Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Dear New Mom of the 6 Month Old, (OK, to myself 7 years ago)

I know you can't even BEGIN to imagine what parenting a toddler, or preschooler, or GASP! an elementary-aged student will be like. Frankly, when those sizes of children come around, you just kind of wish they wouldn't get so close to the baby. They are so big, and unruly, and full of germs. While your baby is so clean and sweet and doesn't go anywhere yet! (And you are glad, aren't you?) She is so dependent on you and every single day is so sweet. I know you are enjoying folding the laundry while she is content to sit in the middle of the pile of clothes and play. When you pay the bills, she sits in her high chair at the table with you and plays with the calculator. She takes long naps. Parenting is just so enjoyable!

And the closet? It's still half-full of baby shower gifts. Oh! I know you can't wait to see her wearing all those sweet outfits! Dressing her is so much fun. At the same time you are just a bit sad to see all that she has already out-grown. It seems to be going so fast!

Everything is still such a joy. How could you ever tire of bathing her? Of washing her clothes? Of boiling her toys? (THAT'S another topic!) Will you ever become one of those moms who constantly complains that her kids are driving her crazy? HOW?

May I just tell you this? When God made babies start out so small and helpless and sweet and dependent...He knew what He was doing. By the time she gets to be one of those big kids that you can't even picture--well, you are already so totally in love with her that you needn't worry. You are already hooked. And you will be more confident by then. You will work hard at learning to be a parent of whatever age child you have. And you will enjoy every new stage.

Oh, and another thing. In case you haven't figured this one out yet (I think you are probably starting to by now). The type of parent you are and the kind of life you give her will not be all that shapes her personality. She will soon be breaking out in personality that will have you asking, "Now where did she get THAT?" Yeah, they kind of come with personalities built in. You don't have as much control over that as you thought you did before she came along.

And the baths? They will get old. At some point you may even find yourself kneeling beside the tub, more wet than she, calculating just how many times you have done this task. And the number will be astronomical. Don't worry. The day will come when you realize you can walk away from the tub. She will get old enough to bathe herself one day. (But there will be a LOT of baths before then.) And the clothes? I know you can't believe this, but one day you will be just really happy that what she is wearing is clean and somewhat matches. And yes, you will even be fine if it is a hand-me-down. Trust me.

Enjoy her, new mom. These days are precious. BUT, don't dread her growing up because there is so much to look forward to. And when she is 8 and you are dreading the teen years? Tell yourself this again.


Yourself as a slightly more experienced parent


  1. I was bathing my little one recently and she was splashing the water so much that I was indeed as wet as she! This was great, Brenda. You're spot on about the evolution of parenthood. Beautifully said. Thanks.

  2. Brenda,
    You have a good memory! I, too, even enjoyed washing all my first baby's clothes and folding and hanging them! Good grief! Now I am always drowning in laundry and it lost its appeal a LONG time ago!!! ;)

  3. Great post, Brenda. It's so true. My almost 6 year old asked me to carry him to bed the other night. As I struggled up the stairs with him, I wondered if that would be the last time I would do that. For one thing, he's getting so big. But another, he may not ask again! Thanks for the reminder to cherish each moment! Coincidentally, have you ever read the book "Let Me Hold You Longer"? It's a children's book by Karen Kingsbury. The book talks about how we as moms focus so much on their firsts (step, word, tooth, haircut, etc.), and we don't recognize the lasts (last time they crawl in your bed, last time they want you to pick them up, last time they nurse, etc.) I strongly recommend it. Be ready for a good cry!


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)