I can’t believe my babies are already five! I guess that officially means I’m no longer a parent of preschoolers… Everyone’s a ‘big kid’ now! Sure, the littlest ones still need a lot of attention, can’t read, and sometimes still wake up in the night, but it’s different. We are letting go of the baby, toddler, and preschooler stages once and for all. To be honest, I’m struggling a bit, so I decided to write out 10 things I love about having older kids to help make myself feel better about this new stage of motherhood.
10 Things I love about having older kids
I’ve been dwelling on the negatives a lot with this. I really do want another baby, but that’s not possible for us because of the IVF (I had a tubal ligation after the twins) and our current lifestyle. I’m working on building my business up and launching my career which takes up a lot of my time. That and, you know, raising five kids. It’s not like my hands aren’t full!
But not having babies anymore isn’t all bad! There’s plenty of reasons older kids are great, and even better, than having little ones in the house. There’s so many big kid things for us to explore! If you’re like me and you’re having trouble with your babies growing up, or maybe you’re excited for the next stage, this list of things I love about having older kids will help.
1. We get to do ‘big kid’ activities
Sure, going to the children’s museum is fun, but now we get to go to the regular museum. The one where I actually get to have a good time too! With older kids, we aren’t restricted to places that are going to keep toddlers occupied or safe.
I’m lucky that I have kids of various ages so that I can still get the thrill of taking the younger ones to the zoo while also being able to go to the arcade with my 10 and 12 year olds. We have even been to a few movies in the theater as a family!
2. No more stroller!
This is probably my favourite part of having older kids, to be honest. Last year when we took the boys to Disneyland I vowed that I would never go to a Disney park with a stroller again. Now we can go anywhere and not worry about having to lug a stroller around.
It also means we don’t have to worry about whether or not places are stroller friendly.
3. I get to sleep more
Yes, kids wake up sometimes, but it’s not the same as dealing with a baby or even a toddler. On top of that, my kids can all get themselves up in the morning and watch TV without waking me up at the crack of dawn. It doesn’t happen every morning but I sure get a lot more sleep than I used to when all the kids were smaller!
4. Getting in and out of the car is easier
No more having to crawl in the back to strap kids into 5 point harnesses! Everyone’s either in their own seat or at least a booster seat. The twins still can’t buckle themselves well, but at least they can unbuckle their seats and climb in and out of them on their own.
It felt like forever to get everyone in and out of the car when the younger ones were in car seats! Especially with twins.
5. Everyone dresses themselves
Look, they don’t always pick outfits I love (and they’re not always on the right way) but I’m so thrilled that everyone in my house can get themselves dressed on their own. That means that I can tell the kids to get dressed in the morning and actually do something else while they’re getting ready.
6. No more diapers!
Now that the twins are night trained too we are officially diaper free. I have to admit, it’s a pretty great feeling. I also don’t need to worry about packing a diaper bag when we go out (even if I do usually pack a small backpack).
On that note, we also have very few potty accidents and can hold it long enough to make it to the nearest bathroom when out and about.
7. I get time to myself
Of course you can get time to yourself when your kids are small but it’s a lot more work. Now I can drink my cup of coffee in the morning while it’s still hot! At least on days where there’s no school, that is. My kids are old enough that unless it’s an emergency they can wait for my attention.
With babies and toddlers you have to tend to them right away, so it’s a nice change.
8. No more baby proofing
I’m still waiting for the milestone where my twins stop spaying my cleaner everywhere or wasting toilet paper, but it’s nothing like how they used to get into stuff. Now at least we don’t have to worry about leaving something laying around the same way you’d worry about a baby or toddler.
9. We’re truly making memories
Most of us only have sporadic memories of our early childhood, but we start to remember more and more as we get older. When we do stuff together I’m shaping memories of their childhood that they’ll hopefully carry through the rest of their lives.
I also feel like there’s more opportunity to shape them and how they see the world. Early childhood learning is great, but the skills you learn as an older child stay with you differently.
10. Travelling is a lot easier
Besides not having to lug around the stroller, it’s just easier in general to travel with older kids. Whether it’s a family road trip or a trip to Europe, little kids add an extra challenge to everything you do. My big kids happily sleep in a hotel, occupy themselves in the car, and stay buckled in their airplane seat.
They’re also more adventurous and appreciate what we’re doing when we travel, unlike smaller children who don’t really understand.
I love having older kids
Although I’m sad, I’m also happy to move on with my life. It’s nice that my big kids get some baby free time that we all can enjoy. There’s so many things that I love about having older kids!