This week marks an end of a season of motherhood for me. My baby turns three! When my youngest son was born, I knew that he would be the last baby to enter our family, but I wasn’t prepared for the unexpected sadness that came as I watched each milestone pass by in his life. Saying goodbye to the baby years has been much more difficult than I anticipated.
Saying Goodbye to the Baby Years
I recognized this sadness from the beginning. His first bath, first smile, first words…they would all be the last of the “firsts” for me as a mother. I still remember the day that he moved off of bottles and onto a cup. I had thought that I would be ecstatic to put away the baby bottles forever and leave behind the constant dishwater hands. But as I boxed up the bottles, deep inside I realized that my heart was breaking and I wasn’t prepared for the emotions that flowed in.
And now as I try to box up toys or stuffed animals to give away, I realize that each item is connected to a memory: The teddy bear from Great Grandma, the stuffed dogs that his older brothers let him “adopt”, and his favorite toy from his first trip to the zoo. How can I get rid of those? And you know what? I don’t get rid of them. I put them back in the closet or drawer and leave them there for yet another day.
Now I realize that I may be a bit too sentimental but I’ve come to really recognize that our time with our children is so short. I look at my oldest son who will be starting Middle School next year and I really do wonder where the years go and I know that this transition time will not be easy on me.
So to you mothers who are going through this same unexpected sadness, I’m here to tell you to take all the time you need to say goodbye. Tonight as I was getting my youngest down to bed I rocked him much longer than was necessary for him to fall asleep. He no longer fits in my arms and often has a hard time getting comfortable, but I will continue to hold him as long as he will let me. And I know those moments of rocking my baby will forever be etched in my heart.
This post is a part of the Embracing the Seasons of Motherhood series hosted by Amanda from Dirt and Boogers where bloggers share their unique stories from the different seasons of motherhood. I’m sure you’ll be able to relate.