In my experience, parenthood has been the most fulfilling and transformative stage of life. After Sienna was born, I recall thinking “What in the world did I do before she arrived? What mattered this much?” Becoming a mom put everything into perspective; as long as my kids were healthy, everything was okay. Loving my kids is the closest I can imagine to the unconditional love that God has for us.
In light of all that, I suppose it’s natural that moms would mourn the passing of the baby stage. My kids are six and three now. We’ve been blessed to have a girl and a boy. Our little house fits us just right (like Goldilocks and the baby bear’s porridge, chair and bed!). My diabetes makes pregnancies high risk and no one is getting any younger! Practically and logically, I know we’re not going to have any more babies. We even sold the crib and all the baby gear, without much thought, let alone heartache.
On the other hand, I routinely ask Dennis, “Maybe just one more?” When Sienna plays with baby girls at church I’ll ask her, “Would you share a room with the baby if we had a girl?” I toy with the idea of having another baby on a fairly regular basis. It’s like I can’t completely let go of the possibility of having another baby; though I’m not doing anything to actively plan a pregnancy (something I have to do in terms of blood sugar control).
Other moms I’ve talked to echo this sentiment. It’s hard to let go of the baby stage. Having a new baby is exciting, surprising, and sweet. Maybe it’s partially because it’s over so quickly that we want to hold onto infanthood. Even with the sleeplessness, pains, and challenges it’s lovingly remembered and missed.
Looking ahead, I imagine that these longings for another baby will lessen as my children grow up and the baby stage is further behind me. Moms – has that been your experience? How did you cope with the transition from having babies and toddlers to preschool and school aged kids?