From the minute our children enter this world, we’re celebrating them. Hitting each milestone is the best feeling; learning to smile, that first giggle, rolling over, sitting up, crawling, walking, turning one and every milestone after that. We’ve spent our entire pregnancy journeys eagerly waiting to be able to celebrate these things, prepared for the pure happiness that comes with each milestone and maybe even slightly prepared for the brief sadness that our baby is growing up. The night before your baby turns one can be so bittersweet and you might just find yourself sadly wondering where the last year has gone. Take note of this feeling though, because nothing can prepare you for the double-digit blues that’ll hit you like a truck in 9 years’ time!

When your child hits double digits

In the lead-up to turning ten, we’re so busy with planning presents and parties and helping them count down to their big day. With all the excitement, you may not even notice the sadness creeping in. Until one day it hits you. This tiny little person who used to rely on you for literally everything, who used to run up and “steal your kisses”, who taught you so much about yourself; is about to be ten. That’s ten years since they were a tiny little baby in your arms. This is especially true for your firstborn. A whole decade since you became a parent. Your baby is about to turn onto the road to become an adult and that’s scary! All the worries are starting to set in about how well you’ve done in preparing them to become the best adult they can be. That feeling of melancholy and sadness seems to come out of nowhere as you realise your little one is no longer in the single-digit age bracket.

Nothing is good enough

Along with the melancholy, also comes the guilt. Guilt is a funny little creature that pops up around now too. You start to obsessively worry that the presents you chose aren’t “special” enough or they don’t mark the occasion as they should. The party you’ve planned isn’t extravagant enough for this massive milestone. You can even sit there and acknowledge how insane your guilt thoughts are and how your child will be ecstatic with all you have planned for them and that they’d be happy with less if that’s all you could do. Because you’ve raised a kind little human with values and respect. However, that doesn’t fade away these intrusive thoughts that nothing you’ve done or planned is good enough for them.

It’s perfectly normal

It’s perfectly normal to feel this way in the lead-up to any of your children turning the big 1-0! In fact, you might find that some children are feeling a little uneasy about turning ten too. It’s really exciting for both children and parents alike when this milestone rolls around but you both may feel a sense of melancholy as it approaches closer.

Mark the occasion

There are some things that can help you both transition into double digits and help you both get closer and say goodbye to single digits once and for all.

  • Write your child a letter. You can even get them to write a letter to their future selves as well. A site that can help with this in a really cool way is futureme. You can write your letter and choose a date in the distant future to have the letter emailed to you or even have it posted.
  • Create a scrapbook. This can be a surprise present for your child or you can use it to spend more time together and help them say goodbye to single digits also.
  • Go on a date. Go out for the day with your child and do all the fun things they’ve been asking to do for years that you’ve just been too busy to do or that you thought was a waste of money. Now is your chance to tick off some younger childhood bucket list items.
  • Go through old photos and videos together.
  • Take birthday portraits.
  • Create a silly little cake smash and let them have fun as they would have for their first birthdays.
  • Recreate some baby photos with them for fun.

Whatever it is you choose to do to both celebrate your child and say goodbye to single digits, be sure to spend as much time as possible with them. It won’t be long before the thought of spending time with Mum and Dad is overshadowed by hanging out with friends and everything else that comes with being a teen. For now though, enjoy the pre-teen journey because that too, will be over just as fast as it started.

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