This year, my babies turned 2. To say I was prepared would be a huge understatement. I thought I would be ok with the fact that my babies were turning into big boys and that they were starting to play well with their older siblings. I thought I would be ok knowing that I had survived four babies (two of which came together) and the sleepless nights and other craziness that comes along with babies. I thought I would be so excited for having big kids that I would be ok with not having any more babies, but I’m not.
I love being a mom. I love all of the stages that I have been able to experience so far. I love the sweet cuddles of a newborn and the loving smile you get when your baby looks up at you while nursing. I love being able to sit and read a book or play a game with my kids. I love sitting with my older children and being able to have a heartfelt conversation that they can participate in. I love looking in my rearview mirror and finding random heads bobbing from falling asleep. I love watching their reactions when something clicks and they have learned a new skill.
Now I am at a point where I know that my family is complete but I still look at my crazy little boys and beautiful daughter and miss the baby experience. I know that I am not alone in this feeling, but I have been trying to find ways to cope.
The best way to overcome the feeling of missing a baby for me is to think of all of the fun opportunities that are open to me and my family now. Now we don’t have to worry about feeding and napping schedules (yes, my toddlers still nap but they are a little more flexible now). Now we don’t have to bring as much stuff with us when we go places. We don’t need pack and plays, or high chairs, or pacifiers, or bottles. Now we can go more places without a stroller (if you’ve ever pushed a double stroller you know how exciting this is).
Another thing that helps me is having friends and family with babies. As a mom, I know that it is always a nice break for someone else to hold your baby for a little while; now I can be the baby holder. One of the major perks of this position is that when the baby gets fussy, you can hand them back! It’s also nice to know that you aren’t the one waking up in the middle of the night anymore.
One last way to help me has been talking to other moms who are in the same position as me. Having someone else who is done having children to talk to is great. It is someone who can relate to your feelings and who can help you see the positives and blessings that come from this new stage in life.
I know that I will probably always miss the baby stages, the first smiles and reaching all of those first milestones, but now I have a new exciting adventure ahead of me. I get to watch my sweet daughter and crazy boys turn into little people and then adults. I get to help them make decisions that will sculpt their lives. I get to teach them how to be good, positive, productive people who will make a difference in the world. I get to be their mom forever.
What stage are you at? If you are done having kids, how have you coped with missing the baby stage?