Just over 7 years ago, I became a mom to a strong, determined boy. He was only 8 pounds, but already I could see how fierce he was and sensitive as well. Add two more to the mix and I was a mom to three kids 3-years old and under. More kids than hands and all three were still in diapers. I got used to multitasking quickly. I understood how to prioritize what needed my attention first and got accustomed to the chaos of life and all that came with three young kids.
Kids get older and those trying times like the newborn stage, the toddler tantrums and adjusting to a new routine when school starts is not easy. I am not one who takes well to change and my kids love the routine the way it is — so any change can be difficult. There are some changes that — as the kids get older — are totally welcome, for both of us.
Speed is 7 years old and I have seen such a drastic difference in him over the past year. He’s struggled for a long time with trying new things, sensory stimulation has always been a challenge for him and he’s a natural perfectionist. It’s all an interesting combination that can make some of the more simple things just a little more challenging for the both of us.
That said, over the past year he has grown so much and I am really beginning to understand some of the great perks of having an older child. I have been in that mindset so long of doing it all myself, quickly and efficiently for three kids so this has been a wonderful and welcome change.
It’s nothing too huge, but simple acts like being able to get his own cereal in the morning and wanting to get some for his sisters too. He can put on his own movie, grab his Lego off the shelf, he knows to clean up before he grabs something new. He has been more open to trying new foods and interested in helping out around the house. It’s amazing to watch his mind work and the independence start to flow through him.
I know along the road of him reaching teenage-hood and the new struggles that can come with that stage that we will have a few more bumps along the way. For now. I am really enjoying those simple, yet welcome perks of having an older kid.
Photo credit: Devan McGuinness