Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely truth to those sayings “time is a thief” … “babies grow so quickly”… “one day you blink and you have 1 year old” … One. Thousand. Percent. That is all true. But shockingly, time with a little one can also move incredibly slow – and not at all in a bad way.
Sure, the first few days with a newborn drag. You are tired, overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. I remember bringing my little seven pound baby home from the hospital, laying her on the playmat and then just looking at her. What was I supposed to do with this baby?! This tiny baby, making the cutest dinosaur noises was mine. Forever. How exciting and also how terrifying.
For the amount of times I heard “enjoy her now because before you know it she will be walking and talking” I was anticipating going to sleep that night, waking up in the morning and having my little one tell me what she wanted for breakfast as she carried her favorite toys over to me. Of course that didn’t happen.
I am here to say that as fast as time does move with little ones, it also moves just as slowly, and I am so grateful for that.
I didn’t wake up that first morning home to a walking/talking toddler. I woke up to (more like stayed up all night with) the squishiest, cuddliest tiny ball of love. I spent my days with my newborn snuggled into my chest, and while she was growing, I didn’t feel like I was losing my baby right before my eyes. At least not like I was preparing for, based upon all of the mom advice I received.
I find there is more truth to the saying, “the days are long but the years are short” because as I look back now on those newborn days, I can’t believe how fast they went.
At the time though, time did not move all that quickly and thank goodness it didn’t. I had more time to soak in the cuddles then I thought I would. I felt like I could just stare at her perfect little self for hours.
My little one did not just wake up a toddler one day. She took her time in hitting all of those baby milestones, each one as exciting and bittersweet as the last. Babies often show signs of readiness before they crawl, walk, eat solids for the first time, etc.
I quickly learned to soak up those little signs and moments as they came, before my little one hit the next major milestone.
It may take weeks or months from the time your little one pulls themself up to stand before they take their first step. For me, my daughter took her first steps and then it was weeks before she really gained confidence to take more and more steps at any given time. I embraced those weeks with a wobbly, one step at a time little one.
Sure, in the grand scheme “weeks” is not all that long – but it is certainly longer than what everyone prepared me for. Time does move quickly with little ones, I don’t disagree, but focusing on the small moments with your little one, each unsteady step or messy attempt to feed themselves, is something you shouldn’t take for granted. While the years are short, these days can be oh so long – filled with love, laughter, memories, hugs and kisses. Cherish them. Cherish those little ones, embrace the agonizing wait until bedtime and love your babies so hard. You get these days once, and you will look back and realize how quickly they really did fly by.