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23 Bittersweet Milestones All Moms Encounter

Photograph by Twenty20

One of the inevitable truths of motherhood, if one can be so fortunate, is that your baby won't stay a baby. If you're like me you will feel as though you're at odds with time as you watch babyhood and subsequently childhood seemingly slip away.

With each milestone, from the big to the mundane, you'll feel an ache despite knowing this is a good thing and despite being happy, thankful even. Here are some of the bittersweet milestones we tend to encounter during the early years, the things we at times momentarily long for when we remember what once was.

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1. When your baby outgrows their newborn and/or size one diapers.

2. When your baby nurses or bottle-feeds for the last time.

3. When they stop playing with a beloved lovey.

4. When "ma-ma" turns to "mommy" or "mom."

5. When your little one no longer clings onto you at daycare drop off. They're excited to go. You're happy they're finally happy. But you're also a tiny bit sad.

6. When their vocabulary becomes stronger and they finally master certain words; "frinkles" is now "sprinkles" and "kangaroo" has replaced hangaroo.

7. When they've outgrown the baby carrier.

8. When they are no longer soothed by swaddling.

9. When they really can, or at least want to, do it all by themselves.

10. When you stop needing to shop from the baby aisle at the grocery store. These days you look forward to a baby shower so you have an excuse to shop for itty bitty baby things.

11. When those tiny shoes have become heirlooms instead of a part of their everyday attire.

12. The first day of school/daycare.

13. When you no longer feel compelled to call the daycare to check on your little one because you know everything is OK now.

14. When you are no longer the only one capable of comforting your baby/kid. Still, you're thankful for the people who comfort your baby when you can't be there to do it.

15. Their first tooth—you're so going to miss that gummy grin.

16. When they no longer fit onto your chest or in the crook of your arm.

17. When they've outgrown their bassinet and/or crib.

18. When they start reading you the story at bedtime (even if they are making up their own words).

19. When you are gifted your very first piece of artwork from your budding artist. "I made this for you."

20. When your little one tries to comfort you; there's nothing like a pat on the back from your tiny.

21. When you're still fun to play with but they'd much rather play with a friend.

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22. Toddler kisses.

23. Birthdays—we are so grateful for the gift of time and yet we long to freeze it, even if just for a little while longer.

Explore More: advice, milestones, baby talk
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