Savoring the Last Weeks of Having a Baby
From Baby to Mom’s Super Hero
When Alina was just an itty baby, I saw a status update in my Facebook stream that caused me to pause and breathe in gratitude over the moments I was living. My friend, a mother of three girls, was lamenting over the loss of her last’s baby stage. She said something like, “I’ve been letting Sally sleep in our bed lately. Bob isn’t happy, but since she’s our last baby, I want to soak this all in.” (names changed)
At the time, I thought it was interesting that a mother would change her parenting strategy because of baby stages. Since, with my first child, I was against co-sleeping, I probably also judged her a little bit. But really, I just felt bad that my friend seemed to be mourning a part of her life that I was only just beginning. Yet, I also felt lucky.
New Mom No More
With my first baby sleeping peacefully in her crib, I waited patiently each morning for her to call out to me. I didn’t have a blog to run. I didn’t have deadlines. And I certainly didn’t have another child vying for attention. Each morning, I waited, focused and ready and adsorbing every moment, to mother a child that God so graciously gave me.
I felt bad for my friend because there I was, relishing in Alina’s baby stage, while she was letting go. I also knew that we would try for a second, giving me the chance to relive these amazing moments all over again. I felt bad to feel so rich in opportunity when my friend felt lacking.
Funny how life works, isn’t it? The greatest thing motherhood consistently teaches me is that judgement is fruitless. You have no freaking clue what its like, until you know. And even then, every mother’s experience is as different and true as your own, while remaining ever so cliche.
As I was washing dishes this evening, going over the happenings of the last two years of my life, wondering how on earth my second child has managed to up and grow into a little boy, my thoughts returned to that Facebook status from three years ago. With a heavy heart, I lamented that my sweet baby – my boy and my last – would no longer be. I grieved for that part of my motherhood.
Ways to Bond With Your Second Child
Last week I wrote a post at eHow on the 5 ways I bond with my second child. It’s a fun list of all the purposed parenting I’ve been doing lately with my son. The last few weeks have been all about Sebastian, and I don’t regret a moment of it. We play and talk all day long. We’re taking an awesome Big Muscles Gym class at our favorite Vegas Kidville where he’s learned how to sit in a circle and follow a teacher’s directive. And yes, we’re co-sleeping – blissfully tucked in one bed, together, savoring the last moments of his babyhood. Judgement be gone, because he’s my last and I’m soaking it all in.
Good Bye to My Baby Zone
As I get ready to formally say good bye to the baby years of my motherhood, I knew there was one more thing I had to do. While the email remained in draft for weeks, though I confirmed with D that it was the right decision for our lives, even if knowingly not for my writing career, and after more tears than I care to admit, I made the decision to resign from my position as regular contributor at Disney’s BabyZone. I’ll still be around for a few fun projects, but I willingly let go of my first huge writing gig and it sucked. A lot.
While it might seem trite, I love what I do for a living and letting go of this opportunity – with the understanding that there are a gazillion fantastic writers waiting at the bit – was, without a doubt, a sacrifice. I don’t deny or apologize for taking time away from my kids to do something I love, but I’m a mom first. And this baby turned toddler won’t stay a little boy forever…
My beautiful baby boy,
Para el sol mas grande de mi vida,
You are worth any sacrifice. You are worth all sacrifices. And tonight, as you found yourself in a rare moment between your dad and I, we kissed each cheek in unison. You squealed with so much joy. You wrapped your arms around each of us and screamed “soooooo much!”, mimicking my “I love you sooo much!” that you hear daily. You held us tight, for what seemed like forever, before your sister found her way over.
There was no deadlines waiting. No computer screen illuminating our moment. It was just us, the two people who love you more than anything, kissing our last baby into oblivion.
That moment was worth a thousand writing opportunities.
Sebastian, your baby years have been so different than Alina’s. In many ways, I think they’ve been better because you have a big sister to play with and an experienced mom at the helm.
Though I lament the loss of your babyhood, I can’t help but be excited for all that’s to come. Heightened communication, learning your ABCs, traveling, singing, reading our favorite books, there is so much I look forward to teaching you as you grow into the loving little boy you’re destined to be. Anyway, by the looks of my Facebook feeds, life past baby land seems pretty darn cool!
Te quiero por siempre,