HOLLY WAINWRIGHT: 'When your children are no longer children.'

It goes so fast.

Did you once want to pinch the people who said that to you?

When you hadn't slept for half a year, and every day was a week because your brain was an unfamiliar mush of confusion, fear and unparalleled love.

"The days are long but the years are short!"

"Enjoy every minute. Blink and it's over."

Shut. Up. You want to say. My reality now is that I will only ever be the person in charge of this tiny, squally little everything. Or the person chasing this toddler around a freezing/boiling playground. Or the person rushing to daycare pickup. Or the person stressing about feeding, sleeping, milestones and snot removal.

This is what being a parent is.

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Video via Mamamia.

The thing is, by Mid, you've discovered that wasn't parenting. That was a season. And those busybodies were right, it did, despite all evidence, go so fast.

The new season, the one where you love the toddler as much as ever, but the toddler is now a teenager with a closed door, or a young adult who sees you as a chore, is just as terrible and wonderful, as stressful and as hilarious, just in a completely different way.

And actually, this is what being a parent is. A lifetime of adjustment, a constant tinkering at the edges of your obsessive love for this particular human who, by the very rules of biology, the universe and everything, needs you less and less every day.


Or... do they?

Welcome to the world of parenting a child who's just not quite a child anymore.

Here you are and… they're taller than you.

They're driving your car.

They're eating the fridge.

They need a hug, one day, and the next you're just bleaurgh.

They're bringing people home who wave red flags in your face.

They're waking you at 2am not for a feed or a cuddle but with their return from a party you didn't know was happening, where or with whom.

They won't leave their rooms or only come home for the laundry.

They have thoughts and opinions that are different to yours. They're not sure you're right.

They have problems you can’t solve.

They have triumphs you can't claim as your own.

They're a marvel, these people you made with your body.

Not your babies anymore but also always.

Holly with her two children Matilda and Billy. Image: Instagram.


They might be walking around in the world out there as if they're just any old human, trying to figure out how things work. But you're the person who witnessed them figuring out their very first things, like where their nose was. You're the person who taught them to sleep. To eat. To walk and run. To not bite that other irritating toddler at daycare. You're the one who watched them put the pieces of themselves together, pull themselves into focus, just like their blurry newborn vision settled on you.

So you walk around the world knowing that they're not just any other person. No matter what they're doing and how far from you they are, they're yours. And you're theirs.

You're just got to figure out how you tell them that, now, without them making that little vomiting noise.


Listen to MID where Holly talks more about this topic and how to navigate parenting children who are no longer children. 

Feature image: Instagram @wainwrightholly.

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