I love my daughter, don’t get me wrong, but all too often I say to my husband, “When will she be a toddler? That’s the stage I love. This newborn stage, not so much.” And then I saw this video (I posted it below and if you have the time, you should definitely watch it!) that’s gone viral on Facebook, called “The Gift of An Ordinary Day” and it literally brought me to tears. Katrina Kenison wrote a book about how the best days with her boys, the ones where she has the most memories, are just those “ordinary days.” The ones where she’s going through the day-to-day motions of being a mother. From snuggling with her babies and smelling the sweet Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo on their heads, to having her kids run into her bedroom in the middle of the night because of a bad dream. It’s these things, she says, that eventually end. They grow up, and kids that once needed you are now adolescents and when you go to cross the street and reach for a hand that was always so willing to clasp yours, you notice you’re grasping at air. Your child is purposefully walking two steps behind you and acting like they don’t know you from Adam.
This definitely made me stop in my tracks and think about how fleeting this time with my baby really is. Already, in just eight weeks, she’s changed so much. That head that used to lull to the side is now so much stronger and can hold its own. Those legs are now moving a mile a minute, especially when she goes down on her play mat. She’s so much more aware and interactive, giving toothless grins and sweet coos. When she falls asleep in my arms I think, “I have to put her down in her crib, otherwise she’ll always want to sleep in my arms.” It’s this video that makes me think that it’s OK if she takes a nap or two nestled in the crook of my arms. After all, she won’t want to do that forever. My baby will always be “my baby” but, before you know it, she’ll be crawling and then walking and if she’s anything like me, talking up a storm.
Sweet baby Harper
My little sister actually wore that hat when she was a baby!
I love that little wrinkly newborn back!
It’s so easy to get caught up and wanting your kids to move on the “next stage,” I know I am certainly guilty of it. But, I just have to remind myself to stop and breathe it all in. This stage of her life won’t last forever. Days can be rough with the crying and fussiness, and sometimes feeling like I’m doing it all alone while my husband is at work and no family living close by. But I need to embrace it. I am a mommy, after all. Being a stay at home mom—while challenging—is by far the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. Sure, there’s no monetary paycheck but my reward is the recognition in my baby’s face when she hears my voice or looks into my eyes. The way she nestles her head into the crook of my neck when she needs a little extra love. It is moments like these that I will treasure forever… and surely want back sooner rather than later.