I’ve always loved babies. I have pictures of myself at 11, holding and obsessing over tiny little babies. I took care of them every week at church and babysat all my friends’ kids for years. I had friends who just claimed they weren’t “baby people,” but oh, I was.
When I finally had my own babies, I was terrified to miss out on the precious, beautiful, SHORT period of time I had with baby coos and toothless grins (maybe I read one too many social media posts about women wishing they could go back to the baby stage).
However, I’m pleasantly surprised by all the treats I’m discovering on the exit ramp.
Exhausted but Blessed
Since I had two kids so close in age, I spent well over two years deep in the trenches of babyhood–changing diapers on two different humans, dealing with teething, tantrums, crawling babies trying to eat everything on the floor, waking up 3+ times per night, getting milk cups and snacks approximately 42 times a day, and knowing that any moment my eyeballs weren’t on my child, there was a strong possibility that they were in a truly mysterious and dangerous situation.
It was exhausting, but I was so blessed to be able to soak every minute of the chaos and cuteness up completely. And honestly, I loved it. I feared that I would painfully miss these days in a few years.
The baby and toddler stages are so precious. I would not trade one single second of my time with my babies for anything in the world.
But guess what I’ve discovered? I don’t want to go back.
You see, it is possible to enjoy something, and also move on.
A few months ago, my youngest turned three. For me, his birthday was a celebration that I had officially emerged from the baby years without truly traumatizing or damaging these two small humans.
This is a milestone worth a serious celebration. Seriously–why are we not celebrating this globally?
9 Reasons I’m Not Sad to Leave the Baby Stage
I’m getting off the babyhood highway and heading to big kid land. These are the eight top reasons I am not sad about being on the exit ramp:
- Kids can get their own water and snacks – and sometimes even brew my coffee.
- They can follow directions – they don’t always want to follow directions, but the important thing is that I’m able to keep my butt planted firmly on the couch, where it belongs, and tell them where to find things, instead of having to do every tiny task myself.
- They can be left alone in a room without risking their lives – Do you know how many hours of my life I’ve gotten back, just from being able to stay in a different room than my kids? I basically have enough time to figure out how to put a rocket on Mars.
- I get to watch them find their passions – Watching those little personalities unfold is just as incredible as any baby milestone.
- I get to have full conversations with them – Preschoolers are probably the funniest group of humans on the planet. This is peak comedic genius.
- I don’t have to wipe butts all day, every day – This one should be in the #1 spot.
- They choose to cuddle and say “I love you” – I used to think babies were the cuddliest. I’m grateful to have been wrong. Kids know how to squeeze your neck, write sloppy letters, and fill up your heart in even deeper ways.
- Sleeping through the night – I was wrong, this should be the #1 spot. I love sleep. Sleep and I really missed each other for those few years, and I’m not letting it go again.
- The cuteness has not decreased – In fact, it’s never wavered for a second! Is it possible that there is even more cuteness in our home these days? It’s too close to tell.
Of course, the baby years were beautiful, but imperfect. Having two school and preschool-aged kids is also extremely imperfect–but it’s a different kind of beauty that I don’t want to miss.
It turns out that I don’t have to wish myself back to the baby years, because there’s so much beauty in every stage.
Peace out, babyhood.