Today I’m going to talk a little about those times when you’re super frustrated as a parent, the times where you just want to rip your hair out. I’m talking about the times where you have irrational thoughts like, “Why did I choose to have a kid?” or, “I wish I could put this little monster back.” These times usually come at night, either when you’re trying to get the little demon down to sleep or in the actual middle of the night when they wake up needing something from you. At times they come during the day though, too. Nap times can be just as challenging as bedtime.
I, myself, have had many of these moments and I have thought some things that I’m not proud of, but I have also learned—and it’s taken a lot of time to do so—how to calm myself down and how to actually try and enjoy those moments. If you remember that it is, in fact, your baby that you’re dealing with, it makes things a little bit easier. I then try to breathe slowly and remember the undeniable fact that I’m not going to have those moments forever. Not only will Emmy’s sleeping get better—and worse, at times—in the future, but one day she will leave the safety of my house and I won’t know where she’s sleeping or if there’s anyone there to take care of her.
Now, I hope I know where she’s sleeping, and one day that will probably become a certainty, but we have all been teenagers, and most of us have slept some places that our parents probably don’t know about, nor would they be proud to know about them. I’m just trying to be real here; one day Emmy will probably be out with friends and choose to stay places that I would never approve of… but you know what? That’s out of my control.
One day Emerson will be big and grown and independent and she’s not going to be the little baby that she is now—the baby that sleeps in her crib in the room next to mine and Kayleigh’s. It’s a terrifying thought, but remembering that in the moments where I’m about to lose my mind in the middle of the night just makes the process of being with her and comforting her back to sleep that much easier. The nights when I have to pat her or hold her and rock her back to sleep don’t seem so bad anymore when I remember that one day I won’t have those opportunities or that pleasure anymore.
I don’t want her to grow up, but that is out of my control. She is growing up more and more every day and she becomes more and more independent every second. Don’t get me wrong; I love watching her grow and I absolutely adore everything that she does and the little girl she’s becoming, but I also wish she could stay my little baby princess forever. Considering that’s not possible though, I try to consciously enjoy the moments that I do have with her now, the moments when she’s still my tiny baby that I can hold and rock back to sleep. I will never get these moments back and remembering that makes her hard nights not so bad for me.
Thinking about her growing up has made me sad, soooooo I’m going to go now. Just remember to love and hold and appreciate your babies while they’re little. They’re not going to stay little forever and as hard as that is to accept, it’s an irrefutable fact. So love them now, hold them now, squeeze the shit out of them and annoy the hell out of them with all of your cuddles kisses now. Do it while you still can. I know I’m going to.