“Aw how old is she? About 8 months?” asked the young looking check out operator at the local Woolies.
“She’s almost 1!” I said, thinking it was cute that he’d had a stab at it anyway.
“I’ve got a 21 month old and when she was little we were always wishing for her to get older so it would get easier, but now she’s up and into everything!”
Ah, no wonder my 11 month old looked so young to him. Anyone younger than his lively toddler probably seemed so little and a distant memory to him now!
I said, “Yeah. We look back with rose coloured glasses, don’t we? Those days you could just put them down and they didn’t go anywhere and they were so cuddly! We forget about the sleepless nights and the hard work and feeling like we have no idea what we’re doing trying to keep this thing alive!”
We laughed and I walked away, watching my Little Miss trying to chew on my receipt in the trolley seat.
The Little Miss is 1 year old this month and reality is starting to crash on in! I’m excited for each milestone she reaches, but they’re going to come in thick and fast very very soon and holy shit I’m not ready!
The baby days will be over and the bittersweetness of it is killing me! I know, I know. I’ll get over it.
I never thought I’d be this mum. If I’m honest, I never really understood the mums who acted all sad because their youngest children were no longer babies. I thought that maybe they should shut up (!) and just accept that their children growing up is an inevitability – like duh. I guess I hadn’t lived it so I was kind of an ignorant twat. Just like how we are all the perfect parents until we have kids, I guess!
Anyhow, here I am. Bittersweet feelings all the time! It’s sweeter than it is bitter, but I can’t pretend that I am not feeling it!
Soon she’ll be walking and talking in staccato non-sentence sentences and giving me Terrible Twos attitude (anyone who says it doesn’t come early is LYING). Soon she’ll be eating everything (a good thing but OMG) and drinking cow’s milk out of cups and not needing her bottles.
I think the key to dealing with these inconvenient feelings I’m having is to just be that cheesy mofo who cherishes every cuddle. Every sweet moment. Every distinctively ‘baby’ thing that she does. So I don’t have to feel any regrets about letting it all fly past me without taking a moment to drink it in.
I’m not going to lie. Some of the ‘baby’ stuff is really hard and I won’t miss it and I don’t expect anyone else to love the tough stuff either. But I know that I won’t be doing this again and there’s joy to be found in that too.
I will never stop loving my kids and letting them worry the ever-loving shit out of me. I will feel that incomparable mother-child bond with them forever, even as it grows and changes. I will enjoy the freedoms I gain and I will have so many great memories to look back on (geez – I have taken so many pictures and it still doesn’t feel like enough). So many new memories to be made as the kids get older.
I know I could just keep having babies to avoid this feeling for as long as possible but there are so many reasons it’s not the best thing for me or our family now. The truth is, we’ve worked bloody hard to have our gorgeous two. I feel blessed enough and giving my son a sibling was all I wanted to achieve all these years. My family didn’t feel complete and what I went through between babies was physically and emotionally huge. I don’t feel the need to even remotely risk going through that again. My family feels complete now and my heart is full. No more missing pieces. I might say never say never, but I really do think it’s never and I’m more than OK with that.