Peter Pan Syndrome

I am the first out of my group of friends to have a baby. The first to have my own home. And now, the first to get married. It could have been any one of us, but it just so happened to be me. Most of the time this isn’t a big deal but there’s no denying the dynamics of my friendships have changed dramatically in the last year or so, especially since becoming a mum.

“You’re a proper grown up now!” my friends often joke.

They certainly don’t mean any harm by that statement but what I hear is “You’re boring” and “You’re no fun anymore”.

Because that’s what being a ‘proper grown up’ means to me.

Today as I dusted in the guest bedroom (which definitely is a boring, grown-up thing to do), I looked over at the large glass frame proudly displaying many of the music gig tickets I have collected over the years. They were yellow and faded from the bright morning sunlight that leaks into that room each day. Most of those bands, whose names were emblazoned across the tickets, I haven’t listened to in an awfully long time. It made me feel a bit sad.

“Is this adulthood?” I thought to myself.

Forgetting about everything I ever used to know and love?

It was at this moment that I questioned whether I had, indeed, ‘grown up’.

I shuddered at the thought.

I suppose you could say I suffer with Peter Pan Syndrome. I don’t want to grow up. Ever.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m hardly walking around in light up shoes (although, now that I think about it, that does sound fun).

I accept that I’m an adult. I accept that I have responsibilities (my mini human, being the most important of them all). I have bills to pay. A mouth to feed. A home to take care of. A husband to love and cherish.

But please, don’t ever tell me I’m a ‘grown up’. That is the WORST.

(I should point out I’ve recently had a birthday, I’m allowed to be oversensitive about this stuff!)

I can, of course, understand why my friends see me that way.

Because it’s my job to keep a little person alive, safe, happy and healthy.

And heck yeah, I love finding a good deal on loo rolls when I’m doing the weekly shop (we all do, right?)

And alas, I don’t spend my evenings going to gigs anymore. Nor do I stay up drinking until the small hours of the morning.

Instead I’m more likely to be found researching blackout blinds on the internet because nowadays? I’ll do anything to get more sleep.

But in all honesty, I’m having more fun now than I’ve ever had in my life. And I feel anything but ‘grown up’.

I can (and do) legitimately crawl around a soft play centre and nobody bats an eye-lid.

I can re-read the books from my childhood (and do all of the voices out loud).

I can play peek-a-boo in the middle of a shopping centre.

I can sing silly songs and dance silly dances.

I can make dens out of cardboard boxes and blankets.

And the best part is, I get to do it all with the coolest kid I know…

Who else has Peter Pan Syndrome?!

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  1. Avatar June 17, 2015 / 9:34 am

    Asides from this beautifully written post, HOW NICE ARE THOSE PICTURES?! Proper lovely moments captured on a camera. I love them!
    Anyways, I will be the first out of my friends to do all the above too. All my friends are flittering from boyfriend to boyfriend and still going out 3-4 nights a week (I KNOW!?). Me, I’ve been with my boyfriend for nearly 4 years and we are planning our future together. Although, I have always been the settling down type, rather then going out and getting drunk every weekend. It just isn’t me, and there isn’t anything wrong with that! Absolutely loved ready this, Jenna! xx

    • Jenna July 16, 2015 / 9:04 am

      Oh thanks so much, Daisy. I rarely let the Mr take photos of me but I’m trying to be less camera shy so that Jasmine has photos of her and her mummy together.

      I’ve done the whole going out and getting drunk thing and do be honest I was bored of it by my early twenties. I much prefer my cozy nights in these days anyway.

      Hope you and your b/f have the future together that you want. :) xx

  2. Avatar June 17, 2015 / 10:42 am

    Haha you have nothing to worry about, you’re definitely not growing up or a grown up and never need to or will be. It’s all in the mind (so I keep telling myself). I agree that gone are the nights when I could be out until 5am and get away with it night after night but I’m 35 and still have a Miffy nightdress!

    Of course there are “adult” things that we all have to do such as raising a family, being responsible for people other than yourselves, mortgages etc but in turn those changes bring fun and happiness just of a different kind. It is hard when you’re having children and others around you aren’t – I sense that from the other perspective because I found out last year that I can’t have children so my husband and I have said well, let’s live life up then – we both work full-time and very hard and live in London so we have a good life, spend stupid money on our house and go on lovely holidays. I can’t help feeling like I get judged at times though by my mummy friends as though they don’t approve, probably in a similar way than your single footloose friends look at you.

    All I say is be HAPPY – that’s all any of us should ever want from life Xx

    • Jenna July 16, 2015 / 9:08 am

      I agree – it’s totally all in the mind. :)

      I’m sorry that you can’t have children (assuming of course that’s what you wanted?) BUT I totally admire you and your husband’s attitude. Don’t let anybody else make you feel bad for living your life the way you want to live it. It’s probably jealousy anyway!

      Work hard, play hard – it’s a good ethos for life.

      I hope you continue to have an awesome life together. :) xx

  3. Avatar June 17, 2015 / 10:57 am

    I think our priorities change and that can be challenging for friendships – I have four children and my two best friends don’t have any at all. Our lives are very different but we still enjoy our time together and although our ‘now’ is different our memories are the same #sharewithme

    • Jenna July 16, 2015 / 9:12 am

      That’s a very good point about friendships. Regardless of how different your lives become, you will always have memories of the moments you shared together. I still love spending time with my friends (in fact, I appreciate it a lot more these days) but the dynamics have changed a lot. It’s not worse or better, just different. xx

  4. Avatar June 17, 2015 / 2:54 pm

    LOVE this. I feel exactly the same but I am nearly 38 and definitely not the first of my friends to get married and have kids! I miss listening to music and nights out but we’ll get there again, one day. And in the meantime I will embrace dancing like a numpty to Shake It Off with my toddler and having my face eaten by the baby. Young at heart ;)

    • Jenna July 16, 2015 / 9:17 am

      Haha – love this comment Sheena. You’re totally right, we will get that ‘freedom’ back one day (and we’ll probably moan about not being ‘needed’ anymore!) but until then, we are still having a whole heap of fun. :) xx

  5. Avatar June 18, 2015 / 3:09 am

    Totally Peter Pan-ing it here. That’s part of the reason I became a kindergarten teacher.
    After I gave birth a friend from my single life met up with me and said I was looking really ‘mumsy’ talk about a dagger in my stomach. Jeez

    • Jenna July 16, 2015 / 9:19 am

      I used to get asked why I worked with children and young people and my response was always “because adults are boring”.

      Oh my God, I’ve had the ‘mumsy’ comment too. Not cool! o_O

      Hurrah for Peter-paning it. Best way to be.

  6. Avatar June 18, 2015 / 9:00 am

    *raises hand*
    You’ll see tomorrow…..

    • Jenna July 16, 2015 / 9:20 am

      YES, KATIE!!

      We are on the same wavelength. I blummin’ love ya, woman! xx

  7. Avatar June 18, 2015 / 9:33 am

    Gorgeous post Jenna and amazing photographs. Love this. I too feel the same. I feel like having the twins has made me young again and feel so much fun. Laughing at the silliest things! I don’t care if I am getting old and boring…I LOVE my life :) Another fab post xx

    • Jenna July 16, 2015 / 4:55 pm

      Thank you, Jess! :)

      That’s what it’s all about, having fun and loving life. It’s lovely to hear that the twins make you feel young again. xx

  8. Avatar June 19, 2015 / 12:32 pm

    I dont know about you but those photos are fun! I think if you think about it when you become a mother you get back to your childhood. Kids makes you not grow old because they always needs play. The moment you stop playing for me is the moment that you will start to grow old.

    Goodness I hope I am making sense.

    • Jenna July 16, 2015 / 4:57 pm

      That’s exactly how I feel, Merlinda – I feel like I’m getting to re-live my childhood all over again and it’s AWESOME! :)

      Makes total sense! x

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  10. Avatar June 21, 2015 / 3:06 pm

    I say you don’t ever have to grow up and it makes you a better parent sometimes when you can still remember the good times and what’s fun and being silly is one of our favorite passtimes with our two kids and we were the first to get married and have kids so I can relate. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

    • Jenna July 16, 2015 / 5:00 pm

      Yay for being silly! :)

      Ah yeah, it’s funny when you’re the first to ‘grow up’, what people on the outside don’t realise is that we’re are the ones who get to become young again! :) xx

  11. Avatar
    K's Mum
    June 22, 2015 / 9:44 am

    aww I understand what you mean but, we are in the new chapter of our lives and that just means we have greater (different, but greater) adventures ahead of us. :) #mummymonday

    • Jenna July 16, 2015 / 5:00 pm

      Absolutely – these are the best adventures I’ve ever had. I wouldn’t want it any other way. :) x

  12. Avatar June 22, 2015 / 10:02 am

    Beautiful post. I totally get this feeling but as An imperfect mum older mum I don’t feel like I missed out on anything. I do miss my wild nights out with friends but then the hangover kicks in and I decide it is definitely not worth it with kids at 6.30 the next morning! #mummymonday

    • Jenna July 16, 2015 / 5:03 pm

      Hahaha – I hear you on that one, I cannot even sniff alcohol without getting a headache these days so tend to just steer clear of it.

      There are times when I long for the nights out and the freedom of not having to worry about anyone else but myself. BUT I love being a mum and I’d choose that over nights out any time. :) x

  13. Avatar June 22, 2015 / 9:22 pm

    I totally have Peter Pan syndrome! i am just as giddy walking into a theme park or if not worse then my kids or playing ‘it’ in the playground when i should be supervising the children at school (whoops!) #mummymonday

    • Jenna July 16, 2015 / 5:04 pm

      Hahaha, you sound just like me Rachel! A child at heart. :) x

  14. Avatar June 22, 2015 / 9:58 pm

    Lovley post, I am not sure what happens to music when you become a parent… I don’t listen to anything anymore although we have managed a few gigs but thats probably because Monkey is almost three (I think we have been to 3 in total!!). The radio is now replaced with nursery rhymes and audio books on parenting (sad I know). I wasn’t the first to have kids although our friendships have changed as I realised when we were the couple without kids we use to do the running around and fitting in. When we had a child it wasn’t reciprocated. However we now have a new friends and I don’t place as much pressure on the friendships as I once did, the friends we have are happily accepting of our parent responsibilities just as we are of theirs. Those friends I have from old without kids I still see just less so, but they don’t seem to mind and we pick up with each other where we left off, nice to have to odd girlie night in ever now and again :) #mummymondays

    • Jenna July 16, 2015 / 5:06 pm

      Oh yes, a girlie night every now and again is what keeps me sane. :)

      I’ve tried to listen to more music since writing this post and some weeks I do better at it than others. I think there’s still room for music in my life but I have to make more effort to fit it in. Gigs I’m not so fussed about really, I was always the short person at the back who couldn’t see anything anyway. ;) x

  15. Avatar June 23, 2015 / 7:54 am

    I’m right with you on this. I’m also the first out of our friends to grow up but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m having the absolute time of my life and would not swap it for anything.
    I still get asked on nights out but I much prefer putting my babies to bed and being here if they need me in the night :-)

    • Jenna July 16, 2015 / 5:08 pm

      I’m excited for my friends to catch up with me one day as I know what’s in store for them and how truly amazing it all is.

      I love the odd night out here and there, but I know what you mean about being home for your babies. :) x

  16. Avatar June 23, 2015 / 12:07 pm

    Jenna, this is just so beautiful! I love it! YOu are right, if anything our souls are less grown up now than they were before ids – taking us right back to our childhoods! Best way to be in my eyes. Yeah sure we have to do grown up stuff like pay bills and food shop but I think most of us from the age of 18 have to do that. It’s great you can look back with fond memories – I know I do and I wouldn’t swap what I have now for all the raves in the world. xxxx

    • Jenna July 16, 2015 / 5:10 pm

      Yeah, totally right Kat! I always think that when my friends tell me I’m ‘grown up’ – I think “Yes but I have to do all the things you do BUT I get to re-live my childhood too”. I mean, who really are the grown ups? I don’t think it’s me! :) xx

  17. Avatar June 23, 2015 / 9:53 pm

    Me, me, me! I feel the same too, I miss my old life and all my friends (pre-kids) are still childless and enjoying what THEY want to do. But as you say we can be as childish as we want with little ones to entertain! :) x

    • Jenna July 16, 2015 / 5:11 pm

      Yay, another Peter Pan-er! :) Best way to be.

      There are some days when I really miss my old life (the hard parenting days) but for the majority of the time, I’m pretty happy to be acting like a kid again. :) xx

  18. Avatar June 23, 2015 / 10:12 pm

    HA! I’m totally with you :) I NEVER want to grow up!! I love the phrase that says ‘Don’t Grow Up — It’s a Trap’ — I keep meaning to make it into a print!! I think having the life we have now — with kids — but still being childish is the best thing ever!!! I wouldn’t swap it for the world xx
    Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday — hope to see you again next week! x

    Caro |

    • Jenna July 16, 2015 / 5:13 pm

      YES you must make that print!! It’s an awesome phrase. Growing up is for mugs! ;)

      I’m glad you’re with me on this one. We’re definitely having the most fun I reckon! xx

  19. Avatar June 29, 2015 / 7:32 pm

    This is such a wonderful post. I love it! It is all so true. I may be 36 with responsibilities but I still feel like a silly school girl. Sometimes I feel like I am not mature enough to be a mother. But then we dance madly to Taylor Swift for 30 minutes, or colour together or snuggle on the sofa and watch a Disney movie and I think that is okay. Little Miss H doesn’t want mummy to grow up either. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

    • Jenna June 30, 2015 / 10:42 pm

      Oh Mrs H – I LOVE this! It’s all so, so true. Grown ups are no fun – but adults who are still kids at heart? They make for wonderful parents. :) xx

  20. Avatar June 29, 2015 / 8:03 pm

    I love this post, I felt like you were really talking to me. I know what you mean, when i turned 30 (waaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!!) and i also downloaded Timehop (bear with me!) about the same time. So for the last year (or so) I have yearned to get some fun times back…although seeing as Britmums proved I can no longer handle a drink OR have a weekend of excitement so mayne i should admit defeat…I’M OLD!

    • Jenna June 30, 2015 / 10:45 pm

      Hahaha, I can’t handle booze anymore either – just sniffing wine makes me go doolally! ;)

      Oh I’m not far off my 30th birthday – it’s not a number I really like the sound of but it won’t change me one bit. xx

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