Two Years Later


Shortly before Little J was born, I felt as though I had prepared for every possible situation that I would ever encounter as a mother. I had read all the parenting books. I had attended every parenting class known to man. I had even signed up to receive daily notifications from baby center with useful parenting tips.

Two years later I realize just how naive I was.  Two years later I realize I never could have understood how easy it would be to sacrifice a night of sleep because she was sick and needed mommy close by. Two years later I realize that there is so much more to parenting than what you can find in a book, or in a class, or online.

Today, as I listened to the sound of Little J's mischievous little giggles coming from her bedroom, I took a moment to reflect upon what I've learned about parenting these past two years. I realized that in all my planning and prepping, there was one thing that I could not have possibly foreseen--the pain and sadness I would feel when I began to realize that my daughter no longer needs me the same way she did when she was first born.

Every day I see the subtle changes. The fiery independence that I once prided myself in has now become a characteristic I no longer want my daughter to possess. I want her to need me. And every day that she needs me less is a painful reminder that one day she'll believe she needs me no longer.

One day I'll walk her to school, her tiny hand in mine, and she'll look up at me with her wide brown eyes and say, "it's okay Mommy, I can walk the rest of the way by myself." 

One day she'll no longer want me to read Oh! The Places You'll Go to her at bedtime. Instead she'll want to tuck herself in and read her own book.

Today, I realized I am two years closer to that day, and it hurts. It's the one thing that we, as parents, cannot avoid or get back; time.

So savor every moment. Every temper tantrum. Every sleepless night spent clutching your sick child to your chest as you rock them to sleep. Savor it all. Because one day soon, they will need you a little less, and it will hurt.

18 comments :

  1. Parenting is definitely a journey and there are moments to cherish every step of the way!!

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    1. It is a heck of a journey. Had you told me two years ago I would willingly stay up all night just to take care of my little one when she's sick, I probably would have laughed. It's funny how two years can completely change your perspective on things.

      Thanks for stopping by Amy!

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  2. Reese,

    Although she does not need you in those ways anymore, trust and believe that those ways are going to soon be replaced by other ways. As she continues to grow you will soon realize that she still needs you just as much, only in different ways. And you will still be there for her. ;) I have a 20 year old son, 13 year old daughter (soon to be 14 next month) and 12 year old son, who still need me in various ways at different stages of their lives.

    My daughter has always been very independent, feisty and aggressive, but it doesn't stop her from needing her mommy. And Little J will still need you as well. Continue watching her grow and enjoy the ways those old needs are replaced with new ones.

    Be blessed.

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    1. How very true Chelle. I just keep looking back at when she was so tiny and small, and needed me for everything. Now she wakes up in the morning, goes into the kitchen and pulls out her favorite box of cereal and starts eating. I guess I didn't expect her to be so independent. It makes me long for the days when she cried for mommy to come pick her up, and needed mommy to feed her her cereal. I thought I had more time.

      But I agree with what you saying, she does need me for different things. Like when she falls and gets a boo boo and asks mommy to kiss it. Still, I know one day, she won't even need me for that. Hopefully it's like you say, she'll just find new ways to need me. Thank you for your kind words :)

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  3. I love this post! Time flies and my daughter is almost 7! It's amazing the little people they grow into and we have more fun together now, than ever! :)

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Sheena, and yes, they do grow into their own little independent people! I will say I am looking forward to the days where I can take her to the zoo without worrying that she'll dash away from me in the crowd. I guess I still have plenty more to look forward to!

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  4. Truth! I was just commenting to my friend today that just when you think you're in a good place mentally in life, kids let you know you have so much more to learn!

    @Dayngr in NC
    {Swinging by from SITS Comment Luv}

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    1. Yes Trish, kids seem to teach us lessons we were never prepared to learn in the first place. And that's what makes parenting such a wonderful experience. Thank you for stopping by!

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  5. She is the cutest. But even when she gets older and a little more independent she will still need her mom.
    I don't have children yet but I look forward to one day writing a post like this about my daughter (hoping for a girl lol)

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    1. Thank you Tranae! The trouble is, she knows just how cute she is and takes advantage of that cuteness. I just know when the time arrives, you are going to be a wonderful mom. And hopefully, if your still blogging, I hope you'll share your journey with us. I certainly look forward to reading and following along.

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  6. My Mom gave me a children's book called "Let me Hold You Longer" when I went off to college, because it made her and my entire family cry--it's on the theme of kids growing up and how you don't realize how the time slips by and how quickly they need help less and less. The book still makes me cry, all these years later. Grrr, Moms should not give their kids gifts that make them cry. My own baby sisters are growing up way too fast!

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    1. Oh wow, I suppose I should avoid that book altogether because I'm tearing up just reading about you crying. The book I made the mistake of reading was Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. Do yourself a favor and don't ever read it. It should come with a warning label...

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  7. Savor the moment! Great words of wisdom as time really does fly by! Best Regards, Wendy #sitsgirls

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    1. Thank you for stopping by V. I'll be sure to savor those moments :)

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  8. What a cutie! I agree, enjoying your children and where you are in your life at each moment is the only way to live.

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    1. Yes it is Wendy! Thank you for stopping by :)

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  9. They grow up so fast. It's bittersweet. Moo is five and I keep wondering where the time has flown. JJ is turning three and while I have time to prepare myself, I know that I still won't be ready. There's a stage where they still need us but have just the right amount of independence and I wish I could have frozen time to preserve it.

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    1. Ekk I don't even want to imagine Little J being 5, because that means she'll be going to school, and my heart just can't bear that. You'll have to tell me how we are suppose to deal. There's got to be some secret that I just don't know about!

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