Confession

I unbuckle their carseats, and they hop down all by themselves and race/toddle toward the front door. My hands are free to grab the bags. I look around as I pick them up, as though unsure why my shoulders are so light.

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“I’m done with breakfast,” he announces, clearing his place. “Now I’m going to get dressed.” He skip-walks up the stairs and comes down five minutes later wearing what is more or less a matching outfit.

I haven’t even gotten up from the table yet.

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“Come on, Theo Bear!” I hear from my perch at the bottom of the play structure. “Let’s slide down on our bellies!” A moment later they come whooshing down, side by side and all smiles.

“Again!” Theo shouts to his big brother, and they each begin climbing up: Theo navigating the steps, Sebastian on the bigger boy ladder.

I move toward them, expecting that someone will need a hand. They don’t. I step back. And smile.

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It is an amazing thing, after more than four years of my body belonging to someone else, to have these moments where it is all mine again. It feels like every day – it probably is every day – they learn to do another task independently.

I can already see the light at the end of the tunnel, where there is a life without sippy cups or diapers or bibs or cribs.

And you know what? I’m not sad about it.

Every time a friend posts on facebook that her baby is now walking, someone always comments, “So sorry! ; )” Because yes, it is challenging in a different way than a crawling baby. But I was never sorry when either of my boys started walking. I was elated. Finally they could get around without me. Finally I’d have two hands free much of the day.

“I want another kid,” I declared to my husband the other day. “But I don’t know if I want another baby.”

It isn’t that I didn’t love the baby stage when my boys were little. Oh wait. Yes, it is. I loved them, but pregnancy and infancy were not my best stages as a mother. I enjoyed all the fabulous firsts we associate with those times, but I celebrated rather than mourned each move toward independence.

It’s true, there are times when I miss the days without disciplining. An infant’s needs aren’t always easy to meet, but they are uncomplicated.

I know that when they are teenagers, I will long to be able to keep them home and safe. I will wish they would let me hug and kiss and snuggle them.

But I am embracing boyhood with wide open arms. I love what their little bodies and minds can do now, and I can’t wait until they are big enough to ride roller coasters, to read Harry Potter with me, to zip around on their bicycles.

And that might also mean that… dare I say it?… I am done having babies.

I want to be able to enjoy my boys without the sleep fog, the distraction, the “wait until I’m done feeding the baby.”

I may come back here in a year and announce that I’ve changed my mind. But for now? I feel like I’m heading into the best years of our lives: no babies, just two amazing, changing little boys.

side by side belly sliders

 

 

14 Responses to Confession
  1. NJ @ A Pocket Full Of Dinosaurs
    April 18, 2012 | 5:36 am

    I’m so glad to know that I’m not the only one who didn’t love the baby stage! Super cute pic! xoxo

  2. Missy | Literal Mom
    April 18, 2012 | 5:42 am

    So sweet and true. I have my moments when I’m so sad it’s gone and then I have my moments when I’m so happy we’re at this “older” stage now. Both have their pros and cons.

  3. Melinda@LookWhatMomFoundandDadtoo!
    April 18, 2012 | 6:52 am

    they have so much more personality at the toddler stage, I totally get it.

  4. Rach (DonutsMama)
    April 18, 2012 | 8:58 am

    I have felt like you in many ways too. People asked me softly if I was upset that I was done nursing. No, I actually felt untethered for the first time in 9 months. I secretly wished I’d stopped earlier. Sometimes I wonder too if I’m a better older kid mom. But the snuggles. Oh, I love the snuggles at this age though.

  5. Shell
    April 18, 2012 | 9:20 am

    Oh, I SO hear you.

    Babies are sweet, but there’s something to be said for kids who walk all on their own and can do a lot independently. I was pregnant and/or breastfeeding for something crazy like 5 years straight. I was ready to have my body back to ME. And not having to wipe butts? Oh yeah!!!!

  6. Gramma
    April 18, 2012 | 11:15 am

    I am proud of the insight you have achieved and the courage to embrace and express it. Well done!

  7. Life As Wife
    April 18, 2012 | 11:17 am

    So funny because I am the complete opposite. the newborn stage? I want to go back. This whole “trying to discipline and teach a kid thing” is hard and oh so scary.

    I’m glad you’re enjoying your boys though and their growing independence.

  8. Tricia
    April 18, 2012 | 4:04 pm

    Love this post. I loved the baby days but also love that my daughter can do things on her own now. It’s so nice to settle into the big-kid phase with our children 🙂

  9. humanmama
    April 18, 2012 | 4:34 pm

    YESSS. Trying to remember to enjoy the new baby when he comes, because I already have that feeling of “but they’re SO EASY now…” and now I’m going to begin again. So I’ll just try to appreciate where we’re at…but I LOVE when people are buckling themselves in. Love.

  10. Christine @ Love, Life, Surf
    April 18, 2012 | 7:44 pm

    This is so true. I had a similar thought yesterday. My husband and I were both in the kitchen, making and dinner and talking. I stopeed and realized that the boys were in their room playing nicely together. No yelling. No need to mediate. I literally let out a sigh of relief. I know that I’m done with having kids and I’m so OK with that.

  11. Pamela
    April 19, 2012 | 12:58 pm

    I get what you are saying, especially as we weigh out whether we are ready to go through this stage again as we decide whether to go for two. While I do miss parts of V’s babyhood as she gets bigger and grows more independent, there is also a sense of freedom, of returning to myself (and I miss myself and also my husband!), and I’m not sure if I’m ready to go back to that other place…yet. Then I have the moments where she looks like my little baby again, when she is peacefully sleeping, and I think…well, maybe. So I have a foot on both sides of the fence, I think! I’m just trying to appreciate each stage as it passes, with a realistic eye on whether I’m willing to do the hard parts of infancy again. Great post!

  12. Rach
    April 19, 2012 | 3:40 pm

    Aww, they are growing up so fast! I don’t have experience with kiddos of our own so I can’t really speak to a favorite stage, but I do know that my nieces and nephews are all in the toddler/little kid stage right now and I LOVE it! 🙂

  13. Sorta Southern Single Mom
    April 20, 2012 | 3:15 am

    What a beautiful post, Mama! Celebrate rather than mourn… I did the opposite and I shouldn’t have!

  14. MEL
    April 26, 2012 | 12:46 pm

    Wow, sounds like you’re really hitting your stride! Good luck and enjoy some of that “me” time so many of us need. (We’ll keep you posted when we get there, too!). 😉

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