We’ve all heard it – blink and you’ll miss it. They grow up so fast. Cherish every moment.

Yeah yeah yeah. We know, we know.

But as hard as it is watching our babies grow up and realising that they will never be itty bitty cuddly balls of squishiness ever again, there’s also some pretty great things about exiting the infant/toddler/preschool phase and moving towards the tween zone.

If you have school age children, then join me as we count down our very favourite things about this very interesting phase.

27. Their taste in TV shows/music is less horrible

I’ll take Teen Titans over Peppa any day.

26. They can wipe their own butts

And no longer yell out, “Mum, can you wipe my bum?” Usually at the most inconvenient moment. Like as you’re in the middle of dinner or the moment you’re about to take that sip of wine you’ve been holding out for all day.

25. They no longer like glitter

Which means I no longer have to spend my afternoons cleaning up glitter and swearing under my breath. This also goes for Play Dough… thank god.

24. They can make their own breakfast and snacks

I officially relinquish my title as “Snack Bitch”. Woot Woot.

daughter in kitchen with dad preparing breakfast

23. They know how to swear in context

When my son drops the F-bomb in a beautifully crafted insult, I can’t help but feel a little bit proud. Before I punish him, of course.

22. You get to discover there are NEW ways to do maths

Did you know there are like 16 different ways to do maths now? No? Well, you will learn this if you have school aged kids and they need help with their homework.

21. You don’t Google weird questions as obsessively

Instead of Googling things like “Why do my baby’s farts smell so bad?” or “How can I get my toddler to sleep in her own bed?”, you get to Google things like “Why the F did they change maths??!!”

20. They are fun to hang out with

Who needs friends when you have school-age kids to hang out with all the time?

Dad and son taking selfie with shaving foam on their faces

19. They can carry their own sh*t

Which means you can leave the house with one purse that doesn’t hold an assortment of snacks, toys, ointments, spare clothes and nappies to last through Armageddon.

18. They can communicate via text

So when you can’t be arsed getting off the couch, you can text them to go to bed. #winning

17. They stop caring about the bump in the sock

You no longer have to spend your mornings trying to remove your kids’ sock bumps so they don’t have a meltdown. AND, they can tie their own shoelaces!

16. They make some pretty epic cards 

Inappropriate drawings are the best!

school age children funny drawin

15. They can sit in the front seat with you

It makes car rides less chauffeury and more chatty. Plus, they can be your Radio DJ and GPS navigator.

14. They can CLEARLY tell you when something hurts

In fact, they can clearly communicate all sorts of feelings. They may not be great at it, but, hey, they are better than toddlers!

13. They can be negotiated with

Negotiated. Bribed. Same same.

12. They (sort of) let you sleep in

As long as their iPads are charged or they can find the TV remote, you’re sweet for a bit of a Saturday sleep in. Unless, of course, they have sport, which, nine of out 10 weekends, they do. Argh!

young girls sitting on sofa with TV remote

11. They can sit through dinner without whinging about their chicken nuggets taking too long.

And, if the restaurant doesn’t have a kids’ club, it’s not the end of the world!

10. They don’t turn into miniature fire-breathing demon spawns if they skip a nap or go to bed late 

You can have a late dinner without risking the wrath of breaking the routine or listening to the cries of a “hangry” kid.

9. They don’t need “uppy”

Which means you can take them on adventures without having to carry them, their pram or their scooter.

8. They listen

Okay. Not really. But they do listen better than toddlers! And, every now and then you can enjoy a heart-to-heart with your boy or girl.

mother-talking-to-daughter

7. They don’t give a sh*t about the colour of cup you give them

And, bonus! They are tall enough to reach the top cupboard and PICK their own cup. Although they will pick a clean cup for every single drink they have!

6. They do things that remind you of yourself at that age

It’s hard to get mad at them when you pulled the same stunts as a kid. Ahh. The ironic circle of life…

5. They’re funny as heck

Sure, they might not be as cute as babies or as cheeky as toddlers, but older kids are hilarious! They come up with the funniest, random comments that will leave you in stitches.

4. They can play outside without supervision

“Go outside, you’re annoying me,” is my most used term on weekends.

Group tween boys and girls outdoors on bikes and scooter

3. They leave you alone for 6.5 hours a day, five days a week

And when they do get home from school, you actually miss them. And want to hear all about their days.

2. They are individuals 

With goals, and dreams and opinions. The pride and joy you feel watching from the sidelines as these things take shape, well, it’s a pretty amazing feeling, isn’t it?

1. They don’t rely on us for EVERYTHING. Yay 

Sure, our school-age children may not cry when you leave the room anymore. They don’t fight you during nap time or demand you cut their toast into triangles. They may not require milk through the night or endless play during the day.

But even though the cuddles are few and far between and the glitter is gone (thank god), the magic of being a mum never goes away. It’s just not as constant or draining or time-consuming as it used to be. And this is why being a mum to school-age children is such a fun phase.

I’m not sure what the teen phase will bring, but I have a feeling glittery makeup, epic tantrums and daytime naps may be back on the table. (And that’s just me. Who knows what the kids will be like!)

So, let’s enjoy this glitter-free phase while we can, shall we?

Author

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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