I feel the need to encourage parents today. I know of many parents who have newborns, babies, toddlers and older kids that may be feeling like “will we EVER get through this phase???” Last night, I laid our 1 year old down without a tear in his eye or even standing up at the realization of my absence in the room. And it hit me. Many parents feel like “that day” will never come.
The incessant cries of your newborn will taper off and they will find their own steady schedule. Every 2 hours. Every 3 hours. Soon enough, you’ll be able to remember what day of the week it is again and the last time you showered.
It’s midnight. It’s 2 am. It’s 5am. And sleep continues to be interrupted (on schedule) like this for weeks by you little one. Months even. You wonder will they EVER sleep through the night. It may take a year (like us!), but that night will come when you wake up not because they’re crying, but because you realize they’re NOT. Now, YOU have to get your body back to sleeping through the night (minus the times you wake up to check on them).
The weariness of breastfeeding will change and you will see the beauty of the moment. But even still, that will come to an end. Though you will miss the closeness mommy has in that moment with baby, your body will appreciate the freedom and energy you obtain in exchange. Plus, daddy now gets the privilege of feeling the closeness of holding & feeding little one. Sharing is caring.
The daunting price of paying for formula will one day end as your baby transitions to whole, soy, coconut or whatever milk fits best. The $40+ dollars spent weekly or bi-weekly can now be used for better things, like the food you’re going to need for their upcoming growth spurt…s.
Your baby is not holding their head up yet or rolling over or doing all of the things you see other babies doing or read about in medical articles. You worry and put your baby to “work”… but don’t. Have fun and play with them because one day, they will hold their head up high. They will roll over. They will crawl and then walk right into your cabinets and bathrooms and art space. And it’ll be then you wish in the back of your head they could be a little less mobile. The fickleness of parents is… normal.
Misunderstood cries and wails will eventually change to pointed fingers and one word conversations that bring better understanding between parent and child. Just talk to them as a normal human being as it helps them learn to communicate. Our gibberish is probably the real reason why they smile and laugh at us (exactly WHAT is a”abeegahbookahbooboo”??)
It has to be done… every night. The rocking. The walking. The humming. It’s often done without much thought, but when work needs to be done or time wanted to be spent with the spouse, the nightly bedtime routine can become cumbersome. However, that routine will come to an end as you one day kiss your blessing goodnight, lay them in their crib and walk (or dash or ninja roll) out of the room. You will hear them cry for a few seconds then silence. They may not even cry. Your ears aren’t deceiving you. Yes, they are alive. Asleep. And still breathing. So maybe you should too.
The monthly expense of diapers and wipes… YES DIAPERS… will eventually be done away with as comic-colored or princess-painted underwear fill their drawers. Yes, there will be unwanted stops at gas stations, roadside potty adventures and pee-soaked clothes (chairs, carseats, shoes…), BUT glory days lie ahead. The timing of when they say “Potty!” and then actually do it will increase. Then all of a sudden, one day, you will hear the toilet flush and realize… you. have. FINALLY. arrived. 🙂
Choosing clothes for and then performing the gymnastics of dressing your little one will one day no longer be on your to-do list. With practice, your child will be able to dress themselves in ways you never could have imagined. Because never could you have imagined how cute a neon orange & white shirt looks with red basketball shorts and bright blue socks. Be prepared to work on matching skills or be content and confident in the cuteness of your kid, regardless of what they’re wearing. They are. 🙂
With my oldest almost 6 and my youngest just turning 1, I know now that everything will be alright. Why? Because I’ve walked these nerve-wracking milestones with much prayer, the love (and patience) of a wonderful husband and encouraging words and actions from family and friends. God definitely gave me my peace and was my light at the end of the tunnel in the first few years of having kids. So much can go wrong with kids in the first year or so (accidents, unwelcome illnesses, terminal disease, death). Repeatedly, He’s told me, “Esther… take it one MOMENT at a time. I’m with you – your perfect Love without fear. I’ll never leave your nor forsake you. I made your child and know more about them than you or anyone else does. Ask of me concerning them. My timing and ways are not yours, so just trust me on this one.” As the boys grow older and become teenagers, then young adults to men, more tunnels will come where I will probably wonder “God… are we going to get through THIS??!” I pray I remember what God told me. If he can heal them now or even give them the ability to develop speech (little things), I know whatever comes (bigger things) is not beyond Him for us… or for you and yours.
My husband and I look at our boys now and wonder where the time has gone. They’re no longer small enough to fit in the folds of our arms. Their little fingers no longer hold on tightly to ours as long as they did before. They’re growing up in so many ways and now (with tears in my eyes), I wish I could cherish and ride through those tunnels just a little while longer. Although dark, scary and even frustrating at times, maybe seeing the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t meant for us to rush to, but maybe – just maybe – the light is meant to show us the beauty around us in those tunnel moments before they end… and are gone.