This week I am taking part in the fabulous and ever funny Helen from The Busy Mamas linky....a little rose tinted look back at a stage of parenting that has past, if you would like to read some other posts on this linky just click on The Busy Mama link above.'The days are long but the years are short'
These words paint such a true picture of parenting. There are days when you wonder if you will survive until bed time but suddenly you look and your baby is having a full scale conversation with you about why he doesn't like 'big boy pants'.
Every phase in rearing children brings a different set of challenges but also a different type of joy.
Those first few months with your tiny, defenceless newborn who relies on you for their every need, can be very overwhelming, but you will be rewarded with cooing and smiles and giggles that make your heart soar and show you what love really means.
Walking hand in hand with your toddler as you help them discover the world. There are few things more gorgeous than holding a child's warm soft hand in yours...it reminds you how very small and vulnerable they still are.
Having a full scale conversation with your 7 year old about why she can have a friend who's a boy but not a boyfriend...it's scary how quickly that conversation happens. Sharing a look with her as one of the younger ones does something silly and she rolls her eyes as if to say 'kids...they're just so funny'.
As each new stage begins we say goodbye to an old one, some we are thrilled to see the end of....the night waking , them learning to feed themselves ( oh God the mess!!!!), their frustration as they tried to tell you something but couldn't find the words.
But some things are heartbreaking to leave behind....the incomparable joy of discovering you are pregnant, the fluttery feeling of those first few gentle kids,
the way your tiny newborn baby grasps your fingers, they way they fit just perfectly in the crook of your arm, snuggling into you as they drift off to sleep.
When your baby moves from a cot to a big bed and you just know you have to stop calling him 'the baby'
It is even harder when you know that you will not be returning to these moment...it can be a difficult road to finally accepting that you are 'done' but we have traveled that road and we are more than ready to be a family with 'young children' but no babies any more. I am happy to step our from behind the buggy and no longer be tied to nap times and baby routines.
The hardest part of this was accepting that I will never get to breast feed again, I will miss that the most. I never thought it was something I would enjoy, I wanted to do it because I knew it would be best for the babies but never for a moment thought it would be such an amazing experience, such an unbelievable privilege for me. The unsurpassed joy of looking at your baby growing and knowing that it is your amazing body that is providing everything they need...very little can compare to that. The closeness,the bond, the feeling of being so needed by your baby, their tiny hands that grab you as they feed, the contented noise that they make and their milky, euphoric smile as they drift off into their post feed sleep. Accepting that I will not get to do this again is kind of heartbreaking but I'm so very grateful to have had the opportunity.
So bye bye babies, we must now leave this phase behind...but there is so much excitement to come and I look forward to every new stage with my gorgeous crazy kids.