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