I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but it happened.

Was it sometime this summer? Or did it happen before then, maybe last fall? Did it happen in a sudden flash, like the Big Bang, marked by some kind of milestone that I missed along the way? Or was it a more gradual process, indiscernible on a daily basis and then one day—POW!—the reality is obvious and undeniable?I’m not sure when or how it happened, but here we are in the midst of the in-between years.There were days when I honestly didn’t think we’d make it to the in-between years. I assumed we would be stuck in the Groundhog Day–cycle of the baby-toddler-preschool years. I was certain—absolutely certain—that parenthood would be an endless loop of diaper changes and nap schedules and time-outs.

But both of my children are in school now—kindergarten and third grade, respectively—and they no longer seem to fit into any of the prescribed phases of childhood. We have long since left the Jekyll-and-Hyde-ness of newborn and toddler years. And while they might still act like threenagers now and then, those times are fewer and farther between. We are still a few years away from the tornado that is adolescence, and several years away from the nest-leaving years of young adulthood. My sons are young, but not too young; they are big, but not too big. They are simultaneously big kids and little kids. They are in-between.

You can read more of this post about the In-Between Years, which appeared on Scary Mommy, here.



  1. Paralyzing- you hit the nail on the head for me. I’m also a lawyer turned SAHM, with my 2 boys in full-day school for the first time…and now what? I realize how much I miss work, and at the same time, how returning to the law firm (or even in-house) schedule would drain my family. I realize I’m blessed to not have to work, especially with a husband with unpredictable, incredibly demanding hours, and at the same time, feel terribly guilty – or even lazy- for not doing something “productive” while the kids are in school. And then, of course, ashamed at allowing myself to even indulge in such “first world problems”…

    • Christie

      Ohmigosh, Becca, you have captured so many of my thoughts/emotions right here. Thank you.

  2. Hope you don’t mind me commenting here instead of at SM – it feels more personal to be here at your blog. NIne years ago (nine!!) I was exactly where you are now, with a kindergartener and a third grader. This piece takes me back to those in-between years, and I am thankful that I took the time to enjoy them for what they were. Now that I’m in the middle of the teen years, I look back on them fondly, although I like where we are now, too. And while many may disagree with me, I think the teen years are pretty awesome. You’re smart to focus on the here and now, but know that what’s coming can be great too.

    • Christie

      Thank you for commenting here, Dana! And thank you also for the positive comments about what’s to come. It’s nice to hear from someone who can appreciate this time for what it is — without the anticipatory negativity about what’s to come. Each phase is good in it’s own way, I think. Well, except for a couple of stretches in the newborn phase for me 🙂

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