Feeling Sad When Kids Grow Up

I got what I wanted! My daughter now sleeps in her own room. I have been pushing for this for over a year, and now that it happened, I am not sure how I feel about it. Maybe writing about it will help find comfort – and I may get to read other parents’ views on it, too.

The official advice in the UK is to move babies into their own rooms as early as six months. We did this with my oldest (who is now nine) when he was a year old, and never looked back. So why is it different this time around? My daughter is 32 months old, so should have had her room for absolute ages, and I should be ecstatic about the change.

I was, honestly! But now, two nights later, it feels sad. Weird thing, women, hey, never know what they want!

Trying to analyse the reasons for these mixed feelings, I wonder if perhaps the most obvious one is the inconvenience coming with this separation. She still wakes up at night, albeit randomly, and it is much more of an effort now to attend to her, as I have to get up and go to her room. But, let’s admit it, I do get some better sleep now, and I am sure that we won’t disturb her sleep either when we get up at night or early in the mornings. So, see, I do try to keep things in perspective.

It is strange, though, to have the whole room to ourselves. Ridiculous, I know, as this was our bedroom in the first place. And, let’s face it, it felt really nice to read a book in bed before going to sleep, which I hadn’t done for ages, not to disturb missy’s sleep. Plus, adult time is much better and easier when we don’t have to worry about waking her up. See, all good!

As a mum who reads parenting books, I know the benefits of this for the kids and fully support it. It was solely my idea, for that matter: otherwise my daughter’s bedroom would still have been my husband’s office. The whole move hasn’t even started yet, as there is furniture to move around and re-organise our home.

So, maybe this is where the mixed feelings come from?

I don’t think so. What it is, as reluctant as I am to admit it, is realising that my baby has grown. She is now a little person, no longer attached to her mummy. Which is great; this is what I try to do with both of them, teach them to be independent.

And, somehow, a scene from “Desperate Housewives” pops to mind: when Lynette, getting rid of her fifth baby’s clothes, burst into tears: “I’ll never have babies again!” Only a mother can relate to this. I know I do.

Our babies grow, and we do alongside as parents. But, something inside us dies; at least in me. It feels bitter sweet: once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. Which is why we’ve got to treasure the moments when our kids were tiny little creatures.

Nothing original, I know, but it is an end of an era for me. Maybe some of you will relate to these feelings.

… So, time to concentrate on the positive side! Now, let’s go on Ebay and get that doll house that we never had space for: it will fit her room perfectly!!


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