Five reasons to be happy to be past the baby stage.
Tears flowing down my cheeks, I walked in from the garage with a shopping cart cover and Baby Ergo from the back of the car to wash them. I was going to add them to a box of things for my sister’s baby and I wondered, “Am I the only one who thinks this is a little sad?”
“It’s OK to be sad,” my husband said. And then, unexpectedly, “Do you want another baby?”
I thought about the mutiny the night before, when he was working. The little one woke up screaming just as I was telling big sis it was time for bed and, long story short, they were both up way too late and ultimately fell asleep in our bed (a first) along with books, baby dolls and night lights. It was kind of sweet, but exhausting and frustrating at the same time.
“No,” I told him.
The truth is, I’ve known for a while that I’m done. And there are many reasons, not just exhausted days after being woken up in the middle of the night. But there is a sadness, a heaviness, in knowing that.
But it’s also a great time. Our girls are at such fun ages! They make us laugh every day.
So, while I think I can be a little sad that the baby days are over, here are five reasons I can also be happy about it:
- Our schedules no longer revolve around naps. Sure, Peanut still naps every day. But she’s old enough that we can put it off for an hour or two or three without a major meltdown, which allows us to do more fun stuff together as a family.
- They entertain themselves. They make messes and fight a little, but they can both play together – or each on her own – without us having to be in the same room. It helps us get a little more done around the house – or drink coffee while it’s still hot.
- They are great helpers. Pumpkin helped me do the dishes over the weekend (I washed, she rinsed and also helped dry) and both girls can help feed the dogs.
- We travel lighter. At least, we are getting there. The diaper bag is still always in the car, but I can sometimes leave it in the car now. The stroller is optional, too.
- Watching them grow. The older they get, the more their personalities shine. They are always learning, asking questions, singing, challenging, imagining. Sometimes we still need to interpret the cause of their tears, but more and more they can tell us what they need, what they’re feeling, what they’re thinking, what they did at school, who their friends are.