Our Privacy/Cookie Policy contains detailed information about the types of cookies & related technology on our site, and some ways to opt out. By using the site, you agree to the uses of cookies and other technology as outlined in our Policy, and to our Terms of Use.


6 Things to Look Forward to When Baby Grows Older

There are two types of moms out there with babies: Those who are so knee-deep in the trenches of sleepless nights and diaper explosions that they can’t possibly envision a future as anything other than the mom of a baby, and those of us who know all too well how fleeting those baby days are and try desperately to hold on to them even as those chubby baby thighs toddle away from our reaching arms.

Currently on my fourth baby, I fall firmly into the latter category, and it wouldn’t at all be an exaggeration when I say I am in major freak-out mode about it.

RELATED: You Don't Have to Enjoy Every Minute

I want desperately to freeze time right.this.very.minute, to hold on to the cuteness of my 5-month-old (tomorrow—sob) who sleeps (mostly) through the night, is content to cuddle with me on my lap and can’t really do much of anything else but let me smooch on her adorable cheeks all day. Every smile that she flashes at me simultaneously fills me with such a soul-brimming love and pain because I know it’s a moment gone forever.

Last night, I had what my husband calls an “emotional mom moment” and I couldn’t sleep for the life of me, just contemplating how much I would miss this time in my life when it was gone, my heart aching to think of a household without babies in it. I was too embarrassed to wake my husband up and knew I would burst into tears if I tried to talk about it. Instead, I tried to focus on some of the positives about having babies who will grow up.

1. Sleep

Sure, this one’s cliché, but isn’t it also true? Do any of us even remember what it feels like to be fully rested? I do look forward to turning in for the night without keeping one ear alert for the sound of a baby crying.

2. Enjoying their personalities

I find such joy in seeing the type of people that my children are growing up into.

It’s pretty obvious that I’m a baby mom, all the way, but I also find such joy in seeing the type of people that my children are growing up into. It’s fascinating to watch them grow and blossom into their own individuals. And dare I say it? I genuinely think my older kids are just plain fun—a fact that brings me a lot of hope.

3. Freedom to walk out the door

While talking about this topic with a fellow mom of four whose kids are fully in the school ages, she admitted that she had some misgivings about leaving the baby stage, but then pointed out that a diaperbag-less existence was kind of nice, too. The freedom to simply just walk out of the door without packing my entire house into a small, oversized bag? I can’t even imagine.

4. Time to pursue our passions

My husband longs to join his dad on the family farm and to have more time to pursue his passion of woodworking, but it hasn’t been a reality for us in this stage of parenting littles. So I have to admit that it will be nice to see him spread his wings a bit and find more happiness in his career.

5. Writing the next great American novel

What, you don’t think I’ll do it? Even if I never make the New York Times bestseller list, it gives me great comfort to know that I will always have writing, a relatively cheap, ageless hobby that brings a lot of happiness and meaning into my life.

RELATED: Dear Mom, You Are a Woman Beyond Your Child-Rearing Years

6. More time to enjoy the great outdoors

I love being outside, but it’s never quite as simple as just getting outdoors and enjoying the fresh air. I have to remember sunscreen and shade for the baby and bring snacks and water. It may sound simple, but if my life is otherwise meaningless without babies to occupy it, I hope I can find enjoyment in the simple pleasures of life, like just taking a long, meandering walk without worrying about anyone’s naptime—except maybe my own.

What are you looking forward to enjoying when you’re out of the baby stage?

More from baby