The Age of Happiness: 6 to 12-years-old

Summertime is over for my kids. They've traded in their bathing suits for school uniforms. It was one of the best summers yet. 6 amusement parks (Six Flags, Sea World, Happy Hallow, Santa Cruz Boardwalk, Coney Island, and (my favorite) Fete Paradiso), 3 beaches, and a ton of cousin time. I don't think we could have done much more.

This NYMag article states parents are the happiest when their kids are between the ages of 6 and 12. I remember reading it 3 years ago and pining for the day my kids fell into that category. While my boys don't actually turn 6 for a few weeks, I can already see the light. No longer do we worry about them around the pool. They swim. No longer do we worry about them being monsters on an airplane. They sleep or watch shows the whole time. No longer do we worry if we want to take an afternoon nap. They'll leave us alone. They still have tantrums when things don't go their way, but who doesn't? I had one yesterday. They fight like all siblings do and it drives us bonkers. They're too loud in the morning. But the major things? Like going to bed a 8pm, being excited to be with us, and turning on Netflix by themselves in the morning? All that adds up after a while.  

Things are just starting to get good around here. We have to stay focused though. No more babies! My brats have never been so easy. But sometimes, especially now that I'm seeing the results of 6 years of hard work, it's tempting to take the plunge again. But no. I'll enjoy these next 6 years of happiness with Rob until we have an apartment full of teenagers. I can only imagine the amount of crap we'll have to deal with then. I just hope we'll finally have 2 bathrooms to help us get through it.  

 Keep reading to see more pictures of Owen taking the plunge in our friend's pool in San Jose (although my favorite one was taken on my iPhone and posted on Instagram) . . .

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  1. Love this post, makes me so excited to be a mom.

  2. I totally understand...I have four kids and my youngest is 2...she's our last, and when I get all sad about that, I remember how much easier life is going to be when she's older. Like everything, there are trade offs...you don't have the adorable babyness and shiny newness, but you have sanity. :)

  3. "They still have tantrums when things don't go their way, but who doesn't? I had one yesterday." hahahaa Love that first picture!

    1. And I agree, STAY FOCUSED! Family cruise!!

  4. I say have another one. You'll have 3 helpers this time around!

  5. I reallly want to make friends with the owner of this pool!

  6. That pool is gorgeous. I totally believe the 6-12 thing. We have a toddler and a newborn and 6 years sounds very very far away. My husband says we just need to tread water til then. Here's hoping we don't drown!

  7. i have a few more years before we hit that "easy" 6 year zone but while i don't wish the years away i do long for a little more freedom (for them and me). Ahh the bliss of just sitting on a chair while they swim? Can't wait. also, the view from that pool? AMAZING. I'd never leave.

  8. I have a 2.5 year old and a newborn and these days 6 years seems FAR away! I just hope it doesn't take that long before I stop having to say no to everything. I feel like that's all I do - say no, pull my hair out and try not to lose my mind. Tell me I'm not alone feeling like mean mommy so often! " no you can't take the hair dryer in the bath", no you can't use the chefs knife for playdough", no you can't climb the ladder holding a screwdriver"! I mean, c'mon!

  9. So true! Mine are 10 and 8 and omg the difference. Now though, I'm freaking about the teen years... ack!

  10. Yes! My boys are 7 and 11...heaven!

  11. I'm halfway! Halfway people! She turn 3 in 10 days......

  12. With my oldest just about to turn 14, this made me a little sad! My happiest years as a parent are over? Yikes! I've got an 11-year-old, so one more year of happiness with him, and then an 8 year old: I will definitely appreciate the next four years with her, even as teenage-dom is exploding all around me.

  13. We just got back from our own family trip. We didn't take one last year so it was a bit of a treat. My son will be 14 next week and my daughter just turned 8. I mentioned to my husband that it was the easiest trip we had ever taken. For the most part they got along, they knew what was expected from them. They could tell us what they needed...and more importantly I didn't have to help them in the bathrooms! They were engaging in adult conversations. I actually caught my oldest looking out for his little sister. I totally agree with that observation. Until my son is driving I am going to soak up the ease I currently have!!

  14. My daughter will also be six in a few weeks, and I'm feeling this too!

  15. I have three kids, ages 4, 3 and 17mo. Sometimes life is hairy, but it's also just brimming with magic. Reading this post made me tear up, because I know that I'll blink, and my oldest will be 6, and then my youngest will be 6, and the next thing I know they'll all be dating and driving and going to college and getting married! Sometimes the thought of them growing up is just more than I can bear!

  16. i have twin boys who are about to turn 20 months. your post gives me hope!! :)

  17. i have twin boys who are about to turn 20 months. your post gives me hope!! :)

  18. If you ever visit Happy Hollow again, please shoot me an email! We live 10 min. away and are members. Would love to see you. Hope you had a lovely bay area visit.

  19. This is a great post! I'm so glad to know that things get easier...because keeping up with my 3-yr old gets to be too much at times. And I just wrote the same thing, but with a different twist yesterday about no more babies!


    BTW, I love your blog. Please write more about your mothering experiences, especially with twins! I'd love to hear more...

  20. This is great, and definitely gives me hope for those days when it's meltdown city. My almost three year old is normally a delight unless he misses his day nap, you know the one which he decided he doesn't need anymore but clearly does urgh. x


  21. Our youngest bio son just started kinder this year- my husband and I looked at each other and said "we would have been there now. Arrived. What have we done?" What we did was adopt three brothers. And now our countdown to age six starts all over again. But we (mostly) don't regret it!! Ha:)

  22. This is a great post, and I feel embarrassed to say, and maybe alone in this thought...I enjoy the 6-12 years, but I wouldn't call them the easiest at all...for me, the time and energy that infants and toddlers take is uncomplicated time of love and energy and just time. Even though I had one that was a crying infant and toddler, and at the time I spent too much energy wondering when the crying would pass, I realize now, the issue just needed my arms and my time. Maybe, it is the same for 6-12 and I am overthinking it, but the stuff that happens at school and at sports and the energy to get school, homework, and activities done, seems like it takes more than my time and more than just a schedule. I am certain I am overthinking this post, but I have friends who have children spaced out enough to have one in school and one toddler at the same time, and they too say, it is nice to be able to have the perspective to realize how "easy" babies and toddlers are because it all passes. And, maybe that same lesson could be applied to mornings where we all are running late, and then they get to school and I feel the guilt of having rushed them, but it is nice that toddlers don't have homework, and just are happy to be with you wherever you go. I very much enjoy these years, but the simple pleasures aren't as easy to come by, and the state of everyone being in agreement and quick giggles...so maybe it is me?!!

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