New parenthood phase with two preschoolers — Mommy Daze

NewParenthoodPhaseI'm not exactly sure when this happened. It sort of caught me by surprise, but apparently I've now entered a new phase of parenthood that doesn't include babies or toddlers. Both of my boys are about to be in preschool, my 3-year-old Luke starting for the first time and my almost 5-year-old James going into his second year there.

It's interesting when you transition from one phase of parenthood to the next. In the beginning I never noticed it was happening. One day I had a newborn, then the next they were crawling, then suddenly a walking, talking toddler!

But then, with our second child, I started recognizing the signs of change before they would happen. Sometimes I would cling to that phase, not wanting it to end. With my second son, I tried to keep him napping much longer than he probably needed because I absolutely adored our little routine of rocking and singing before his naps. Whenever he hears “You Are My Sunshine” he says, “Mommy, remember when you used to sing that to me?”

Sometimes I see the change coming and I give a sigh of relief, like when I close their bedroom door at night and don't hear crying or the running of little feet on the other side, but just content little voices saying, “Goodnight Mommy! See you tomorrow!”

I admit I am loving everything about this current preschooler phase.

My kids can get themselves dressed, put on their own shoes and, most of the time, handle trips to the bathroom all by themselves. They feed themselves at meals and clean up their plates afterward. There are no diapers, bottles, highchairs or any other baby paraphernalia to be seen.

When we leave to go somewhere, the only thing I'm carrying is my purse. Granted, it's a giant “mom” purse that has everything but the kitchen sink in it, but no more lugging diaper bags, infant carriers or extra bags of clothes and toys. They can play together or independently for long periods of time, coming up with elaborate, imaginative stories.

For the first time in almost five years, I feel like I have control again over my day and what I can get done. The dishes get clean, the laundry gets put away, the toys are kept to a minimal mess, and I have time throughout the day to sneak in extracurricular activities like a solo trip to the bathroom or a long hot shower.

I also admit how much I miss those other phases of parenthood. The way you sway back and fourth no matter where you are because you're used to always having a baby on your hip. The excitement of watching them reach their chubby little toes for the very first time. Reading the same board book over and over because they laugh every single time at the “surprise” ending. The way a simple act of kissing a “boo boo” can make everything better.

We hope to have more children one day but right now I'm just enjoying this precious phase of life with my little ones before the long journey of school-age years begins. Until then, I'm going to go finish my cup of coffee and check Pinterest for “preschool alphabet crafts” because I saw Luke sorting letters the other day and I know what's coming next.

Watts FamilyClick here to read more Mommy Daze.

Mandy Watts is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Crownsville with her husband, Justin, who runs their family business, and their two sons, 4-year-old James and 2-year-old Luke.

Mandy Watts is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Crownsville with her husband, Justin, who runs their family business, and their two sons, 4-year-old James and 2-year-old Luke.

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