When you begin having babies, it’s impossible to imagine being responsible for a human being. The thought of giving birth to a soul, that will depend on you for the necessities of life, is intimidating and overwhelming, at least. It is exciting, yet terrifying all at the same time. Exhaustion plays a big role in numbing the monstrosity of what you are setting out to do, and so, day-by-day – you begin raising your baby.
Along the way, you realize what a huge path you’ve taken. At times, it would seem easier to pass the responsibility to someone else, but you know deep inside, that you were the one meant for this calling, and nobody can do it as well as you can. So you put up with the long hours of feeding, diaper changing– and everything else that comes along with raising a small child. Tears fall, when nobody is watching – and you wonder if the efforts made each day will pay off, some how, some way.
And then one day, your baby begins to talk. Small gurgling and chatty noises, erupt from this little body that was once inside of you. Their thoughts begin to be manifested from the words they learn first, and with intent, you lean in to hear the whisperings of heaven, coming from their small lips. What knowledge does this small child hold, what glimpse of eternity do they have to impart? Every movement and demonstration of strength of body is exciting. And the smile, oh the smile…it melts a mother’s heart like nothing else. Every body ache, pain and stretch mark, from pregnancy begins fading into the past.
The next few years are filled with chasing your small child. Their mental and physical capacities seem to develop in leaps and bounds almost instantly. They say things that make you embarrassed, proud, miserable, happy and thoughtful. They force you to see yourself in a different light, and notice things you’d never seen before, and realizing that you aren’t a patient as you once thought you were. Your toddler has already begun to pull away and crawl quickly toward independence.
At this point, as a mother, part of you wants to pull back and snuggle your baby forever, but most of you feels excited and cheers them on toward a bigger world view. Experiences lay ahead of your little one, and you know they were born for greatness, so you let go. You move breakables around in your house, and let them explore their surroundings. The school of life has begun, and your job shifts. You become a cheerleader. Your job is to discipline – yet be a friend, and find ways to mentor them as they navigate uncharted territories.
And then come the teenage years. If you thought you were done with them when you left, you will be sadly mistaken. Going through high school the first time, is only a trial period for when you have to watch your kids do it later. And, by the time it’s your children going through the drama, you have realized that you actually don’t know as much as you thought you did at that time in your life. Your baby is in transition. They are not a child anymore and surely not an adult. This time is hard for everyone involved, but is also a beautiful time, as you watch their personalities develop into the leaders they be.
Somehow, someday, they make it through this time – and settle into their newly found adulthood. Of course, even as “adults” we are only just trying to understand what that means – the rest of our lives. It is a never-ending job. We have the responsibility to navigate being a parent for the first time, as we try and help our kids through what we barely made it through, ourselves.
And then, one day, your baby has a baby. It seems almost unbelievable. At what point was I supposed to be ready to be a Grandma? I feel like I’m barley getting through the teenage years myself, yet here I am with children of my own – and embarking on the new title of Grandma. I am a young Grandma, of course. I started having babies at twenty-one, and my step daughter started at 21 – so I am getting a jump start, but I couldn’t be more happy. I have no doubt that my Sydney will be an amazing mother, and that all of her qualities that drove me crazy as toddler, will be her best strengths as a mom. My job is to love this baby, and all of the Grand babies that will come. I will smile when my kids complain about pregnancy, sleeplessness, and tantrums – because all too recently, they were the ones going through it. I will be empathetic, because of course I will understand – but a very tiny little piece of me (maybe big) will feel some contentment. It’s the cycle of life. And now, I truly know why my Grandmother’s just smiled and held me when I was driving my parents crazy.
A week ago, we said goodbye to my oldest daughter, Sydney. She is moving across country to Boston. This means, I will be a Grandma to a baby that is literally living across the country. I will miss them. I will miss my son in law. I will miss being there for the special parts of their lives. I’ll want to snuggle that baby Emma, and see my other daughter’s snuggle her. But, we are happy for them – because it is what they wanted. But, when I took the pictures of their little family before they left, I began crying. I don’t cry often – but I did, and I couldn’t stop it. I had so many emotions going through my body. Happiness, love, loss, feeling proud, sad, excited – and so much more. But the most overwhelming feeling, was the thought that THIS is THE last time that all of my kids will be together like this, ever again. One by one, they will leave. They will fall in love, drive off to school, have babies and husbands – and I’ll be here – hoping and praying that I did everything in my power to provide a good childhood for them. After all, I am doing this for the first time too.
Hello! I am Camille, a wife, mother of four, Disney obsessed, certified teacher, and reality optimist. Motherhood comes with its ups and downs, and I hope while you’re here you’ll find something that makes your #momlife easier!