Photo by: Katie Wadland

I Have a Problem...

Photo by: Katie Wadland

I Have a Problem…

My youngest (and last) daughter is about to lose her baby-ness.

When my husband and I decided to stick to two, the fact that my little one still seemed so baby-like had me accepting our sound logic and reason without too much distress. Luckily, her baby-ness lasted longer than I expected because of who she is. She’s cute and she’s little she pretty much lives in my lap or in my arms. She talks in full sentences, but still in that teeny tiny little baby voice I love so much. She even likes me to hold her sippy cups for her sometimes and, so sue me, I do. I wasn’t about to rush her into toddlerhood anytime soon, but lo and behold, the other night, I look at her sleeping in her crib and she damn near filled the thing up. Her little chicken legs are getting stronger and she’s getting more independent every day. She’s even starting preschool in the fall! It appears I’m going to have to accept reality that my baby-rearing time is coming to an end. Did I mention my oldest is starting Kindergarten in the fall?

My chicks are leaving the nest and I’m FREAKING OUT.

As I begged my husband to try for number three (and he patiently reminded me of all the good reasons we’re sticking with two), he reminded me of something important. He knows me better than anyone in the world now, and he pointed out that I get so caught up in the past and the future that I forget to live in the present. Which is funny, because I’m the optimist, and he is generally the pessimist. But when it comes to the kids, I’m the one crying that they are a day older, and I’ll never nurse again, or go through the baby stage again. I’m the one who gets worked up over ways my parenting may screw up my kids in the future.

But in all that time I spend mourning the loss of each stage we leave behind, and stressing that I get each coming milestone right, I lose focus on all the amazing things that happen each day. Add that to the fact that as a part-time working mom, I feel the pressure to fit all stay-at-home mom duties into only three days each week, I can very quickly find myself with only an hour or two each day just to enjoy my kids. And that’s on a good day.

So that leaves me to find a solution. If you know me, you know I can be a very intense person. I have a very one-tracked mind, and when I see find a problem, I’m not one to ruminate, but will instead find solutions, set goals, make a plan and get to work. Yesterday, I said to myself I was going to turn off all distractions and just sit and play with the kids for an hour straight. This should be easy for me, but it’s not. I’m always thinking, always doing, always multi-tasking. Sitting still and playing Barbies for more than five or ten minutes is surprisingly hard for me. It’s kind of embarrassing actually.

So I started thinking of my strengths instead.

I thought back to the summer I was pregnant with my second daughter. I had found myself facing a similar problem. I had this dread that yet another phase was ending. That wonderfully sweet phase when I could focus on my attention and energy on one kid and one kid only. When I wasn’t always searching for one or another at a playground, or trying to manage sibling fights or just trying to find ten minutes to sneak off and throw a load of laundry in. So I had decided at that time to just live it up. To take every adventure I could think of with my daughter and make it the summer of US. And we did. We had a hell of a good time. We went to museums and to the fair. We had ice cream for lunch and explored new places. It was so very sweet, and when my youngest arrived, I was ready.

So I have found my solution. I am dedicating this summer to fun. To exploring new places, to taking new adventures and making new memories with both my children before they run off and leave me in the fall. Till my littlest one fully grows into the toddler she is becoming before my very eyes. Till I become a Kindergarten Mom. (Oh my god, how did I become a Kindergarten Mom?)

So here’s to us, and here’s to you – May you, too, make the most of your summer and enjoy every day more than the last. Take a road trip. Try the zoo. Pack a lunch. Do something new.

Happy summer to Us and and happy summer to You.

Katie Wadland is a Massachusetts-based mama raising her girls with her husband out in suburbia. She sometimes wakes up and wonders how the hell she got here. She’s a part-time Physical Therapist, part-time Blogger and full-time Beta Mom Extraordinaire. She has been published at Kveller, and has pieces coming out soon at Scary Mommy, Mamapedia and BluntMoms. The rest of her ramblings, workouts and recipes can be found at EatSleepMomRepeat, and you can follow her on Facebook, Instagram or at Twitter.

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