I’m guilty. I’m guilty of being that mom that does late night scrolling through Facebook reading every blog post about being a mommy. As someone who finds release in writing – I appreciate “momblogs” perhaps a little more than most. I identify, relate and even judge just a little bit – the mom bloggers who seem to have it all together. I mean, after all, I am a human.
Recently, I began reading the newest mommy blog circling through all of my sweet friends. Most of us are in the stages of no more babies. We’ve had several. Two or more in most cases. We are moving into the stage of getting our boobs and bodies back, less diaper changes, independent feeding of finger foods or chicken nuggets……And reading the blogs about something amazing with “that last baby” and how there is almost a mourning moment. Knowing you are doing these things for a very last time and wanting to soak up every last second…..
Oh boy. That “last baby”. As I read, tears fill my eyes and I feel that feeling in my belly. Because I begin to realize I mourn my last baby too, but for reasons OH, so different than most.
There’s that moment when you have a sleeping baby or toddler in your arms and you let them lay just a little longer, soaking up all that extra snuggle time.
There’s that waking up in the middle of the night becoming just a little easier to swallow knowing it’s the last months, weeks or days you’ll walk into your babes room with sleepy eyes and bed head.
There’s the last time you carry your kid up the stairs or around the block simply because they ask you to or because they haven’t begun to take their first big steps and can’t do it all on their own yet.
The holding of their hand as you cross the street because you know one day, they won’t want to hold your hand because they’ll be too old or too embarrassed.
Or what about the hug and kiss in front of friends or before you drop them off at daycare.
Or the night you spoon feed your toddler, until they take that spoon and do it themselves?
The first time you hear “I love you”. Or the last first time you hear it?
The first time you send your “baby” off to school.
I really, REALLY thought I’d mourn these things too. My third and final baby. After the “snip-snip” – ship sailed, I knew I was gonna miss these things so so much.
Turns out…..I mourn FOR them. In such a different way. And as I read these amazingly passionate and sweet mom blogs I’m so angry. And jealous. And sad.
I mourn that snuggle time. I mourn being able to hug my “baby”. I mourn losing it so much earlier than most. I mourn not being able to touch him. To rock him in that rocking chair that I still leave up in his room – even at five years old because I lost those moments too soon due to meltdowns – way before an autism diagnosis came around.
I mourn the fact that I have to sneak in his room when he’s asleep to kiss his cheek and whisper “I love you Ben” because the feeling of me touching his face with my lips is painfully repulsive to him.
I mourn the sleepless nights. I mourn the nights that should be normal fussy babes, or bad dreams, or snuggles desired and replaced with seizures or screams that are inconsolable. The alarms we have set through the night to take Him potty. Every single night as we carry his sleeping body to the toilet and hold him there while he pees. I mourn the sleep I should be getting but replaced with pure exhaustion. The kind that hurts your body and that people don’t understand because your “baby” is five. Isn’t it easier by now? Shouldn’t I be to the point where I stop sneaking into his room looking for the rise and fall of his chest – shouldn’t I be done with the fear that something will take my baby from this world? Not SIDS, but the other “S” word.
I mourn the fact that I have to fight to hold his hand. And the fact that even at five, he still requires his hand to be held in every situation because he doesn’t understand safety and risk and I’m scared to let him go.
I mourn the fact that I still have to spoon feed him sometimes. Because he’s not quite coordinated at using spoons and still drink out of a sippy cup. Don’t worry, OT and ABA will help with this.
I mourn that I cannot hear him tell me he loves me.
I mourn that instead of having my kindergarten kid hold up a sign at the bus stop on his first day and hear all about his new friends and his favorite part of the day being lunch and recess, I’ll be sending him off to a special program where he won’t tolerate sitting in the cafeteria, will make very superficial “friends” who may not like him back and will attend more IEP meetings and get more phone calls than I ever thought I’d have to deal with as a mom.
The hardest part…is I find that when I should be mourning the coming and passing of stages Because they are my last – I’m mourning because I want them to pass. Quickly. I want to get through them. I want to have a break. I want things to be easier and I mourn because as each stage does – we enter a new one that is more challenging, more exhausting and harder than the last. In a different way. I mourn because I feel so guilty for not wanting to be here – in any of these phases and because you are my last baby dammit and you were supposed to be the one I “soaked it all up with” – but I can’t.
Maybe it’s time to take a pause on reading these mommy blogs, because despite the intention to be happy for others and not comparing my life to theirs – I find some that still rip me at my core.
Although, maybe there is one part that is not that different. My last baby IS pretty amazing. My last baby DID open my eyes to being appreciative and aware and allowed me to view things in a different light. So, maybe even through the mourning – I can still agree – there IS something so so special about my last baby. Just a different type of special. Different isn’t less, after-all, right?