Tuesday, April 16, 2019

They Don't Stay Babies Forever

Baby Wells (this is his official name) is seeming less like a newborn now. It's bittersweet. The newborn stage is a little exhausting but it's such a sweet time. I'm not sure if there is a more magical time in life than those first two weeks with your new baby. Every time I'm in that stage it makes me want to have a dozen more babies so I can experience that feeling over and over and over.
Unfortunately I didn't feel that way with my first baby. Going from 0-1 kid has without question been the hardest transition for me. Nothing and no one can prepare you for becoming a parent. I really struggled to give up my freedom and the reality that my needs, wants and desires would no longer take precedent was daunting. I also had an incredibly fussy baby on my hands which I'm certain added to the challenge of becoming a new mom. It wasn't rainbows and butterflies that's for sure.
I so often wish I could go back in time and be the mom to that fussy baby that I am today. I wish I could give him my 3rd time mom confidence and patience. My patience surprises me and I'm not sure if it's my age or my experience but regardless, I'm actually quite thankful that it is what it is. I prayed for patience almost daily when Campbell was a baby and I think the Lord waited to give it to me until I had my second and third babies and he seemed to have given me an abundance of it! I think it's just because once you have your second baby, you realize how fleeting time is. You look at your firstborn and wonder how it's even possible they could be an older sibling because it seems like you found out you were just pregnant with them. I'm not one to wish for time to stand still because I love watching my babies grow but I do try my best to savor every moment while I'm in that moment. So today when I looked at Baby Wells and realized "wow, you're not a newborn anymore" it kind of stung because that sure did go by fast and I'll never get it back.
So if there's any wisdom this third time mom could impart onto my first time mom self, it would be exactly these words that I read on Facebook yesterday. Because I find it all to be so true. Some days are harder than others. On those days when it seems like my baby won't stop crying, my heart feels for him, instead of getting frustrated with him. And on our easy days where everything is perfect, I treasure it and I'm thankful for it! You kind of have to take each day at a time when you're a parent. Say so long at the end of a bad day and thank you Jesus for the good ones! They do go by fast, even when it sometimes doesn't feel like they do. 

"I remember wishing the newborn phase would end. It was hard to believe it would ever get better. When life felt like a blur of sleepless nights, cluster feeding and witching hours. So on a particularly rough day, when someone sighed at me and said "don't worry---they don't stay babies forever" I rolled my eyes and thought well, good! I knew the newborn phase was beautiful but it was also hard. I was tired of being needed so much. I was longing to fast forward to the next phase. I was counting the days to a little more freedom. But as time has passed I've come to realize the cliché is so true: they don't stay babies forever. It hit me when I least expected it. One day I looked at my child and thought "where did my baby go?" I realized then I was already in the next phase. First breaths had turned into first steps. My kids were off and running. Changing each day in little and huge ways. I know now that I can't rush or stop time. So I just try to breath through the hard moments and celebrate the good ones. And hold on to that simple, eye-opening truth. They don't stay babies forever. You've got this." --Alicia Hughes

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