard work. How could I be sad about this? I can’t. I get to cheer and talk and coach and listen to stories and listen to dreams and listen to plans and listen to ideas. All these stories and ideas and plans and dreams are just doors to their ever-growing hearts. Oh, no. We are in a place of parenting we’ve never been. And, I’m not sad.

I’m not sad my kids are growing up.

I’m enjoying it. I’m soaking in every second. I’m nostalgic, sure.

But, I’m not sad. Why?

THIS is the best stage.

Melissa's girl

5 Responses to Why I’m Not Sad My Kids Are Growing Up

  1. Kim August 12, 2015 at 12:49 pm #

    Thank you! This is 100% me. It’s so hard to find people who feel this way and back-to-school time just gets weird because everyone else seems to be all “I’m sad/Aren’t you so sad?” No! I’m actually not. My kids keep getting cooler and I have no desire whatsoever to keep my kids little. Why would I?

  2. Amy November 9, 2015 at 10:07 am #

    Finally, a well written, healthy parenting perspective on social media. Way to stay in the present moment and enjoy your children.

  3. Mychelle November 9, 2015 at 11:04 am #

    Good read! I have a 9 year old and a 3 month old. I’ve been struggling with going back to work and managing not being with her. I need to enjoy today. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Donna August 24, 2016 at 10:22 am #

    I absolutely love this article! I too felt I was the only one who felt this way. Glad to know I’m not the only one…and this was written perfectly!

  5. Karen June 5, 2018 at 8:12 pm #

    Thank you for this. I feel EXACTLY the same way, which is why I googled the topic and found your article. Especially at the end of the school year I think most moms are about to go into a temporary state of nostalgia induced depression. Me, on the other hand, have been cheering and clapping the whole way. What can be better than having the privlesge of watching your children grow and become their own people with their own thoughts. I’ve LOVE getting to know who they are over the past 13&15 years and can’t wait to see what’s in store for their futures. Why people want to keep their children little and stagnant is something I cannot relate to.

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