I’m a mom of three littles, and most of the other mamas in my life are also in the early years of parenting. My Facebook feed is full of squishy and sweet baby faces, and I couldn’t love them more!
The captions….the hashtags… the SOBBING FACE EMOJI!
They are overwhelmingly centered around the idea that these precious ones are growing too fast for their mamas liking, and I’m over here wondering…am I alone in being totally cool with the graduation from babyhood?
Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE my littles when they’re new! The way their little bodies melt into my own….the excitement of each new milestone and discovery…the way they smile and coo when I seem to magically appear in front of them…and especially the way they nap several times per day. It’s all good in the babyhood.
I’m the first to admit that there are things I miss about the baby stage when it’s gone because the baby years are SWEET, but something amazing happens after babyhood…toddlerhood!
There’s something really wonderful about seeing your squishy little baby turn into a walking, talking little person who doesn’t rely on you as his only food source! Ahh…It’s MAGIC. It’s not free of challenges, but it’s full of joy as they develop their own preferences, likes and dislikes.
They give their affection freely, and are little sponges soaking up everything around them! They are a bit less needy, but they’re still small enough to snuggle up in your arms!
The toddler years are SWEET!
(I mean, besides potty training….potty training is the actual worst.)
My oldest daughter is 5. I’m not sure what this stage is called (the little kid years?), but if it’s possible, I love her even more now than I did the day she was born. She is such a kind friend, an aspiring ballerina-fashion designer-photographer-chef, and she’s stinking hilarious.
Having real conversations with her, getting to know her heart and the way her little brain works is one of the greatest privileges of my life.
The little kid years are SWEET!
They’re my favorite so far, and I get genuinely EXCITED thinking about what’s to come. This doesn’t mean I didn’t cry when I dropped my daughter off at kindergarten, or that I don’t miss the younger versions of my littles from time to time. But, the truth is, it doesn’t compare to the joy I find in getting to know them better as they grow. It’s because of that joy that I have loved every year even more than the one before!
When my big girl was a baby, I did wish time would slow down. Maybe it was because, in my eyes, she was completely perfect just the way she was. Maybe it was because I knew I would miss her squishy baby tushie and her sweet little feet, but I think it’s most likely because I was afraid of not knowing what would come next!
Motherhood comes with a constant need to adapt.
As soon as we (almost…sort of?) figure out one stage, we’re onto the next, and that’s a little bit scary to a new mom.
Even 3 kids and 6 years into parenting, I’m no expert. Admittedly, I’m also slightly fearful (read: terrified) of the teenage years ahead of me, but I also know that while there will be things I miss about every age, there is so much fun to be had in the moment!
That’s why when I post about a milestone of my youngest, you won’t find a #timeslowdown, but rather a celebration. Maybe a #growbabygrow and a heart eyes emoji or two for good measure! Not because I’m rushing through babyhood, but because I love watching my littles come into their own. I realize they’re only mine for a season, and my best bet is to love every age for every sweet moment it has to offer (and take a JILLION pictures to remember it all).
Do you have a favorite age?