When my 1st was born almost 8 years ago I didn’t know how to even change a diaper. I remember watching the nurse do it and trying to copy what she did ,only to make him look like a badly wrapped taco. From there it was all downhill I was always stressed about him not eating, eating too much, not pooping, pooping too much, hiccups, sleeping, not sleeping and so on. With my second, she came a short 16 months later and between her and my oldest I had no idea what I was doing. The cycle was endless, one worry after another in the end I was always stressed.
I love my children, I truly love them but parenting was so stressful. I enjoyed life with them but looking back now it all went like a blur. It felt like all the feedings, diaper changes, potty training happened so quickly and then I came to the realization they were done with the toddler years and moving on to being kids. I had the realization that although I enjoyed the milestones I didn’t really appreciate them because I was always stressed with what was to come.
However now with my 4th I am truly enjoying motherhood.
It isn’t that I didn’t love my other 3 but I have come to realize that parenting is not impossible. It’s a hard job that at many times will leave you feeling defeated. I know, I did when I found out my 1st had only one kidney and a heart murmur. Or frustrated when my #2 became a runner(Think taking off down the street in a fit of rage because she was angry at me and me chasing her 8 months pregnant with #4). But in the end I’ve come to realize these moments will only last a breath.
That is why with my 4th I’ve vowed to really enjoy motherhood. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I realize they are a lot sturdier than we give them credit, or no matter how strange or wrong something is chances are it’s completely normal. Because I realized nothing with a child is ever calm or peaceful. This is something I wish I would have learned from my first one.For many seeing me with 4 kids may be overwhelming and I’m not going to lie to you there are moments things still get hairy. But with my 4th I’ve realized that in order to truly enjoy motherhood I need to relax.
When he wasn’t walking at 12 months I wasn’t worried, I was happy because I knew he would need me a little while longer.
When he was still nursing at 23 months and people gave me strange looks, I didn’t care because I knew he was still mine.
I cloth diapered him from birth and I loved it because I realized how easy and perfect that decision was and most important cost efficient (We need every penny we can get with 4 )
When he still gets up in the middle of the night ,hence waking me up, I don’t get angry anymore because I realize I get to cuddle with him a little longer.
He is still my little baby and I love it. Every day is an adventure and I enjoy it to the fullest. It’s not that I’m the perfect mother or know what I’m doing, but I realize that motherhood is a job that creates too much stress and takes away from the perfect moments we could be having with our kids. We are so busy worrying about the future, the “what ifs” or the “what nots” and not focusing in on the now, the present.
So if you are on your first baby or last or if you have 1 or 20 enjoy each one. Don’t make the same mistake I did, allowing stress, competition or worry take a hold of your time with your little ones. Don’t waste time worrying about what may be or may not be. Enjoy that little treasure that has been given to you to take care of and hold close to you. One day they’ll be grown up and you’ll miss the scent of their freshly washed hair, or the way they grabbed your hand when they were scared. Most important you’ll miss those snuggles and hugs and late night feedings that plagued you and stressed you out when they were young. Just remember they are only little once, the stress will always be there so at least make the ride a fun one, and most important remember that in a few years these little children that need you so much won’t really need you as much anymore.
So enjoy being their one and only, enjoy this beautiful gift of motherhood because before you know it they will be off and flying out of the nest.
Comments & Reviews
Amber Ludwig says
This is beautiful!! I only have one at the moment and do find myself hard on myself!! Especially in the beginning!! When i should’ve been cherishing the small squishyness I ended up crying a lot lol, mostly out of frustration or lack of confidence 🙁 And they arent that squishy forever!! Now he’s a sassy almost 3 and Im wishing for that squish stage again!! Something to look forward to when I have a next 🙂 But I am sad I felt like I didn’t cherish the first enough!! Thankfully he’s still young enough that he loves to snuggle and needs me. I’ll be so sad when that fades away!
Heather Walborn says
Great post! I am on my 2nd & though I am not as seasoned as you I am noticing I am relaxed more this go around. I am trying to let this all soak in & letting a lot (OK probably only a little!) Slip by without me fretting over it too much.
James Robert says
Great post and a true one with most of us. We tend to not care about what others think and enjoy kids and what they do at their own pace. Our babies grow up too fast,
Maria Iemma says
I had three kids and I agree so much with you, As a new Mom I was tense and worried about doing the right thing for my first two but by the time the third one came along I was confident in my abilities and was able to relax and enjoy.
petra coleslaw says
I’m going to try to remember to be present .
This is #1 for me. We’ll probably have one or two more, if I’m lucky. I don’t want this precious time to go by too quickly!
Shilo Wheatley says
I really enjoyed reading this! I am pregnant with my 4th now and he will be my last baby… I plan to do everything I can to enjoy every little second with him because I know how fast they grow up!
Christina Holliday says
Oh Lordy, just read this at work and had to fight back tears. Thank you pregnancy hormones. I’m on #3, and it’s funny to look back on how you were with number #1. It really is hard to stop and be present and really enjoy the monent when they are screaming in the middle of the night or throwing a tantrum, but I’ve learned along the years to breathe and enjoy it 🙂
Jessica @ThankfulForThorns says
I love this.
I think especially as first time moms we’re always worried about what everyone else will think too. We get caught up in the mommy wars and the “I HAVE to do that!” and “Don’t ever do that!” that we forget to just be. Just be their mommy. Snuggles and loves and time spent with them is really enough. (well and ya know feeding them and taking care of their hygiene but you get the point.)
Carrie - Huppie Mama says
Great post – and love that you nursed #4 so long. My 3-year old has recently weaned. I’m not quite ready to write about it yet. I started, but haven’t finished. It’s tough…
Thank you!! I can’t imagine when he does wean. I think it will be so upsetting for me. That’s why I kind of just laugh it off or change the subject when people make comments about him still nursing.
Erica C says
simply beautiful. Parenting isn’t about being perfect, it’s about being present. -MamasMission.com
Thank you!!! So true!!
I very much enjoyed this post. Thank you
Anne Sweden says
Yes, yes and yes! I seem to enjoy the newborn phase more and more each time around, because time and experience have taught me what a precious and fleeting time it is. I know that one day there won’t be any more babies, and that’s got to be a kind of bittersweet point in your life to arrive at.
So true. 🙁