5 Things I Would “Do Over” with my Middle Child

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(This post was written by Heidi)

As moms, we all know how fast time flies when you have young children in the house.

Different things affect different years – you may have your first child and have a full year or two alone with them before a new baby arrives, or you may move house, start working, have a relative move in with you, there are many things that affect each year, and that can change your relationships with your children.

Personally, I don’t like having regrets, or rather, I don’t like calling them ‘regrets’. I prefer to view them as learning curves, but never as things I officially failed at or wish I hadn’t done. Because, at the time, if I was in my right mind {which I usually am}, I thought what I was doing and what I’d chosen, was just right for then. So .. I look back at the past and think of things I regret have learnt I’d not like to repeat in future, and that helps me be a better mom now.

My daughter is turning 5 this year and I’m starting to feel sad at seeing her sweet 4 year oldness go. One always learns from hindsight, and this is what I’ve learnt, as well as some hindsight-wisdom on HOW TO do things better, as I know it would make her happier:

5 Things I Would Do Over with my Middle Child fb

1. MAKE LESS DISHES

DO OVER: paper plates! I’d buy paper plates for lunches, eat outside and buy healthier snacky foods to have picnics with. Not every meal needs to be cooked, even in a gluten free home {note to self}.

2. MAKE MORE 1-ON-1 DAUGHTER-MOM TIME

DO OVER: Schedule!!! I’d schedule far more cake & tea sessions. If they aren’t scheduled, they don’t happen! And dressing up together and going out is priceless for her, and we usually make such sweet memories. Schedule it!

3.  INVOLVE THE MIDDLE CHILD MORE

DO OVER: The art basket!  I’d have a basket with special books, puzzles and art stuff special to her, near me while juggling a new baby and my older son.

By the time my daughter was 4, she had an older brother and a new baby brother. In other words – a brother who understood directions well, and a baby brother who needed me constantly; she was the odd one out, the inbetween child who demanded my attention just a little less than a baby, and understood just a little less than the older one. It was a tricky season and one I’d do over most by including her more in the busy chaos that having three young kids was.

4. GET INVOLVED IN HER INTERESTS

DO OVER: Park my bum and paint! I’d schedule a part of the day {even just 20mins) to sit on my bum and paint or do mosaic with her. There it is again- SCHEDULE!

20 minutes a day accumulates over time and is actually HUGE. I find it hard to sit still for anything as a SAHM of three, but this I’d definitely do over. My daughter adores art and I’d teach her more rather than expecting her to do it alone and learn by herself. And projects done together create great memories!

5. MAKE BEDTIMES CALMER AND LONGER

DO OVER: Take a break to regroup! I’d ask hubby for a 20min break before the bedtime routine, and then cuddle more in bed with her and read stories, say prayers, and have more intimate ‘good night’s.

By 5pm I am feeling the scratchy ends of the day – Im DONE. Done with noise, poo, dishes and food mess. Bedtimes are usually a please-can-we-get-to-post-bedtime-so-I-can-have-a-hot-cup-of-tea-alone occasion, and I am far too rushed and abrupt than I’d like to be. I think that break pre-bedtimes is key; asking for it so that I can catch my breath, calm myself and prepare stories and my heart.

THE GREAT NEWS is that everything we learn on hindsight can be brought into our current situations. Our child may never be that age again, but we can do better with where they are now, and do better with younger siblings. And best for me, I sat and made this list while my daughter is STILL 4 for a few months! Yeah!

I’m putting this list on my fridge later today.

5 things Id do over with my 4yr old list

What would you do over again with your 4 year old? I’m sure we will all benefit from your list.. share in the comments below!

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Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this! I also have a daughter in the middle of two boys, and she will be four next month! This is such good encouragement and a good reminder to look and really see her for who she is. I want to relish this time with my young children, which is so hard in this season of life!

    • Pleasure; oh sweet, my girl is also between 2 boys, it’s very sweet having an older and younger brother! 🙂 It is easy for her to kinda get lost in the busyness shew. Good to keep the little things in mind that make days better for her, and you 🙂 x

  2. My daughter will be the middle child if we succeed in having more children. One of the brighter sides of not having had a new baby yet is that she’s had almost 6 years to be the only girl and the youngest. The great news is that you can schedule more daughter and you time for the future 🙂

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