04/01/2014 08:05 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

13 Things About Parenting You'll Only Appreciate Once Your Kids Leave The House

Gary John Norman via Getty Images

Those of you who still have small children in the house may not believe it, but one day you'll actually miss the piles of laundry and dirty dishes left behind by your little ones. Kids -- they grow up so fast. And while you treasure the ever-evolving relationship you now have with your children as they grow up, admit it: you miss when they were still your babies.

We asked Huff/Post50 readers about the things they never thought they'd miss once their kids left the house, and here's what they had to say. Have anything to add? Let us know in comments.

1. "The noise and havoc ... of feeding hordes of teenage boys"

"I miss feeding hordes of teenage boys who ate in the 'orange food group': Doritos, mac and cheese, pizza rolls and the like."

2. "Their friends in and out of the house"

teenagers in kitchen

3. "Reading before bedtime"
reading at bedtime
"Singing in a car pool full of little girls. Dinner time conversations about history. Reading at bedtime. Actually, I knew I would miss all those things, and I do."

4. "Learning about them just by watching them in action"
kids drinking chocolate milk
"When they are not with me, I miss the 'ambient learning' about them. What I mean is that 'empty cups' show me they drink chocolate milk and 'magazines' show me their interests. Kids may not always state (out loud) what they drink... Or who they follow... But when they leave the evidence behind (and oh, they do :-))... I get clues into who they are and what they like. I often otherwise miss that connection."

5. "All the half-full soda cans and there not being one clean glass in the house"

teenagers drinking soda

6. "Being right in the middle of the chaotic mess of their lives"
messy room
"Who new I would miss the chaos that five wonderful kids can create! Whether that's their messy bathrooms, bedrooms or lives! I miss being in the middle of the mess SOMETIMES!"

7. "Shopping for prom and homecoming dresses"

shopping for prom dresses

8. "Waiting up for them to come home"

worried woman

9. "Needing to bake for a variety of activities -- parties, bake sales, sleepovers, congratulatory cookie cakes."

baked cookies

10. "Doing laundry"
piles of laundry
"Funny you asked that because I just shared a photo on my FB page of one of the piles of towels and bedding I was left with after my daughter and her three friends just went back to college after spending spring break at our house. I was actually happy to be doing all that laundry and I loved having them here and hearing all that laughing and screaming, and the constant opening and closing of the fridge door. And I definitely miss having an excuse for buying all that junk food."

11. "Getting up and fixing a lunch. Have a good day and a kiss goodbye"


12. "Having all their friends crash here on the weekends and breakfast together and hearing all the stories from the night before"

teenagers having breakfast

13. "The jumble of shoes by the front door"

shoes by front door



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