We changed my daughter’s toddler bed out into a double bed last weekend and while it was exciting to see her so overjoyed, it was also excruciating for me. Why, you ask? Because it was a milestone of motherhood that I’ll never get to experience again.
Some of you know a lot about our struggle to have children and some of you don’t have a clue. A post about that journey is a task for another day, as it is still is hard to think about. Either way, Thea is an only child and it is not by choice. Every first we experience with her is also our last, and that is bittersweet. It’s a reminder that I dreamed of having 2-3 kids when I was growing up, never even realizing that motherhood was something that may not have even happened for me if it weren’t for science, a lot of money and shit-ton of perseverance.
I cried when she walked for the first time. And cried every time I thought about it for the following week.
How was something I waited for so long for happening SO fast before my eyes? My baby was a baby for 2 seconds, and a toddler for maybe 5. My Facebook memories hurt my heart, because in a time where most mothers are holding a new baby and going through that stage one more time, I am reminded of something I’ll never have again.
Now don’t get me wrong, every stage is amazing with her, and the older she gets the more fun she is in new and fantastic ways. I would literally be living in a box of wine if my child had stayed an infant for the last three years. But I’ve also had to make a very conscious effort to tell myself to enjoy these moments instead of being sad about the emotions they trigger because at the end of the day my girl is the biggest blessing I could and ever will receive. She gave me the gift of motherhood, that for a few years there seemed like a role I’d never have the pleasure of having.
So don’t judge me for keeping my kid in her tiny toddler bed until she was literally the full length of her mattress.
I had to wait until I was ready to accept the fact that I’d have to be selling the crib instead of passing it along to a new baby as I had always planned, and be ready to embrace this moment with joy instead of grief.
This post originally appeared on Living the High Life. It has been reprinted with permission.