Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Growing Up and Learning Independence...And Mommy Is Too

A few days ago I was holding Abram while he slept, and as I watched the rise and fall of his chest and traced the outline of his sweet face with my finger, I began to cry.

The thought hit me so quickly. I didn’t even have time to process it before the tears welled up.

Someday you won’t need me like this anymore.

It took me a little by surprise. As someone who grew up with a shy, reserved nature, I understand the importance of my children learning to be independent. I know it’s best for them that they don’t need me forever and that I give them the tools they need to be self-sufficient. My job is to teach them how to make the right choices, not to make the choices for them, and I know I will be so proud when I see them branch out on their own a little more with each new achievement.

my babies are growing up

So a thought like this is just not one I expected to have out of the blue. I’m truly so excited to see their independence blossom. I guess I’m just having a hard time imagining the changes that are to come.

Someday you’ll be all grown up. Someday you’ll fall in love, and she’ll be the one you lean on. Someday you won’t be small enough to fit in my arms, and they will feel empty.  
Sure, I’ll always be their mama, and I’ll always be an integral part of their lives. But gradually their reliance on me will lessen (as it should), and they’ll be living their own lives, caring for their own families. I will have done my job.

I’ve had the time of my life raising Hannah. Now, with the addition of the new guy, life has gotten a little fuller and certainly a little crazier. But even on days when he won’t nap and she won’t stop talking and I have yet to get to the dishes or laundry or bill paying or tax filing, it helps to remember that thought.

Someday you won’t need me.
Not as much, anyway. And as it starts to happen, it will be nice. For a while. I’ll feel freer…more relaxed…have more time to myself.
I’ll sleep all night, watch tv without background noise, finish an entire workout without interruption, make a sandwich whenever I want (and actually eat it myself), take a trip to the grocery store without worrying about diaper bags, car seats, and extra snacks, sit down to write and finish a sentence…
It will be nice. For a while.
And then one day it will make me sad. I’ll feel that familiar ache – the one I feel when I watch them sleep, when she says, “I wuv you, Mommy”, or when he flashes me his gummy grin. I’ll long to go back to these days of chaos.

Because they make me who I am. They make me complete.

I know I can’t spend my whole life aching, so I try not to think about that part of the future, that distant day when I’ll be looking back fondly instead of looking ahead eagerly. I’m all too aware of how quickly time passes.

enjoying precious time with children
All I can do is relish this time I’ve been given – this beautiful, precious time with my family. Right now they need me more than ever, and I’ve got a job to do. I want to do it well.
Someday you won’t need me this much, but right now you do.

And I need you, too.


  1. you have me crying. Great post.


  2. :) Sorry! They just grow up too darn fast, don't they?

  3. Me too. Tearing up, that is. Here's the thing - I think you always long for those sweet baby days,because there is nothing like them. But as in everything, God prepares us for the gradual independence, just as He prepares them to be independent. And then there are NEW things to do and look forward to, and grandchildren (or surrogates) to love and hug.