While I loved being a mum to babies and toddlers I enjoy being a mum to school-aged children far more. There are so many things that I couldn't do with them when they were little that we do together now.
And it's not just about doing things together, you can do things separately too!
My boys are 11 (BP) and 7 (LP) years old, they are both very different children and enjoy polar opposite activities. While BP enjoy sitting and drawing or writing LP likes to be outdoors playing football or, if has to, be indoors and playing with his cars. They both like to be independent and although that can be difficult to come to terms with it's also great.
I am truly enjoying being a mum to my school-aged boys, and here's why:
Getting them up in a morning is entertaining. Whether your children are morning people or not you end up smiling. With a morning person you get to see their bright smile first thing and with a groaner (probably a teen/tween) you get to laugh as they drag themselves out of bed looking grumpy.
Breakfast is easy. The older children can usually make their own breakfast, be it toast or cereal, and the slightly younger ones simply sit at the table and eat. No need for high chairs and 40 minute struggles getting them to eat.
You do not need to be involved in getting them dressed. They go into their rooms and emerge a little while later fully dressed. A great time to grab a hot coffee!
School runs are much easier. For the older ones, whether you drive them to school or they get the bus there's not much input from you. They take themselves into school and that's that. For the slightly younger ones you just take them in, watching as they enter the school. Again, job done.
Peace all day
From 9am until 3.30pm on weekdays (during term time) the children are at school, and it is bliss. You don't have to be "mum", you don't have to break up arguments. You can listen to music you enjoy, you can sit and watch TV, or you can go out (yes, leave the house!) without the children. For six and a half hours every weekday the children are not at home and you can enjoy it.
Gaming and other entertainment
The children can entertain themselves most of the time. They have their favourite hobbies, or their favourite activities, and they don't (usually) involve you.
Where gaming is concerned I'm not consulted and outdoors entertainment is taken up by football. Generally when the boys are home they find something to do that doesn't involve me.
No need to run a bath for them, no need to hold them and wash them. They are capable of doing all this themselves. Even with the younger ones you don't need to wash them yourself, giving instructions on where and how to wash will teach them.
Being able to talk to your children about issues on the news or something that is bothering them is great. Listening to their opinions, their rationale behind the opinions, and hearing them argue their side is encouraging. You are teaching them, and without realising, they are learning.
Every so often one of my boys will ask a question that will start a discussion between all of us. I love this. We're able to sit and talk, as a family, about whatever they're interested in and they learn. They ask more questions, they form their own opinions, and they understand a new topic. It's always enjoyable to see them interested in particular subjects like politics (the referendum), or space (the satellite orbiting Jupiter).
Family Game Time
We have a huge stash of board games and often pick one out at a weekend to play together. The great thing is that we can all play, there are no "teams", LP doesn't have to take a step back and not play himself. The older he gets the more games he can play and he loves it. We recently played The Game of Life and he had his first go of playing himself, it's now the top of his list!
Us playing Ingenious.
On our family outings, whether we go to a castle or a park, a restaurant or a burger shack, it's easy. We just get in the car and go, no having to think about pushchairs, nappies, and food.
I wasn't a great mum to my toddlers, I was a bit rubbish, but I'm a great mum to my boys now they're older. I love that they listen (for the most part) to what I have to say, they form opinions based on what I (and the Hubby) say, and they're growing into well-rounded children.
What do you enjoy about having older children?