Parenting is a lot of work, and every once and a while, you start to really feel it.
Each of a child’s stages of growth are hard in their own way for the parents. Each one has something that we don’t look forward to. Dirty diapers, sleepless nights, helping with homework, when our kids start dating… No wonder our hair turns grey.
But each stage also has so many wonderful things! Things to look forward to before the stage comes and things to look back on fondly after that stage ends.
I’ve heard that one of the most important words in the English language is “remember.”
I want to take a minute to remember all the great things from each stage of my kids’ lives- and look forward to the fun things coming up for our family as well!
Comment below- What is your favorite stage and why? What is your favorite memory from daily life with your kids?
Yes, there are poopy diapers, sleepless nights, and little extra time and energy for yourself.
Enjoy this great resource on getting through the tough parts of the baby stage! Click the image below!
But, here are just a few of the great things about the baby stage:
-Remember wondering- what will they look like? When will they be born? What will their personality be like?
-Remember how they fit in your arm?
-Remember how they liked to be held tight?
-Remember the one-on-one time in the middle of the night? Just you and your baby?
-Remember how they changed your life?
-Remember when they were too big for their tiny clothes?
-Remember when they started saying mama or dada?
-Remember how excited you were for every new skill they learned? Using their hands, eating food, sitting up, standing, walking, talking?
-Remember how they smiled at you every time you walked in the room?
-Remember how they put their arms up for you to hold them?
-Remember how peaceful and cozy they looked when they were sleeping?
-Remember when they fell asleep on your chest?
Yes, there is potty training, tantrums, and lots of messes day to day.
But there are also wonderful things about the toddler stage. Here are just a few of the amazing things about toddlers:
-Remember how interested they were in the world around them?
-Remember how silly they were?
-Remember when they played peekaboo with you every chance they got? Under the table, behind the couch, behind books?
-Remember how they got so excited to see you when you came home?
-Remember how they got too big to cradle, so you had to hug them upright instead?
-Remember how proud they were of their accomplishments? The first time they went potty on the toilet, picking up their toys, making you laugh?
-Remember when people would stop you in the store to tell you how cute and precious your child was?
-Remember how they would snuggle into you when they were nervous about a stranger in the store who wanted to talk to them?
-Remember how they loved to help you with everything you were doing? Laundry, dishes, sweeping the floor… Even though it wasn’t always super helpful?
-Remember when they got excited about everything you were excited about, even if they didn’t really understand why you were excited?
-Remember how happy they were all the time?
Yes, there are lots of late nights doing homework, striving to teach all kinds of life skills (money, responsibility, honesty, taking care their things, basic cooking, and so much more!), and coaching through social problems between friends and siblings.
But there are countless fun and exciting things unique to childhood, such as:
-Remember their first friends?
-Remember when they went to school for the first time? They were excited and scared. You had to let them go.
-Remember when they started understanding jokes? And they were so excited to tell them to you, even if you’d heard them a thousand times?
-Remember watching them get independent? Capable of helping themselves instead of needing you to do everything for them?
-Remember when they started being helpful around the house? Capable of cleaning up after themselves, setting the table, unloading the dishwasher….
-Remember when they worked hard to earn something they wanted? They were so happy when they got it, but that was nothing compared to how proud you were of their hard work.
-Remember when they were disappointed? You would have done anything to fix it for them. But you couldn’t, and you knew that they would learn something, but it still hurt both of you.
-Remember when they started reading and opened up a whole new world of possibilities for themselves? All the sudden, they are reading billboards, TV commercials, shopping lists, everything they can get their hands on!
-Remember when they started writing their own name? And then you had to worry that random objects would be labeled with your child’s name?
-Remember when they learned to imagine? They started coming up with their own stories, with their own plot twists, settings, characters, all the elements of a great tale.
-Remember when they wanted you to play with them?
-Remember when they wanted to be cool, but they didn’t really know how? All they needed to be cool was a dollar store pair of sunglasses or a Spiderman back pack.
Yes, you’ll have to deal with your child dating, high emotions and hormones, miscommunications or refusal on the child’s part to communicate with you. Often this stage comes with defiance and frustration with rules as the child tries to become their own person and learn who they are.
But teens have great qualities that younger kids don’t have yet!
-Remember when they were old enough to really talk to? Like, really talk to?
-Remember when they liked to play pranks?
-Remember when they first thought about morals? Remember when they came up with their own opinions on moral topics?
-Remember when they disagreed with you, and they actually had good arguments to back up their position?
-Remember seeing them become who they wanted to be?
-Remember when they chose hobbies and interests? Remember how hard they worked to be good at it?
-Remember when they were so proud of their accomplishments?
-Remember when they learned to drive? A whole door was opened to them. Remember how much they loved their first car, even if it was an old beater?
-Remember when they opened up to you and told you how they were feeling, even if it was few and far between?
-Remember when they cried on your shoulder over a break up, and you were secretly so glad that relationship was over?
-Remember when you hoped and prayed that they would come home safely every night? And you stayed up late just to make sure?
-Remember how you loved them even when they were difficult?
And through all stages, no matter how big or how small your child was, remember hoping that they would never get bigger? Hoping it would never end? Hoping they would stay your baby forever?
Well, they do get bigger, and it is sad for us parents. But they are our babies forever. No matter what.
But that doesn’t mean we will miss the way they used to be. Parents will always look back on childhood and miss how our little ones once were.
It’s ok, they can get bigger and move on to be adults. They’ll accomplish great things and raise sweet children of their own. We can handle that, as long as we can remember how they used to be.
For those of us who are still in it, let’s soak them up! Treasure your babies while they are babies.
For those of you whose children are already grown, enjoy the memories and share your advice for the rest of us!
Comment below what gems of knowledge you want us all to have!
Love all you moms and dads! Keep up the hard work, and don’t forget to remember!