Transitions

Everybody knows you transition into babyland.  Pregnancy and having a baby usher in a whole new phase and style of life.

What no one tells you is about the transition from that phase into the next.  Where you are done having babies, no more nursing babies…they are becoming kids.

Now you are hard core getting them to brush their teeth and hair before school.  And looking through homework folders.  And letting them play outside, gasp, alone!

No one tells you how much you can miss the baby phase.  How many times your heart can break thinking of baby days.

Dear God, no one tells you.

I am really struggling with this transition.  I don’t want any more kids.  I love our family the way it is, but at the same time, I cannot fathom life without a baby to cuddle and nurse.

This transition is really messing with me.

The doctor says it is not abnormal to have a lot of anxiety, boy do I ever, during transitions, particularly with the depression and bipolar disorder.  I want to know how long it will last, he, of course, says we can’t really know that.

Sigh.

Have you had any major life transitions?  Which one has been the hardest?  How did you deal with it?  Are you still dealing with it?

Survive til you Thrive!

12 Responses to Transitions

  1. I don’t know how you transition to “big kid” stuff when you have just gotten used to “baby” stuff. I know I am struggling/enjoying V learning to walk and play on his own, to have his own opinions and develop his personality. I struggle with the fact that he is almost a year old and we are ending the time when we say he is “X” months old. And yet, I love that when we hug and snuggle he pats me on the back when I pat his. I love that he recognizes family members in pictures and has favorites he wants to see most often. I love that he has a best friend with whom he plays and shares secrets and toys. But I miss the days when he was tiny and easy to carry with one arm and wasn’t too long to fit through the doorway without turning sideways.

    How do you transition? I don’t think it is easy, but I guess you just do. Just like you transitioned from nursing to preparing “real” meals for your littles, you transition from finding toys to keep them busy so you can run to the bathroom to pee to finding ways to soothe hurt feelings when invitations don’t come or bullying does. You go from discovering their developing personality to activity developing their character.

    You are the only parent I know who has ever asked this question out loud. And you know that means many more have been afraid to ask it. So as you find answers, can you share them for those of us whose littles are a couple years behind yours? I am going to take all the help I can get!

  2. I’m not at this phase yet, and I’m not sure how I’ll feel when I get there. I look at my 4-year-old and think about how much fun he is and how great it is to be able to talk to him and laugh with him. And I love the independence.

    I’m about to have baby #2 and part of me dreads going back to the baby stuff, but I plan to enjoy it while I can.

    As for your transition, the only thoughts I can offer are to grieve what you’re missing and look for all the good things in what you’ve got. And maybe your kids getting older means that you’re moving farther away from the really hard stuff. Remember how you thought you couldn’t care for your babies? You could, of course, but it was so, so hard. Moving on to the next phase might be just what you need, even if it’s hard.

    • Definitely enjoy the time and 4 is a good age. Thanks for your feedback. Doc says it is trying to make this transition that is causing a lot of my depression and anxiety. He’s pretty smart so he’s probably right.

  3. I’m right there with you. My coping mechanism is that I take in my nephew and get my baby snuggles with him. It’s not the same as my own baby, but it’ll do for now. On a similar note, do you find yourself doing things for your youngest that you taught your oldest as early as possible? My 3 1/2 year old still doesn’t get himself dressed. Possibly another way to hold on to those baby years… If you’re ever in need of a baby fix, the Camilleri women (meaning Tina and Michele) seem to be cranking them out 😉 Hang in there… You’re not alone!

  4. I’m not there yet either. The only transition I can think of, and I know it’s not the same, but when I left my job to be a SAHM. I was a teacher, I am a teacher, it’s always been part of my identity even before I had that degree and then suddenly I just wasn’t?

    It’s hard. It’s hard even though it’s what I chose, even though I’m so glad to be where I am. I miss my teenagers. I miss being that person. I really genuinely have to grieve it, still do sometimes when I hit milestones. I realized in May that no one I taught is in high school anymore and I cried. I got a fb message from a former student yesterday who will be a nurse at the end of the semester. How can that be??

    It’s a loss, no matter what else I’ve gained because of it. And I have to let myself be sad about that sometimes. But at the same time, I have to remember that it isn’t gone. That every moment I spent in that life still exists, still matters, still makes an impact on the now. And keeping both of those thoughts in my head at the same time is hard, but understanding it has helped me.

    I know it’s not the same when they’re your own. Believe me I know. But I hope the *idea* behind that can give you some wisdom and peace. And permission to feel however you need about it.

    • Story, I had this experience as well. I did not know how to be anything but a teacher. I took/take pride in that title. Add in feeling like the worst mom ever, and you had a lady with no self-esteem. I had to learn how to be a new me.

  5. I look at my 3 year old every day & think how I wish she could stay little forever, thoughts come into my mind often of her as a baby or when she did this or that when she was younger. I never really thought too much about it until I read this post though. One thing I am having a very hard time with is after going through ppocd, I have been back & forth on whether or not to even try for another baby because of how scary that was. Now we have been trying for almost 9 months. She is my only one right now & it hurts me so much to think I may never have more children. I am sure that it will be even harder when the time comes that I know for sure-like you do. I don’t have much advice to offer but I think letting this out & giving yourself the permission to feel what you are feeling about this will be helpful. Hugs.

  6. Hi – Well, alot to chew on here! I went thru a time when I missed the baby phase, then fiercely (and still do) missed the “elementary school” phase. But my son is a sr in hs now, and we are preparing him for college…and my mom has dementia and we needed to move her to a facility with a 24/7 aide. How do I feel? Well, sad alot, and old. And I don’t like this feeling, as I have not been depressed in 16 years. But I cry often when I am alone and think abt my moms disease. I am sad abt my son moving to a dif phase, but it is also mixed with pride abt his growth & accomplishments. So it is not the same as my mom;s inevitable decline. But I am glad you wrote this post and your psych is a wise man, there are alot of emotions around transitions. (ugh – why are there so many of the in life??!)..take care Kathy

  7. As you know, the transition into motherhood knocked me flat on my back and I feel like I’m STILL picking myself up, nearly 21 months later. Granted I’m not done having babies but I don’t know how I’ll feel. I hadn’t thought that far, but you are absolutely right that it is a transition and it’s one that you have every right to grieve and mourn. I didn’t realize how many changes us moms go through with kids–birth, getting older, going to school, college. It’s hard on us all. Hugs, Charity. I know you’ll come through this.

  8. For me, I finally realized the reason I wanted another baby was because I was sad about the 7 months I went untreated for the PPD/PPA with my twins. I felt like I never got to cuddle and love on babies. I was too tense to enjoy them, and God, they were adorable. But, a new baby would not come with ease. We’d have to do the infertility treatments again. I would worry the whole time about loss due to losing our first son. And of course, I would be at risk for mental stress again.

  9. Hugs, Charity. I think there must be something wrong with me. I have one kiddo, and he’s 3 now, and I don’t feel any desire to have any more babies. I love every new phase he’s entered the past 3 years, including the newborn one, which was somehow the most challenging and the easiest phase at the same time. Maybe I’m still in this mental place where baby = PPD/PPA and so it’s sort of a defense mechanism for me to not want any more? Your post has given me a lot to think about.

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