By Maria Duffy. First published on Friday 3rd September 2010. 25 Comments so far.


Well it’s back to school time again. Can you believe it? Did somebody take August and hide it or was it actually here? In June, summer is spread out before us in all it’s glistening glory but in the blink of an eye, it’s back to Uggs and umbrellas and… oh wait; that covers the summer too, doesn’t it?

Anyway, the biggest transition for us this year has been my 12 year old daughter starting secondary school. When she finished primary school in June, she was just a little girl – hair tied back in a pony-tail as she giggled with her friends about Justin Beiber and Jedward. In those two summer months, she’s blossomed suddenly into a beautiful young lady. Now don’t get me wrong, she’s still a little girl; still giggly and silly as only girls can be. But there’s also a maturity about her. She’s not so keen on me standing at the school gate waving frantically or placing big sloppy kisses on her face before going to join her friends (I wonder why??)

I have to admit to finding the passing of time scary. Yes, it’s exciting to see each new stage of my children’s development. It’s good that I now have more time for myself and can finally write, like I’ve always wanted to. But the scary part is that my children seem to need me less and less as they get older. Of course they need me when there’s a funfair in town and the rides are three euro a pop! They need me when there’s a disco on Friday night and they have absolutely nothing to wear (despite their heaving wardrobes!). Does that sound very cynical? I don’t really mean it to. They’re all great kids and I count my blessings every day that I have them. But sometimes – just sometimes, I wish I was back lying on the floor making jig-saws and tucking them up in bed at seven o’clock!

But life moves on and I’ll embrace each new wrinkle I get when my son is home late and cherish each grey hair that grows when my daughter wears a belt for a skirt! And do you believe that?? I didn’t think so. I actually cry into the mirror at the sight of wrinkles and curse each and every grey hair in my head!

Life is such a roller-coaster with children – and I’m finding this more and more as two of mine enter their teenage years. Sometimes nothing I can say or do is right. I know a lot of this is hormonal (my own hormones included!) and I should cut them some slack but it’s not always easy. I just have to hope that they’ll one day realise that I only ever have their best interests at heart and that I can get them into adulthood with relative ease.

Maria x

25 comments so far

  • At 13, my son is also growing up, and this brings mixed feelings for me. I love that he’s becoming a young man, but I do miss playing on the floor with jigsaw puzzles and colouring books! A bonus of being a mother is that it gives you plenty of inspiration for writing!

  • Lovely post. I feel some of this now with Max starting school this week – how did that time go so quickly? Part of me loves seeing them grow up – but there’s always a sadness that they’re moving on. Then again, there’s a lot to be said for the freedom to get a coffee in peace a couple of mornings a week!

    • Gosh Hazel, I can’t believe Max is starting school already. Doesn’t time fly. You’ll have to try to meet up with us on 15th for tweet up. I think we may be doing city centre. Keep an eye on the hashtag #twavoca on Twitter to see updates. Hope we see you soon. Mx

  • I have no children. Some may say this is probably for the best.
    I agree.
    If I had children I wouldn’t be able to spend my money on shiny new gadgets for myself. I’d have to spend my hard earned on clothes and school things and potato dinosaurs and the like. Frankly , I don’t see the appeal.
    On the plus side, once they start going to “Big” school, they are out of the house long enough for you to move away without telling them.

    This comment has been left because I was made to.
    You’re welcome.

  • Oh Maria, your daughter is SO gorgeous. But she does look grown up. I can see why you have mixed feelings.

    I first met my stepdaughter when she was 2 and she is now 14 so I feel lucky as I have had a bit of a sample of how the process feels.

    I’m going to find some puzzles and some small children now and spend time enjoying both…

    Lovely post… best of luck to your lovely daughter for her new school. xx

  • Potato dinosaurs? Really? The upside of kids is you can buy an iPad and say it’s for their education *coughs*

    Anyway, lovely post Maria. Daniel starts preschool next week and I’m going through a similar set of feelings. Hugs 🙂

  • Can’t understand comment 4 by Mr Uku; Don’t worry,have two twenty + girls & 2 small g’children and they STILL need your help! From my experience girls keep ‘silly & sloppy’ disposition right into twenties!! Lovely heartfelt blog!

    • Don’t worry about Mr Uku. He’s strange at the best of times – but harmless and quite good fun! Good to hear they still need you even when they’re completely grown up! It’s worrying to see them drift further away! Mx

  • My Claire is a young woman now and I have adored each stage she has gone through – even the terrible twos (which started around 18 months and carried on until she was about 13).
    Each day they take a little step further away from you,but the magical thing about being a mother is that the tie that binds you together just keeps on stretching and stretching so they never, ever get too far away. Your babies are your babies, no matter how grown up they become.

  • Love Mr. Uku. Who is he? I want to follow him on Twitter too! Very funny. Seriously though, being a mother is the most important job you will ever have and it’s clear you take it very seriously. They will grow up to be wonderful adults because of the love you are sharing with them now. Then they’ll pass it on.

  • Awww she’s so lovely! You’re lovely as well. 🙂

    I’ve never had children and probably never will, but I remember when my brother met a girl, had a kid, got married, moved to Illinois and she was just stunned. I mean, I have the most respect for mothers who have to carry so much and go through so much and are always doing the best they can.

    You are all treasures! 🙂

    I’m too much of a flake to have a kid I fear. The day would come where someone would ask me how my little one was doing, I’d get a blank face and run home into a panic only to find my mom has already taken the thing whilst givin me some serious “side-eye”.

  • Oh I am a bad mother. Couldnt wait till they went back to school. Cant wait till they all leave school, get jobs, move out, get married whatever! Love em dearly.. but I have lots to do… and time is marching on!

    Hang on tight Maria – the Secondary School years whizz by..

    • You’re not a bad mother – just an honest one. We all feel like that really but there’s just something emotional about each hurdle. Maybe you’ve hit the nail on the head – maybe they’re tears of relief!! Thanks as always for your lovely comments. Mx

  • It all sounds so familiar. I have the last of four to go to secondary school iin either a year or two. Hold on to the memories fast as it all passes you by in a flash.

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