Monday, March 7, 2011

A New Phase

My four kids were born 22 months apart each time. No, we didn’t plan it that way. I dare you to try to make that happen. ;)


Some things are just meant to be. Doesn’t hurt that I like things nice and symmetrical, evenly spaced, girl-boy, girl-boy.

I like the spacing between my littles. It means that the girls are about 3 1/2 years apart, just enough space that they can play together but not so much space that there is much competition. It’s the same way with my boys. It has made for a lot of fun.

Having children born 22 months apart each time also means that I spent a great deal of time pregnant or nursing. As a matter of fact, I was either pregnant with a baby or nursing a baby from August of 2002 until February of 2009. Really.

When my littlest was 22 months old, I couldn’t help but feel something was wrong. It was time for another little one. My body disagrees, though. After 4 c-sections, I’m done making babies. I know that I’ve been blessed tremendously, but I couldn’t help feeling sad. I’ve loved having babies in the house. I love holding them close, kissing their nose and toes. I love the smell of their hair, especially after a bath. I love the cute little sleepers and the sweet little cries. Can you blame me for mourning the passing by of that part of my life?

Suddenly, I find myself the mother to a two year old and there is not a baby in my arms. This is new territory for me. Usually, I’m struggling to get through the two year old tantrums while nursing a little one. This is very different. Strange. And much easier!

I guess I’ve entered  new territory in this journey of mothering my children. I’ve gone from spending nearly every waking moment caring for basic physical needs to caring for a very different set of needs.

Sam' 052

Suddenly, the majority of my time goes to teaching my children civility. Civility - the act of showing regard for others. It’s not just breaking up squabbles over toys, though that is a part of it. It’s teaching them to let each other go first when washing hands. It’s reminding them to save the last cookie for Dad when he’s away at work. It’s struggling to get them to use very quiet voices when we visit our very small local library. It’s the little stuff of considering the needs and feelings of others in the little things we do each day. Civility.

Honestly, I like this phase of motherhood. It’s pretty nice to be able to sit on the porch swing and watch my children play together. I love watching them try to work out their little squabbles together. I love seeing them do little acts of kindness. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to play such an active role in their lives.

This phase is different, but it’s good. I guess I’ll always feel that little sadness when I hear a newborn baby cry. I’ll miss that time of my life. This time is special, too! I’m going to embrace being a momma to little kids and enjoy every minute I get. I know that like being a momma to babies, this phase of being a momma to little kids will be over before I’m ready.


  1. I understand completely. My kids are all 25 months apart and with Ava turning 2 in 2 weeks, my body feels like it should be having a baby in April;). My heart longs for another small baby to hold, but my head and finances say we're done:) I have to admit that it is very nice to have the kids all old enough to play outside while I sit and watch. It's also very nice not to have to bring the entire house with us on an outing. Things are starting to get easier and I'm getting glimpses of free time again. I'm just hoping my sister has a baby soon so I can get my fix:)

  2. I hear ya! My youngest is 15months and this is the longest I have gone since I got married without being pregnant. And we are done as well. I do enjoy some things (no more bottles) but I miss baby clothes and baby toes and stuff like that.

  3. I enjoy watching my kids play, too. Though I'm not done with babies (#5 is due in 3 months) it makes me sad to think that one day I'll be in your shoes and have no more babies to hold and snuggle.

  4. While I would never, ever hope for medical issues to dictate things like having babies or not, in a way it seems nice to know that the responsibility or burden of such decisions wouldn't be on your shoulders anymore! I find myself always in the middle - not at all mellow about the thought of having 10 or 15 kids (mathematically possible, at my age), NOR at all certain of being "done." I envy people on both ends of that spectrum, for their certainty. I love our four girls like nothing else, and I wouldn't mine more of them. I also spend pregnancy mostly miserable (nothing serious) and it results in a good 20+ months of sub-par housekeeping and living (and par isn't that great to begin with!). So to make that decision is momentous, even OUTSIDE the fact that it's another life and soul to disciple and all that.

    Congratulations on your certain season now, and the fullness with which you will devote yourself to it!


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