Now that my son is a year and a half, I’m finally starting to feel like a mom of a child, and not a mom of a baby. I feel like there is a key difference here. With another boy on the way, Due May 21st, 2018, I have really been pondering the differences between the two stages of my life.
My main goals are very different now. When Edmund was born, the M.O. was: Keep baby clean, keep baby happy, and keep baby alive. I was the milk machine and he was my main and very regular customer. I was the servant, he the demanding master. He couldn’t do anything for himself, so it was up to me to make my child’s life either a beautious paradise (Which I, of course, did!) or a horrid misery. But it doesn’t stay that simple.
Now, Edmund is a walking toddler with things like OPINIONS! (Gasp!), feelings other than happy and sad, and more love for his doggies than his parents sometimes. My job as a mom has shifted. When Edmund throws a fit, we have a time out and we talk about how we can be sad, but not go around throwing things and screaming. Now when he wants something, I don’t accept the wails and moans that obviously mean I’m not meeting his need fast enough for him. He must stop with the whining, say please, then wait with a good attitude for me, then say thank you afterwards. He can now walk, so I have to enforce boundaries. (Fun, fun, fun!)
When we have nasty hot dogs for lunch, he wants to drop them in barbecue sauce and then ketchup. And I just let that happen, because who cares? (Edmund. Edmund really cares.)
Basically, I am now trying to love, raise and disciple a growing boy.
Having very briefly seen both sides of baby/toddler parenting, one question I think of is: is one side easier than the other? I would say, not a chance. I have a one year old who I have loved since I knew he was coming to the family. But I love being a parent rather than a outright servant. I love that Edmund talks to me, has a guilty face, has opinions for himself, and responds to my love. I would say that I am not sorry at all to be here. I love this stage even though it means a ton more patience and humility than I ever imagined.
Being content where I am is a wonderful feeling. But, with the knowledge that another boy is arriving soon, also comes another question:
Am I willing to be a parent and a servant at the same time? I’m not sure I’m ready for that, but it’s coming for me. Ahhhhh!
P.S. Does it make me extremely happy that Edmund has more double chins than me in this picture? Yes. Yes it does.