ELSIE IS GROWING UP TOO FAST, SO I’M SLOWING DOWN

I CAN feel Elsie’s childhood slipping through my fingers.

Really, I can.

Those special moments, this special age she’s at, it’s all slipping through my fingers at an alarming rate.

I’ve been hanging on, trying to keep up, doing my best to stop them all slipping through, but it’s been a struggle.

And recently I’ve had a wake up call.

At three and a half, Elsie will start school this September, as she was a summer baby. I’ve been filling in her school application form these last few days and although it seems totally ridiculous, in eight months time, my girl, my beautiful girl, won’t be spending the majority of her days with me anymore.

She’ll be spending them at school.

With her new friends and her first teacher, in reception year.

Just writing this now makes me choke up a little. Because I’ll be honest, I cannot believe it. I know everyone says it, but it’s true, I really don’t know where the time has gone.

The last three and half years have whizzed by in a blink of an eye and if it wasn’t for the magnificent, big ‘little girl’ who stands in front of me or the hundreds of photos of her on my phone, I almost wouldn’t believe that she is no longer a baby.

It just doesn’t seem quite right.

She’s gone from my beautiful, bouncing bundle to my loving, funny, spirited little girl, in the blink of an eye.

All under my watch.

Yet I can’t help but feel that I’ve missed so much of it. Too much of it. For reasons that I know so many of us struggle with each and every day.

Because I’ve been working so much and cramming in extra work whenever I possibly could. Because I’ve been trying to do housework or work on our house and been impatient to get stuff done. Because I’ve had too much on my mind at times and have been emotionally exhausted.

Because I’ve been shattered. Because I’ve been busy. Because I’ve been trying to cram everything in.

And this realisation?

Well it hurts.

The clock is ticking, it’s getting faster. And all I want to do is slow it down.

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Elsie is my much longed for child.

She took a long time to come to my husband and I and there were many, many times when I thought that I would never be a mother. That it would never happen for me.

I was in Florence when we conceived and I knew it and felt it with all of my being, weeks before taking a pregnancy test. As I wandered the historic streets of this most beautiful, most elegant city, I felt her presence, long before I had it confirmed.

I don’t know how this is possible, some would perhaps argue that it isn’t, but it is. I just knew.

And then nine or so months later, she arrived.

My girl. Our girl.

Turning our world on its axis and changing our lives in a millisecond. So this is love, I used to say myself, as I gazed at her tiny screwed up face.

This. Is. Love.

And of course, it is.

Because as a parent, watching your child grow and develop into their own incredible little person, is the kind of stuff that dreams are made of.

Real dreams. The stuff that matters.

Sure it’s hard at times. Sure it’s exhausting and can often feel impossible, but to be with your child, to have the privilege of watching them grow older, really is quite something.

Certainly, I’ve never known or felt anything quite like it.

Before Elsie transformed my world, I thought I knew all about love. And yet I knew very little.

Because the love you have for a child reaches places in your heart you didn’t even know existed. It unlocks doors. It breaks down walls. It triggers. It touches. It fills you up.

Every day I fall in love with Elsie a little more.

Every day, she consumes my thoughts.

Every day, she makes my life brighter.

I cry when I see how beautiful she looks in her ballet outfit. I roar with laughter with some of the phrases she comes out with. And I learn more from her than I have anyone else.

There have been so many special moments in our three and half years together.

More than I could have ever hoped for. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of them, firmly planted in my memory, still in bloom.

But I want more of them.

And I want more of the little moments too.

Damn it, I’d stop the clock if I had that power. But of course, I don’t. And I can’t.

But I can do this.

I can slow down a little. I can turn my life down a notch. I can try and be more structured with my time.

I can start to make more of an effort to appreciate the little moments. I can stop working when she’s at home and leave my emails alone for a few hours.

I can make sure I look after myself, so I have much more of me to give to her. I can be more present. I can ignore my phone.

And I am.

I’m going to do all of these things and many more over the coming months, because Elsie’s childhood is slipping through my fingers and I don’t want to miss a beat of it.

I can’t stop her growing up. (Nor would I want to really.)

But I can catch those moments as they slip through and I can pop them in my memory box. I can make sure I’m present, like really present, in those moments. And I can make sure those moments really are something for us both to remember.

One day before I know it, she’ll be an even bigger girl. And then, in another blink of an eye, an adult.

But until then, I’m making an effort to slow my life down a notch, so I can enjoy being much more present in hers.

And I’m holding onto the special times and the not so special times, with both my hands as firmly as I can.

———–

 

With love,

Kate

Lips

 

 

 

 

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20 Discussions on
“ELSIE IS GROWING UP TOO FAST, SO I’M SLOWING DOWN”
  • Such a lovely lovely post Katie that made me feel a little emotional. My big girl started reception this year and to be honest I am still not completely ok with it. It sounds silly but I am mourning the carefree times we used to have- the times when we could go away at a moments notice, or have a long lazy morning in our pjs. And I think back and think why did I put her in nursery an extra day so I could catch up on work or write that email/look at that tweet instead of playing a game with her. School is so hard to get used to. It’s not bad, she loves it and I love the happiness I see from her when she comes home. But it is definitely different and there is a part of me that will always yearn for those pre school days back. x

    • It doesn’t sound silly at all lovely. In fact your comment made me a little emotional too, because you’re spot on. Why do we sacrifice our time with them for work / housework etc? I know we have to at times, to pay the bills, to have our careers etc but at what cost? It’s so difficult to find the right balance (if there is so such thing?!). I’m dreading Elsie going to school, as you say, not for her sake but for my own. I’m so glad your beautiful big girl is settled and happy at school and fingers crossed, as time goes on, you’ll find it easier too. Big hugs x

  • Aw Katie, such a lovely post, and really hit home with me. Sophia started school in September and we are still getting used to it. It is a complete change. Some of the change is good and some of the change has us both missing what was before school. She is actively learning and experiencing a new world which is lovely to see but on the other hand it is hard to let go and it is hard to adjust even though it is right and welcomed it doesn’t make it easy. It is definitely one of the milestones. But we are getting through it and Sophia is getting used to her new life. I still remeber going ahead and filling out Sophia school appliation last year, that was really surreal. x

    • Oh Tanita, it’s so hard isn’t it?! I’m dreading her going to school in September, not because I think she won’t love it (because I’m sure she will) but because i know I’m going to find it so difficult to accept and deal with. It’s a huge milestone though so no wonder we all struggle with it so much. I’m so glad Sophia is getting used to her new life and hopefully, you are too. x

  • This struck so many nerves for me. My daughter is two and a half and already spending two mornings a week at pre-school. I look at her everyday and wonder where my little newborn went. Even my son who is coming up fifteen months is growing far too fast, and I can’t quite understand where the time has gone! Such a poignant and well-written post and I honestly couldn’t agree with you more. I definitely need to start investing in the little moments more because they will be gone in the blink of an eye. My blog is shifting from mummy posts to more beauti content but as my original title suggests, there really is no love like it, that which you have for your children. Enjoy every day you have with your beautiful little one before she starts school, I intend to do the very same.

    • Thank you so much Emma. It is absolutely crazy isn’t it? And I’m starting to realise, this feeling won’t ever really disappear. I’ve definitely found that by being more present when I’m with Elsie, it helps. Here’s to enjoying them as much as we can! x

  • I didn’t feel this way when my eldest started school at 3, maybe because I had a second child taking up my attention too. You know when it hit? Last year when she turned 10. I was devastated, no lie. I’ve written about it on my site in fact and to this day, I”m unable to read the post out loud because I crumble by the final paragraph. I realised that it was a turning point and preteens and attitude were around the corner and the sweet girly girl days were numbered. It’s made me appreciate my younger girl’s childhood even more. Because as you say, it slips through your fingers and you can’t get it back. Big kisses Kate!

    • Thank you so much for your comment lovely. Do you know, even reading these comments made me cry yesterday! One, because I know how you all feel, because we all feel it and 2) Because it seems this feeling never really goes away! Blimey, we really have to try and appreciate the special moments more, don’t we? x

  • Time flies and you are right , sometimes we have to make that conscious decision to slow it down and to spend more time taking those special moments in. Thanks for a lovely post.

  • OH Katie this was only me last year and I know what you feeling and how you just want to freeze time for a while to take it all in as much as possible this stage of life one last time. We did just that and the six months before B started school we practically did all the amazing adventures and one on one days out with each parent, traveled to amazing places for him and then stayed home playing all his favorite games and it was the year of quality time and soaking it up with B before he did school so when it came September although hard and emotional I felt we didn’t let that last year pass us by at all. It’s such a different feeling to let someone else care for your little ones and be the sole provider during the week and lose that control. I miss him so much but he is also loving school and doing so wonderful that it makes me so happy too. Lovely post and I am sure you will make Elsie last few months of toddlerville magical as it always is for her.

  • You’ve hit a nerve with me Kate not because I have a young child but because I’m not appreciating my retirement. I’m filling it with business & not really getting time for myself. Thank you for the nudge!

    • My absolute pleasure. Life gets so busy sometimes, it’s always good I think to hear from others, that sometimes we just need to slow down a little. x

  • This is totally how I feel, only I have a little longer than you before Baby goes to school. Don’t think they start in France until they are 6! I have this constant daily battle of work and motherhood, which always results in my guilt. It is so difficult when you need to work for financial reasons. I just hope Baby remembers the fun times we have and not all the times I was on my laptop! Fab post darling xxx

    • Thanks my love. It’s tough isn’t it?! That endless daily battle? I think in a way it’s harder if you do what you love too, because you have so many ambitions, so many dreams you want to fulfil. As well as being a brilliant mum. There are never enough hours in the day but it is about trying to stop when you can and appreciate those little moments I reckon. x p.s Baby most definitely will!

  • A lovely post, Katie, and one I’m sure many of us – whether mums or dads, at home, working or somewhere in between – will empathise with. Kara is a little bit older than Elsie, but she will also be heading to school in September to join her brothers and I also find myself wondering where the time has gone.

    As a working dad I made a decision about work-life balance when Isaac was born that closed certain career paths to me, at least for a few years. (I was fortunate enough to have the luxury of being in a position where I was earning enough for us to cope.)

    I’ve never regretted it.

    I’m away with work fewer than a dozen nights a year, I have a busy job but not one that overwhelms my evenings and weekends and, most importantly, I very rarely miss a parents’ evening or a nativity play or any of those other milestones that you either see or you don’t. What I’ve given up in additional earnings I’ve more than made up for in those moments when I get to be a dad. I’m poorer, but richer.

  • I’ve got to learn to do this. I feel like I’ve been connected to my phone and my computer all day, and I still have so much waiting to do. I’m glad for the reminder. We only have right now to enjoy the moments that our children are still small.

    • We really do. Sometimes things like being connected to our phones all the time, become such a habit, we forget what they are taking away from us. Hope the little reminder helps!

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