Why I am Not Looking Back


We all do it. We all scroll through Time Hop on Facebook or the pictures on our phones and make our hearts ache a little for those little ones who are too big too soon. I am just as guilty as the next person. I stare longingly at the pictures of my toddlers and wonder where the babyfaces went. I listen to the videos and hear those mispronounced words that I almost forgot all about and yes, sometimes I even find myself wanting to push rewind. Why is it that we are so emotionally impacted by our children growing up?

Here’s the thing though… as with much in life, it is all about perspective.

In passing, I once had a friend tell me that “every stage with your kids is the best stage.” I remember at the time, I was in the toddler stage and was feeling really sad about not having babies anymore. Her perspective gave me so much hope… which is weird. Parenthood is about more than babies and toddlers, it’s about cultivating human beings. I don’t know why we experience such feelings of loss when we look at those old pictures, but let me tell you, friends, getting to know – really KNOW – your kids is truly amazing.

I am now a mom to school age children and I have found that there is so much truth to what my friend said to me – that every stage is the best stage. I loved having babies, toddlers, preschoolers… AND I love having an almost 9-year-old and 7.5 year old (because the half is important).

I have realized that perspective means so much. Does it mean I don’t get a bit sentimental when I hear my daughter’s little voices on old videos? Not at all. But, I love bearing witness as my children continue to grow and realize that while the life experiences change… they don’t stop. The excitement of parenting doesn’t end, it just gets different.

Every stage is the best stage.

We are in the stage of life where my children are starting to identify their interests. We participate in the activities THEY choose instead of the toddler classes I chose for them. I get to hear them talk about their day and watch them develop true friendships with their peers. I love that they get excited about going on trips and have opinions about them. As your children grow, you get to have some difficult conversations with them, that can be challenging, but also give you some insight into their minds and thought processes. They make you think more in depth yourself and explore things you wouldn’t have otherwise. My children and I now volunteer together as a result of a push from my oldest to want to give back to those in need. I am ashamed to say I likely wouldn’t have started that tradition without her, but am blessed because she challenged me. We talk about the future and the past. We tell stories and jokes. My kids understand sarcasm and utilize it well (#proudmom) and they are funny! As a family, we can be spontaneous.

I look forward to celebrating their big kid firsts. Things like their first concert, first school dance, and yes, while I am in no rush, I know that one day I will even enjoy celebrating things like their weddings and God willing, I will get to watch them become mothers. I have no doubt that every stage will continue to be an adventure and the “best one yet”.

So for those of you in the trenches, kiss those chubby toddler cheeks for me and breathe in that sweet baby smell that I miss so much. But, for those of you with older kids, share the stories that come with parenting these beautiful young people. Because while there is change, motherhood truly doesn’t get less amazing!


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