One day your kids will grow up

I don’t know if anyone has explained to you how growing works but one day your baby is going to be an adult. I found this out from a shared poem on Facebook. I’m really glad I discovered it because this whole time that my kids have been growing I’ve been like WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON? I thought babies stayed babies forever.

So ever since reading this life-changing poem, I’ve been busy as fuck CHERISHING EVERY MOMENT. And boy am I tired. But not so tired that I couldn’t ignore my child to write this blog post (I cherished the moment of ignoring him while I ignored him).

Here I present my own sharable FB wisdom about children and parenting:

A poem about how kids will grow up or something more profound than that but I can’t think of a better title

One day your child will stop waking up every 45 minutes and you will actually sleep – real sleep.

One day you will clean a poo out of the shower for the last time.

One day you will be able to read a book that was written for adult people.

One day, for the last time, you will be woken by a toddler saying “my tummy…” and then they will vomit all over you and the entire family will have to shower at 4am – FOR THE LAST TIME.

One day, you will actually only have one load of washing to do.

One day you will go out with your girlfriends and dance till 4am and get drunk on house wine and have the best time ever and not think about your kids once.

One day your child will do an explosive poo in public that covers them from head to toe and leaks on to your arm and your new pants and you will realise you forgot wipes – for the last time.

You won’t realise it at the time but one day when your child refuses to just put on their bloody shoes it will be the last time you will be an hour and forty five minutes late to something that was really important.

One day you will step on lego for the last time.

One day, while laying in bed next to your child who won’t sleep and thinking about the bills you are struggling to pay on one income, you’ll not realise it’s the last time you do this.

One day, you will hear the Fireman Sam theme tune for the last time. It won’t even register.

One day your breasts will bleed and searing pain will rip through your body for the last time.

When your baby is screaming from the pain of teething and you’re sobbing in the dark because you don’t know how to help them and you feel like the worst mother in the world – it will be the last time.

And you didn’t even realise.

One day you will carry a kicking and screaming toddler through a mall while people give you disapproving stares for the last time.

One day you will change the sheets on a bunk bed at 2am for the last time.

One day, and you won’t realise it’s the last time, your baby will smear yoghurt all over himself and his highchair and then throw it on the floor.

One day you will watch Frozen – for the last time.

You won’t know it’s the last time at the time. And one day you’ll look back on those moments and think – I wish I could look at a pair of poo covered undies and try to work out if I should soak them or just throw them out. I wish I could have just one more cold coffee and a panadol as I try to fight off the most severe sleep deprivation I’ve ever experienced in my life. I wish just once more I could just once more hoover down a meal while standing and then spend an evening in a room under a screaming baby. I wish I could hear Justine Clarke sing Watermelon while my children scream at each other. Just. One. More. Time.

Cherish every moment. EVERY SINGLE ONE. Every second. Every millisecond. Because one day they will grow up and you’ll be sharing nostalgic and delusional poems about this time on whatever terrifying new platform Mark Zuckerberg has created.


Really though, before I get those looks and comments…These types of posts make me fairly unpopular in the positive parenting/gentle parenting/attachment crowd – BUT, this is how I can be a positive parent and a gentle parent and follow the attachment practices that work for my family.

Reality makes me a good parent.

Guilt-tripping and anxiety over whether I’m happy enough or grateful enough for what I have – that doesn’t make me a good parent. Endless comments about how this is just a stage and one day you’ll regret not loving every bloody second of it and bla bla bla – these comments aren’t helpful to parents. I doubt any parent has said – “Oh my gosh, you’re right! They DO grow up! I feel so much better about the fact that my child has severe reflux and screams in agony while I try to work out what medication is actually going to work”.  I’ve even had people say cherish every moment to me while my child was in hospital unable to breathe on his own – time flies! Before you know it they’ll be adults. Or they won’t – you know, that’s why we are sitting by his bed trying to hold everything together.

Cherish every moment. Time flies. Before you know it you’ll be alone and grey and have nothing to live for – I mean, please just STOP. Let people be in whatever moment of parenting they’re in and let them allow some of those moments to woosh past them and be forgotten forever because those moments SUCKED. This beautiful chaos, this awful mess of wonderous life – let us just be here. Let us choose. Don’t suggest to us that it’s all downhill from baby-hood. Allow some complexity in what it’s really like to grow our babies. Every stage can be tough at times, no stage is bliss.

If we are so immensely lucky in a world where we are so very fragile: they will grow up.

That’s the gift. That’s what you cherish.


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18 Comments on “One day your kids will grow up

  1. I dunno, i think of myself as falling in the categories that you might catch flack from and i hate those peoms. Right now i am hoping it is the last time i will wake and argue with my husband who got less sleep! Though i know it wont be!
    Keep on keeping it real mama x

    • Oh my gosh I am so with you. I try so hard to make it not a competition of who got less sleep (but I did, I always get less sleep).

      And I probably shouldn’t have stereotyped the positive parent/attachment crowd – I consider myself to be part of that whole thing I guess. I’ve just seen my posts be slammed in a few high profile places by some of them. So that was probably an unfair comment!

    • Haha! That’s me as well. Although we all know who really got less sleep… (hint: the one with the lactating boobs 😉

  2. LOVED this! I remember the plunkett nurse saying this, and thinking Screw you, I just want to SLEEP! Peace out and fist bumps Emily Writes xo

  3. I find that I cherish the wonderful moments, because they’re wonderful. I survive the rest, and damned if anyone’s going to tell me that that’s inadequate in any way. I’m allowed to wish away the sleeplessness and the shit and the tears, and anyone who says otherwise can go jump.

  4. Great piece Emily. Love your humour. Now my girl is 22 I don’t look back with fondness on sleeplessness, poos,vomiting, etc, nor the endless waiting for ballet classes to finish so I can get a coffee. Its nice to look back on the wonderful ways in which our children develop and astound and entertain us and bring out the best in us (and occassionally the worst too) , and hopefully turn into the wonderful young adults we hoped for

  5. Gentle etc parenting is all about how you relate to the child (not about how you inwardly roll your eyes at the ten minutes of negotiation it takes to get the ‘wrong’ pair of underpants worn today). For most of us it doesn’t come naturally to embody superhuman patience and kindness. We have to WORK DAMN HARD AT IT. On very little sleep. So how great to be able to do the both/and: we BOTH prioritise gentleness with our kids AND find it bloody taxing to do so, and laughing like a drain when reading Emily Writes is a FABULOUS way to get through that.

  6. Reading this post with second refluxy baby on my lap belching and gulping two hours after his last meal…will miss: the special hold-upright time at the computer every evening listening to Tiny Ruins. Wont miss: the fliiiiies hanging around all summer crawling all over us cos everything gets sicked up on and you can never get it all cleaned up. And the poor wee man’s discomfort. Thanks Emily for the permission to have mixed feelings…and to have none of those feelings mean a jot about how much fierce love we have for our kids…

  7. Spot on, as always!! Now we need you to write about those awful “Why take your eyes off of your children for ONE SECOND to look at your phone? They feel your neglect” articles. I’m sorry, if I’m not mistaken did you not have to avert your eyes from your precious bundle to write the article admonishing me??

  8. This. You totally nailed it. I’m sharing this post because I’be been criticised at times for my honesty too and told that I need to cherish every moment. When my son with global delay and autism is having his ninth meltdown of the day its not really a moment I want to cherish but hey – I should just be grateful I have kids. I am. I just don’t love every fucking second of it.

  9. It started the moment I was giving birth and she was crowning. The doctor, said- reach down and touch her. I said, NO, can we just get this over with please…. She’s 11 now and a wonderful human being. People say time flies, and I say, NO, it feels like 11 years- of good and bad and sweet and hard and of divorce and of remarriage, and of just being alive.

    Thank you for your amazing post. YES!

  10. This article is a keeper wish more people wrote real articles instead of fluffy shit that’s faked under the pretence of appearing perfect…loved it well written!

  11. Ahhhhh I just did embarrassing hard-to-explain-staffroom-laughter while reading this. So good. Just so good. Thanks for keeping it real and honest and not being “gently” guilt-inducing. Xo

  12. Pingback: Everything is just a phase, but some are particularly shit. –