By Katie Moosbrugger

We had a sad day in our house recently. My soon-to-be tween asked if she could now call me “Mom” instead of “Mommy.” I knew this day would eventually come, but I was shocked at how it hit me. Even though – every once in a while – she shows signs of what she’ll be like as a teenager, I still view her as the little curly-topped toddler she used to be.

Apparently all her friends call their parents “Mom” and “Dad,” and she had been wanting to ask me this for quite some time. I think it’s precious that she asked for my permission. She knows me too well, and realized I might get upset, or say no. Of course I didn’t say no, but I definitely counter argued why she might be rushing into something, and that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea. I lost the debate and have to admit she presented a good defense.

Maybe you’ve had the same conversation with your child too. Let’s agree there is never a good time for that question to come up, but we all know it’s inevitable. Afterwards, I realized I missed so many signs that hinted this day was coming.

If you’re confident you’ll be called “Mommy” for many years to come, you might want to review these hints below so the day doesn’t catch you off guard – like it did me. In no particular order, here are 25 sure signs you might be outgrowing the “Mommy” stage…

1. You reach for their hand when crossing a busy parking lot, and they make you hold their wrist or forearm.

2. You are now only allowed to kiss their foreheads, or top of their heads, in public.

3. They no longer want you to walk them to their classroom – heck, they barely let you enter the school anymore.

4. You used to know every detail of their day at school, now you rarely know what goes on in inside those walls.

5. When they fall down and get hurt, they just glance at you – they don’t run to you.

6. You can never shop for their clothes without them anymore.

7. There is maybe one or two aisles left in the toy section where you could actually find something they will like.

8. What ever happened to nightmares? Do they still have them? They rarely come to your bedside in the middle of the night for comfort anymore.

9. You have no idea when your child poops, and you’re OK with that. You just trust it happens.

10. It’s next to impossible to figure out a venue for a birthday party. You’ve either had a party at every available location, or all these once favorite locations are for “babies” now, so your child says.

11. The amount of “stuff” you give during the holidays and at birthdays is half of what you used to give, yet you are spending twice as much.

12. Gone are the easy, relaxing school mornings. Now it’s filled with you scrambling, getting them out of the bathrooms and away from the mirrors, and out the door two hours earlier than you’d like.

13. Gone are the easy, relaxing afternoons after school. Now it’s crunch time to fit in homework, dinner and an after-school activity or two or three!

14. They tell YOU how to figure out their math homework problems.

15. Your child is now your first source of help with electronics around your home.

16. There is no need to have eyes on them every second of the day because they actually understand their boundaries.

17. Your weekends and calendars fill up weeks and months in advance – and none of these activities are for you or your significant other.

18. You used to look forward to their bedtime so you can sneak a few hours of “me-time.” Now you tend to go to bed at the same time they do.

19. You are no longer sleep deprived. Yay! Instead, you actually look forward to waking before they do just to get in some “calm before the storm.”

20. Chores are not given out to build character and responsibility anymore. Now they’re essential jobs to help you keep your house running.

21. You sometimes are asked to stand in the hallway during parts of your child’s pediatric check-ups.

22. Going to the pool with the kids is literally a time to relax. That is what lifeguards are for anyway, right?

23. You can actually read a book now!

24. Your funny faces, dances and jokes are no longer amusing. They are now an embarrassment.

25. The coded words and expressions you share with your husband are all too familiar and are easily decoded.

I know this sounds depressing, but I have noticed that – no matter what these hints prove or how soon they want to start calling you “Mom” – there’s one thing that seems hard for them to outgrow. And that’s good ol’ quality lap time and cuddling. We still have plenty of it around here (shhh…don’t tell their friends!), and I hope you do too!

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