Every time someone asks me if we’re planning on having another baby and I tell them “no,” I feel a slight tinge of sadness come over me. The newborn stage, after all, is one of my most favorite things in the world. The sleepy mornings, the snuggly afternoons, even the sleepless nights spent rocking your sweet little bundle who fits so perfectly against your chest. The newborn noises and smells are like a drug for moms everywhere. You crave it long after it’s gone.
Everyone tells you to “cherish the moments” because they truly are gone so soon. But what they may not tell you… what you may need to hear when your baby is literally growing right before your very eyes… is this.
Your baby grows fast, and learns even faster. The sense of pride you will feel when your tiny newborn becomes more of an actual human and starts discovering and learning new things will amaze you. You will fight the urge to let the entire world know when he/she rolls over for the first time or gives you a genuine smile, and just wait until you hear that first belly laugh. The littlest moments become so big.
Your baby will become your best friend. You’ll feel this way when they start really interacting with you early on, but the companionship you will feel with your child(ren) only grows as they do. My best friends are a 3- and 1-year old, and I have absolutely no shame in that!
You will become totally fluent in another language. Baby babble and toddler talk become your second language. You become an excellent decipher-er of gibberish. You will understand everything your children say/ask for/need, even if the rest of the world can’t, and sometimes without even needing them to speak a single word.
Your toddler will teach you a whole lot about life and how to live it. Have you ever seen anyone literally gasp in amazement when they see a beautiful sunrise, or jump up and down with excitement over the simplest things such as being able to eat their favorite snack? I find myself wishing at least once a day that I could view the world as Marleigh does.
You will have more interesting conversations with your children than you’ve ever had with an adult. Marleigh says at least three hilarious thing every day that make me cry from laughing so hard. Her funniest moments usually happen while she’s going to the bathroom, as if the toilet is a magical toddler thought provoker. For instance, “Maybe the poopies just want to stay up there with their family.”
The snuggles only get sweeter. When your babies grow, the snuggle time decreases but it doesn’t disappear. The times when your always-busy one year old backs into your lap for a story, hugs your leg while you’re doing the dinner dishes, or leans in for a big wet baby kiss before bedtime will melt your heart just as much — if not more — than those first few days of newborn bliss in the hospital. When your three year old wants to lay with you on the couch and watch a movie, or wraps her arms tight around your neck for a “biiig squeezy hug!” at random moments throughout the day, you will try to fight the urge to cry happy tears – which is nothing new in the world of parenting.
Your life will become so much more than the eat, sleep, poop newborn schedule. It’s busier, it’s louder, it’s crazier, and it’s much more hectic. It’s also much fuller. You will watch your newborn turn to a baby and then turn to a toddler. You will witness them discovering themselves in so many ways. You will watch, awestruck, as they start figuring things out on their own; yet they will never let you forget how much they still need you.
You will laugh together, talk together, cry together, and love together. You will wonder how God could possibly entrust you with the task of molding them into good human beings while at the same time thanking Him every single day for bringing them into your world.
So, moral of the story… Don’t wish time away. Don’t take advantage of a single moment. But also don’t long to have the moments back, because each second, each day, each month of watching your children thrive and become who they will be makes you thrive as well. Hug them tight, steal kisses as often as you can, and let them sleep in your bed every once in a while for good measure. They’re only little once!