As my baby’s first birthday approaches, I realize that time has gone by way too fast. I am overwhelmed by the emotions and realization that no matter what I do, I can’t pause or rewind time. I rarely do this here on the Sleep Baby Sleep site, but today I want to take some time to reflect and share with you a very personal and dear part of my life, my girls.
When my first baby was born, I was over joyed with being an new mom. I cannot even put into words, the feeling I had when my baby first snuggled into my chest. She immediately snuggled into my heart as well. I guess if I had to use a word to describe that moment, I would say magical.
Nothing else in this entire universe could ever compare to the first moment you hold your child. Her skin so soft, her breath so sweet, her baby noises so precious. That day when I held my baby for the very first time, I didn’t realize that as a mom, this was one of many life’s moments, that only happens once. Just once. No redo’s, no take backs, no rewinds. Just once.
I realize this now, two babies later. My first 2.5 years old. My baby turning one. Life can get so busy, so hectic, that you don’t even realize how many of these once in a lifetime moments have already passed us by. I won’t get to re-experience Brianna rolling over for the first time, crawling, or taking her first step. I won’t get to hear again the first time she said “mama”, or what her cry sounded like when she got her first boo boo. I won’t get to re-live the joy in her eyes when she got her first bike. The sad truth is that I can’t pause and rewind the time. And I’m hit with the reality that some of the best parenting moments only happen once.
My Ava is now turning 1 and I still remember the very first time I held her. I didn’t know it was possible to love a child as much as I loved my first…. until I had my 2nd. The emotions are not lessened because you have already given birth to a child before. The emotions are even more intense because you now have given life to two precious beings. I held her close, and thanked God for another blessing. If I had to describe the feeling I had when I first held her, I would say pure bliss.
I am now reflecting on Ava’s last year, and wonder where the time went. Having 2 very young children has made time pass even faster than when I only had one. Doing daily laundry, cooking 4 meals a day, washing the dishes pretty much all day, cleaning up spills and messes, and changing a million diapers has really made the last year fly by. And this realization is what really made me think about how I want to go forth parenting my girls.
Now for the scary part. I also came to the realization that since I can’t pause time, that my Brianna and Ava will have so many more firsts, that I won’t get to re-live. Their first dance recital, field-trip, sleepover. The first day of pre-school, kindergarten, and high school (oh shoot, my heart just sank!). Their first bike ride, skinned knee. Their first date and heartache (did I just say that??) Ok this is getting too real…
With all of this thinking also came a revelation, and a plan of what kind of mom I want to be for my girls. I can’t stop time and I sure can’t pause my little girls from growing up. In order to cope with the reality of how fast life passes us by, I have to somehow counteract that.
So from here on out, I’m not rushing bedtime and skipping pages in books so I can quickly get back to cleaning. I’m not denying my daughter a game of puzzles, or a picnic on the kitchen floor because I’m afraid of the mess we will make. At 3am, I won’t be saying “girls get back to bed”, when they are begging for a slumber party with mommy. When Brianna says “mommy I want to play with you”, I won’t be telling her to go play with her sister because mommy’s too busy. Because one day, and this really hurts to admit, the reality is that my girls won’t need me anymore. They will not call me at 3am to snuggle, or want my help to do a dozen puzzles. They won’t need me to read them books, we have read a hundred times. They won’t want to play dress-up and finger paint all over the kitchen table with their mashed potatoes. And I will be BEGGING for these moments back. And no matter what I do, I will not be able to pause or rewind time…
So from this day forward, I am cherishing and procrastinating every single one of these moments. Because if I can’t have these moments back, I can at least create as many as possible, and make them last, even if just for a few minutes longer. What’s the big deal with some extra cleaning or an embarrassingly messy house when an unexpected guest comes by. Nothing in the world is more important than making my girls smile and creating memories that we will all cherish, even if we can’t rewind them.
I heard a saying once “Making the decision to have children- it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart walking outside your body.” I see my two hearts walking outside my body, and it truly is momentous. I want to make sure that my hearts have memories with their mom that will last them a lifetime. I want the memories to be so great that they too will want to pause, rewind, and live them all over again.