Thursday, November 17, 2011

Stages of life

If you'd asked me a few weeks ago, I'd tell you unequivocally that I did not like newborns. Don't get me wrong, I love children. I especially love MY children, but if I could choose to skip over a phase then this would be it. With Big Brother, things just got better and better after the 4 month mark. The crying ramped way down, and the cuteness way up. So much interaction & discovery---you could actually play with him, in a more 2-sided way (vs just singing & making faces at your crying or ambivalent newborn). As the mobility & communication skills grew, so did my interest in my child. I just couldn't wait for all the milestones, and I was constantly amazed and surprised at even the most mundane aspects of development (eating the feet! solid foods! babbling!) I fell more and more in love each day.

I realized yesterday that I have 4 weeks left of maternity leave. I was surprised to find it made me anxious and sad. I am actually enjoying this maternity leave. For one, the weather is much MUCH better (remember the 2010 winter when news programs were throwing around words like "snowpocalypse" and "snowmegaddon"? Yeah that was my other maternity leave). I'm getting out of the house more especially on those lovely 60-70 degree November days.

Second,  and likely more important, I am acutely aware of how fleeting it all is---this intense neediness, where I am fully responsible for his care, feeding, comfort every minute of the day and night---it won't last long. In a few short months he'll be (hopefully!) sleeping longer stretches & not in our bed. He'll be hurtling himself out of my arms to creep & crawl around the house. Few months later & he'll want to feed himself, "read" by himself, walk & climb the stairs by himself ("no helping mama!"). Breast will give way to bottles to sippy cups & regular food. Then the pieces won't need to be cut so small, and one day he'll be eating a whole banana, peeling it himself, then biting into a sandwich...all after climbing himself into the high chair and buckling it on his own (really! Big Brother does this.)

And thirdly. Oh the third reason is probably the most meaningful of them all. I'm sad for this all to end because this is almost certainly the last time for us. While I'd always wanted three kids, given my age & where we're at in life right now, it just doesn't seem logical. My husband has flat out said that he does not want any more children. Two children is a nice round number. I can live with that, but yet...

But yet, I find myself holding him more than he probably needs to be held, bringing him into bed when he'd probably fall asleep in the bassinet. I know I can't hold him back but I definitely want to hold him close.


  1. I was thinking about this just the other day. Right now, being pregnant kind of sucks, but very soon it will be over! And then who knows if I'll ever do it again. Same with having a newborn. The exhaustion will be terrible, I'm sure, but it's such a fleeting time since they grow so quickly. So I'm trying to savor each phase of this process of growing a kid. It seems to make the more unpleasant parts more bearable, at any rate....

    Glad you're enjoying your little ones!

  2. I feel this so strongly too as a second-time mom. It does go so very fast!

  3. Oh, I could have written this post a few weeks ago as I finished my second maternity leave. It's so good to hear that others feel it, too. I was relieved to go back to work after my first baby, but after my second, I just wanted to hold on to her tightly and stay home to enjoy every second. Quite a shock for me, as I'm someone who has never wanted to stay home or quit working. Time is just flying and because she's going to be our last baby, too, I'm feeling the loss of her babyhood so strongly.

    Like Baby Smiling, I LOVE that last line.

    p.s. I'm just getting caught up on your blog as a new reader and am tempted to write comments on many of your posts--you are such a beautiful writer and we have so much in common. Thanks for stopping by my blog, too. I look forward to being a new reader of yours!