Moms Be Careful What You Wish For
Published: June 21, 2006
When my husband and I discovered that we were going to have a second child, we were ecstatic that we would be able to go through all the stages again with another baby.
I know I spent a lot of my time with my son during the first year, wishing him through some of the stages like, “I wish he would sleep through the night”, or “I wish he would take a bottle”, or “I wish he could sit up in a high chair and eat from a spoon”. But that’s natural as a first time parent, as it is quite overwhelming the first time you experience those initial months. All you want to do is just make it through the difficult times that the first year throws at you.
The first year for me with my son seemed to go by so slowly. I wanted him to get a little bit older, so it might get a little bit easier for me. What I discovered was that with each month, not only was it not getting any easier, but I was presented with a whole new group of challenges. And before I knew it, he was a year old and I was left wondering why I wished him ahead at all.
I realized that he no longer wanted me to rock him to sleep like I used to at night (and I really enjoyed that). I wasn’t able to hold him for as long as I wanted to anymore because he was able to walk, and wanted to explore his world with his new found legs. The bond of breastfeeding was gone, and although it did have a lot of drawbacks in the beginning for me, I missed the closeness we shared through it. When he did sleep through the night, it meant that we didn’t have to share the same room and that his crib could be moved into his own room. I have to admit, I had expected him to cry that night because he missed me, but it was really me who cried that night.
I cried because I now understood. I was so concerned with moving ahead in the first year that I had forgotten what I was also leaving behind. Although I have a whole lifetime of firsts that I will be sharing with him, I was never going to be able to get back those times when he was a baby.
If there is one bit of advice I could share with new parents, it would be to savour each momentwith your baby. I say this knowing that there are lots of rough spots during those initial months, but to have the wisdom to appreciate the many beautiful and wonderful moments, that will far outweigh those rough patches in the long run.
So this time around is different for us. I know it and my husband knows it. Perhaps it’s because I am aware that this is the last baby we will have together, or perhaps it’s because I feel like time is going by so much faster now. Either way, I’ve learned to appreciate each stage and just relax a bit more. I don’t wish my daughter to be any older than her five months. I don’t allow myself to get too distressed about the fact that she won’t take a bottle, or that she won’t sleep entirely through the whole night. Those times will be gone before I know it.
My son is three years old, and I stopped wishing him to be a “little bit older” quite sometime ago. After all, I’m still the cool person to be around in his world, and I am definitely savouring that.