20 Things I Will Miss About The Little Years (and 20 Things I Definitely Won’t!)

20 Things I Will Miss About The Little Years (and 20 Things I Definitely Won’t!)

Recently I was in Target with the kids and we were in the check-out line. They were asking to buy literally everything in the little kiosk by the register. I kept saying no, and asking them to help me with the groceries instead. The woman in front of us was smiling and she looked at me and said, “They are precious… enjoy them… you will miss them being little.”

I said, jokingly, “Thank you so much. Yes, I will miss some things for sure… but not everything.”

She laughed and said, “Yeah, that’s true.”

Isn’t it interesting that most everyone looks back early childhood with rose-colored glasses? I suppose the adorableness, sweetness, and softness of those years replace the constant needs, constant attention, and the sheer physical and emotional exhaustion. Maybe the nostalgic wistfulness of “enjoy these days” is all people can think to say in the moment. They mean well, but it feels defeating when someone suggests that we’ve already reached the pinnacle of motherhood when our children are little.

I do wish, every once in a while, someone would say, “If you think this stage is fun, just wait, it’s only going to get better.” That would be so encouraging.

I’ve learned to embrace each stage for what it is; understanding that most behavior in the baby, toddler, and preschool years is going to be unpleasant. They are finding their way, expressing themselves and sometimes just need space. I get it. But if I’m being completely honest, some days are just plain terrible. I have no control over what’s happening. The frustration and lack of patience take over … I lose it… everyone is just a MESS.

Here are the 20 Things I Definitely WON’T miss about the little years:

1  Diapers

2  Incessant crying

3  Popping out of bed 100 times per night

4  Food throwing

5  Restaurant meltdowns

6  Physical violence (being hit by a toddler hurts, man!)

7  Limited communication skills

8  Noses and butts that don’t wipe themselves

9  Car seat struggles

10  Collapsing on the floor

11  Ear infections

12  Teething

13  Temper tantrums

14  Choking hazards

15  Goose eggs, bruises, cuts, bloody lips, stitches

16  Limited self regulation skills

17  Skin and food allergies

18  Breathing treatments

19  Trips to the Emergency Room for super high fevers, something called Nurse Maid’s Elbow, broken bones, etc.

20  That it takes 20 minutes to do a 1 minute task

And, to be fair, there are things I will miss about the baby, toddler and preschool years. They are no doubt a roller-coaster, but they are also filled with wonderful, life-giving moments.

Here are the 20 Things I WILL miss about the little years:

1  Tight hugs

2  Little clothes and shoes

3  Baby voices

4  Their smells

5  Naps

6  Dance parties

7  Disney movies

8  Sitting– and fitting–on my lap

9  Fuzzy footed pajamas on a freshly-washed kid

10  Cute character dinnerware

11  Stopping to admire puppies, kitties and picking flowers

12  Being happy over small things

13  Innocent curiosity

14  Looking at me like I’m the most important person in the world

15  Asking me questions like I have all the answers

16  Treasure chest for good behavior

17  Tooth fairy notes

18  Sandcastles on the beach

19  Inviting entire classes to birthday parties (and everyone genuinely liking each other!)

20 Authenticity of their prayers

Okay, I admit I could go on with the things I will miss. I love my kids. They teach me so much. I do think it’s important to admit, though, that there are things I won’t miss about the little years. That doesn’t mean I love them any less.

What about you? Whatever ages your kids may be, what is it that you WILL or WON’T miss as they get older?

P.S. Those of you that are in the little years like me, let me just say… you actually DO have a lot to look forward to. My oldest is almost 8 and it is glorious. You get a little bit of freedom back; you can have meaningful conversations; they are considerate; and they HELP YOU DO THINGS… it’s a whole new world. Just wait!

Here are just a few of the “challenging” moments in the Best household 🙂


  1. September 11, 2017 / 2:06 pm

    Such a beautiful post! Totally agree with all of those things that you will miss (and also the ones you won’t)!

    • Carli Best
      September 11, 2017 / 2:23 pm

      Thank you Rachael!

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