My oldest child took off for preschool for the first time this week. It was incredibly exciting and pride-filled, but there was definitely some bitterness to the sweet occasion due to the fast speed that this milestone approached. This got me thinking about some major firsts I’ve experienced as a mom, which, of course, goes hand in hand with thinking about some lasts I’ve experienced. Like last year being the last year having my son all to myself! As a continuation of these thoughts, I came to the realization of a few other things:
I’m forever a first-time mom
When thinking of the term “first-time mom” most people typically think of a mom expecting her first child, or raising her first baby. But I have come to the conclusion that I will forever be a first-time mom. And that all moms are continually first-time moms. Sure, with my second I was more experienced, knew some of the drill, etc. BUT I didn’t have a toddler to worry about with my first. So the second time around is still technically the first time around because it’s a brand new experience taking care of two. Even baby gear has more than one first. Take a stroller, for example. The VISTA is perfect for one baby or child, but then you add another kid to the mix and it’s basically brand new again with all of the configurations it can accommodate. As my kids grow up, I’ll have many duplicate occasions, but never exactly the same, so since I’m experiencing these things for the first time, I’ll still be a first-time mom. Kind of an interesting thought.
There’s a tricky balance between wishing for the next stages in life and longing for the previous stages that have passed. Appreciating past experiences is a healthy way of moving forward, rather than wanting that time in life back. And although it’s good to look to the future, it often takes away from the now
when all we do is daydream about a few months or years ahead. When it comes to lasts and firsts, finding a balance between the changes of past and present is important to our happiness. And living fully in the present may be harder than it sounds, but this balancing act is a good way to show children how to handle their growth and development in a healthy and positive way.
Many lasts are unknown
There isn’t a notification received when the three-year-old says a certain sound incorrectly for the very last time. There’s no way of knowing the last time you have to remind your toddler not to eat the sand or the playdoh because they’re mature enough to not do it anymore. You don’t document the last morning of watching Curious George before switching to another favorite TV show, because you simply don’t know it’s about to happen. You don’t recognize many of the lasts or the significance of the growth happening, because it simply sneaks by without notice. Several lasts get zero recognition.
Lasts lead to firsts
I realize this is obvious, but how refreshing is it that every time a phase comes to an end, there’s a brand new beginning right around the corner. And with new beginnings comes a whole new set of triumphs, growth, and new experiences. The last time using your favorite stroller
may be sad because of the memories and dependence your child showed while needing it, but the bikes and scooters and walks will bring with them plenty of good times as well.
It’s all okay
It’s a natural and healthy part of life for things to progress and changes to be made! While sometimes sad or disheartening, lasts and firsts are beneficial to growth and development. You’re not the only one who struggles with change, and you’re certainly not the only one celebrating milestones left and right. Keep up the good work in enjoying your children as they are, and good luck with the future lasts and firsts to come!
Featured Header Image PC: @