… because it’ll be gone soon enough. I just realized this today. Today! We are nearly one year into the life of our second child, and it’s just now hitting me that child rearing has definite phases and that once they pass … they are gone forever.
It’s hitting me like a wooden baby toy dropped on the foot, actually. Toddler will be starting preschool very soon, and that means that our time together will be reduced (oh my God, it’ll only be 5 hours a week she’ll be gone – you’d think I’m sending her to boarding school with all this emotion!) – as will time with her little sister.
It’ll be a big change, relatively, but it’s not our first – having Baby come into our lives was the first – and won’t be our last. So as I was nursing Baby tonight and rocking her before bed, I thought about all the stages we’ve gone / we’ll go through:
- Just Toddler and me (and my husband, it goes without saying)
- Toddler and Baby home with me 24/7
- Toddler in preschool for 2 half days and Baby home with me 24/7
- Toddler in preschool full-time (5 half days next year? or 4? Who knows yet…) and Baby home with me 24/7 … Holy crap, what will Baby and I do in the mornings – alone?!
- Toddler in full-day kindergarten (in just 1.5 years!) and Baby home with me 24/7 or possibly in part-time preschool … Oh wow, will I actually have some time to myself during the day?! (Wait, what is that??)
- Toddler in first grade (WHAAAAAT?!) and Baby in preschool part-time … What the heck will I do with my time?! (Oh wait, I know….)
- Toddler in second grade (no WAY!) and Baby in full-time preschool … Oh man, I will probably have five mornings a week to myself … all to myself…. (Okay, I’ll most likely be working from home somehow, but still – all to myself!)
- Toddler in third grade and Baby in full-day kindergarten… I’ll be all alone! Well, I’ll be back to work – hello, reality!
Just writing out all these stages makes me realize how fluid life is and how quickly things change. Right now we moms with young ones feel like they will be young forever, but now a year passes by in a few blinks. Before I know it, both girls will be in elementary school!
So there’s a lesson in this, right? Enjoy the stage you’re in now, and really live every moment. Take advantage of what’s special about that stage and don’t let the time waste away!
For example, right now both girls are home together all the time. They’re learning how to share toys, how to share their time with me, control their emotions such as jealousy and anger and irritation and boredom, and how to love each other. We have a lot of funny moments during the day when Toddler and I laugh at what Baby does, when we play peekaboo together, and when we tickle each other. Gotta enjoy it now before the house empties out….
Not going to lie – I’m looking forward to an hour to myself in the coming years (I don’t have any time to myself now that Toddler isn’t napping anymore … cry/sob/&$^%), but I know once I get those free moments I’ll feel a bit lonely until I relearn how to be productive on my own. I’ll miss these rascals, I know it.
So for now, hugs all around!!
(Geez that got sappy … that’s kind of my goal with these Sweet Memories Friday posts, but still …!)