Not Even Babies Anymore (and the unexpected trauma)

Not Even Babies Anymore (and the unexpected trauma)

I have noticed I refer to my children as ‘toddlers’ but, er, they’re not. Not at all. They don’t toddle anywhere. They charge, run and bounce from one place to another. Loudly. They talk – shout – and have no problem telling me what they want and when they want it.

There are no blank stares from me as they cry at me without the words at their disposal. Well there are blank stares as they scream over orange juice being orange but they can certainly tell me what the problem is. They talk, for the most part.

They sleep through the night. They don’t nap.

Only one remains in nappies, but his days are numbered.

There is no more baby food. No ‘bot bots’ and no dummies.

They have all their teeth.

We barely use the pram.

They don’t even need me at soft play anymore.

Everything is ‘MY DO IT’.

My big one even knows the bloody alphabet and will be going to school in September. SCHOOL.

They are not toddlers anymore and they certainly are not babies. They haven’t been for quite some time and I don’t think I realised.

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You see, when my second born was a baby I was perhaps guilty of wishing the time away. I celebrated milestones as they were a step further from the survival mode we lived in for so long. Having two babies in 11 months makes for an incredibly long baby fog. Especially when you have a premature and poorly baby who is essentially a newborn for a really, really long time. We lived in this phase for the best part of two years. Each milestone was a long time coming.  He didn’t sit until he was 10 months, he didn’t walk until he was 17 months, he didn’t smile for 3 months. Needless to say we didn’t sleep either.

I knew that I shouldn’t be reaching for the next stage and I should just be enjoying having two small babies and at times I did. I did enjoy it but it would be a lie to say I enjoyed every moment. Some moments were so bloody hard and often pretty lonely.

The baby phase is all consuming, you loose yourself for a while. You hand yourself over to keeping these tiny babies alive and well. You’re body isnt your own, you’re head space often doesn’t feel your own. You don’t do the things you used to. The things that made you you are no longer at the forefront of anything.

I wanted some independence back before I was able to have it. I wanted some of my former life. I longed to be a bit more ‘me’ and less ‘getting through one day to the next’. I wanted to sleep. A long uninterrupted sleep.

I often wonder if my babies weren’t so close together would I have felt like this? I will never know but I don’t need to now.

Now a lot of this feels like a bit of haze – and they’re only 2 and 3. Don’t get me wrong it remains firmly etched in my memory but it seems a lifetime ago. I do not feel guilty that I sometimes wanted to speed the baby days up. A lot of it was fraught with worry and uncertainty. I know better than to think I should have enjoyed every second. I don’t beat myself up about that time or mourn the days that have passed.  I don’t want to go back. I don’t think.

I enjoyed a lot of them, I made the most of what we had, as best I could. We didn’t let the difficulties get in the way, too much. Truth be told I actually feel like I achieved something by getting through it the way that I did. Make of that what you will and judge me at your leisure. I don’t care.

So why then, when I dismantled my daughters cot bed and put a ‘big bed’ in her room this weekend did I struggle? I kept stopping and just looking at the bed, unable to take out the baby bed and bring in the adult bed. I don’t want another baby, I am excited about the next phases of our children’s lives. How they will grow up, what school will be like for them and just being able to do more with them. Why was this whole bed situation such a damn trauma? Why do I write this with a twinge of sadness?

I don’t know. Maybe it’s the unavoidable contradiction of parenting. Perhaps it is because we truly can never go back and re-do, re-live or make better what once was. Maybe part of me, no matter how much I don’t want to admit it does want to keep them small and innocent, maybe my ego needs to feel like their superhero or is worried that as they grow they’ll see through my mummy-ing and realise I am not ‘the best ever’.  Or maybe I was just scared those 8am wake up calls would come to an end if I changed her bed. Probably that. That’s why I haven’t actually dismantled the baby bed yet and why it is ready to be put back in her room at a moments notice.

I won’t tell you to enjoy every moment or to make the most of the baby days – I am not that person. I will say though as long and dark as it feels at times it ends and you probably won’t even realise.

Not even babies anymore (and the unexpected trauma). On realising your babies are not babies and not realising it. On not feeling guilty or sad that the baby days have passed. Not cherishing every moment or feeling so blessed all the time. Why it is OK to be OK that your children are growing up, but also being just a little bit sad. #mum #mom #growingup #babies #toddelrs #children

26 Comments

  1. February 12, 2018 / 7:00 am

    That’s the odd thing about being a parent, isn’t it? You love watching them grow up, achieve new milestones and become their own little people, but part of you will always miss the baby that they once were. #familyfunlinky

  2. February 12, 2018 / 7:05 am

    “Perhaps it is because we truly can never go back and re-do, re-live or make better what once was. Maybe part of me, no matter how much I don’t want to admit it does want to keep them small and innocent, maybe my ego needs to feel like their superhero or is worried that as they grow they’ll see through my mummy-ing and realise I am not ‘the best ever’. ” – this paragraph especially, it really spoke to me! Mine is eight already, and I’m still struggling with the fact that she’s no longer a baby, or a toddler even. And I think all the things you mentioned here are a part of the reason why. I see her growing into this girl, this person, and I wonder how long until she realizes I’m not actually SuperMom! #FamilyFunLinky

  3. February 12, 2018 / 7:57 am

    It’s funny isn’t it, with our first we;re keen to move on to the next stage and get them into big girl knickers and into a bed but with the last one, especially if they’ve been early or we know how precious these days are we’re a bit more reluctant. For some mad reason I put Ella in a bed before she was 2 and with Poppy I have no such urge…probably because she’d cause mayhem! A lovely post as always! #familyfun x

  4. February 12, 2018 / 8:24 am

    Ahh they are still ‘babies’ my lovely! 2 and 3 are still little. I know how you feel as mine are 15 and 17!! Hold them close. Once they start school, things really do change. Not for worse or better, it just becomes a new stage. Enjoy this stage; go on a holiday in June when it’s cheaper! I do know what you mean about surviving though and all the sleepless nights are accumulative so I remember feeling permanently exhausted. It does pass and you are in the next stage before you can look up. Sorry, I’ve rambled a bit! Enjoy, #familyfun

  5. February 12, 2018 / 8:34 am

    I know how you feel, I look at my 7 yo and wonder where the time has gone. It makes me grateful I spent so much time with her curled up feeding and cuddling. It felt so weird when she went to school and imagine it will be the same with Izzy next year! #familyfunlinky

  6. February 12, 2018 / 9:49 am

    My daughter has just turned two and I have come to this reaslisation too. I really try to make an effort to enjoy each new moment of her life. She is certainly not a baby any more either! #FamilyFunLinky

  7. February 12, 2018 / 10:05 am

    I’ve two teenagers and I have to admit to still ‘babying’ the youngest even though he is 13! It is hard when that form of mothering stops but I am delighted that a new phase has started and we have more of a good laugh at things and enjoy each others company more. Parenting is always changing!

    #FamilyFunLinky

  8. February 12, 2018 / 10:50 am

    Oh I know this feeling too well! I have a 20 months old and a 4 year old -they are no longer babies! It’s especially traumatising as there are no more babies for us. It’s hard to come in terms with this. #familyfunlinky

  9. February 12, 2018 / 10:54 am

    I was JUST thinking about the term toddler regarding my 2.5 year old! She doesn’t seem like a toddler anymore. As soon as she’s toilet-trained I’ll have to stop using it, won’t I? :)

  10. February 12, 2018 / 2:08 pm

    Gorgeous post, it just goes so fast doesn’t it. Since my eldest started school a couple of years ago it is whizzing by even faster. I had my third baby last year and I have embraced every moment even the sleepless nights. #familyfun

  11. February 12, 2018 / 3:11 pm

    I honestly don’t think Robyn has ever been a toddler. She’s never had a bottle or a dummy, she’s used a fork herself from about 8 months, she doesn’t use the pram, she speaks like a 5-year-old at just turned 2. She’s so independent that she never allowed you to baby her. I find it odd knowing that I probably won’t have another, I want her to slow down so I can enjoy it, but that’s just not who she is! #Familyfunlinky

  12. February 12, 2018 / 3:33 pm

    I’m still calling Tristan a toddler, but he’s almost three and seems to have grown up over night. I’m not ready for it. Your two are so gorgeous. #familyfunlinky

  13. Mother of 3
    February 12, 2018 / 8:28 pm

    I had three boys in three years and they are now 10, 11, and 14. I think while I enjoyed every stage I do think the baby/toddler stages were the hardest yet. I was so darn tired all the time that could not help celebrate all the milestones. In all honesty I often still do. I felt such a feeling of accomplishment this weekend going through our playroom and the kids bedrooms cleaning out toys that no one bothers to play with anymore. I may have felt a small twinge here and there but for the most part I was thrilled to get rid of the clutter and I am excited to see where these next teen years take us. #FamilyFunLinky

  14. The Mummy Bubble
    February 13, 2018 / 9:32 am

    I can totally relate to this! I am so sad that my youngest is transforming from baby to toddler extremely rapidly. Those baby days are so hard that I wished them away but now I want them back! #familyfunlinky

  15. February 13, 2018 / 11:32 am

    The baby days did seem relentless for me, and mine are 2.5 yrs apart. It’s the lack of sleep that got to me! I think if I’d had lots of sleep I could have ended up with tons of kids! However, I totally want to slow it all down now. Mine are 6 and 3 and they’re so much fun, I don’t want them to change. I’m just hoping the next phase will be as rewarding as this one. #familyfun

  16. February 13, 2018 / 1:07 pm

    This is so true, my son is growing faster then my eyes can see. He is two and a half this year and this is the year he will potty train, go dummy free, change to a big boy bed and start nursery. So much change im not sure mummy is ready never mind him #familyfunlinky

  17. February 13, 2018 / 1:18 pm

    This is such a relatable post! Thank you for sharing, I’m sure every parent has gone through these feelings at some point. #familyfunlinky

  18. February 13, 2018 / 2:08 pm

    We gave all been there. It is when they learn to be cocky that is fun and games haha X #familyfunlinky

  19. February 14, 2018 / 12:06 am

    It does sneak up – that realization that they aren’t babies anymore. It’s bittersweet for sure. Being on the other side (my girls are 6 and 9 right now) I am so glad I’m not muddling through the days anymore. But I’m not a baby person – I’m barely a toddler person. Give me a kid who can actually tell me what they need (most of the time) and I’m a happy mom.

    But sometimes I’ll hold another baby, and for a fleeting second I’ll think “Hmm…” But then it’s gone, quick as a wink, and I treasure my growing up girls.
    ~Jess
    #FamilyFun

  20. February 14, 2018 / 6:17 pm

    My youngest will be 13 in a few month, I am so not ready for her to be a teenager, I want her to be a little girl for as long as possible! It’s nice seeing her become a lovely young person, but I do miss her being little.
    #FamilyFun

  21. February 14, 2018 / 8:33 pm

    The baby days definitely whizz by too fast! I could really sense your sadness coming though in your post. It is exciting to think of what the next chapter holds but it is so hard to let go of all the baby things at the same time. Are we really letting them go? I guess the memories are ours to keep forever. I hope the adult bed doesn’t lead to early wake ups for you! X

  22. February 15, 2018 / 11:49 am

    Mine are 7 and a minute away from 10. It happens like lightning! xoxo #familyfunlinky xoxo

  23. February 16, 2018 / 6:24 pm

    The time is certainly flying by that it’s scary. I barely recall my girls having to have help with everything. #FamilyFunLinky

  24. February 17, 2018 / 6:45 am

    I can definitely relate to these feelings. I was having a hard time coming to terms with my youngest starting school in September and finally admitting those early years were over. Now I’m going back to work earlier than planned and she’s going to have to go to preschool full time so I feel I’ve suddenly lost 5 months and I’m not ready to say goodbye to my ‘baby’ yet.
    #FamilyFunLinky

  25. February 18, 2018 / 11:14 am

    Time for baby number three perhaps?! #familyfunlinky

  26. February 18, 2018 / 7:41 pm

    This is so lovely. It’s odd how in the moment you look forward to the next stage then when it comes you yearn for it back!! #familyfunlinky

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