All of the sudden I woke up the other day and I was the mother of a 2-year-old.
I know that literally everyone who already has kids says, “It goes by so fast!” when you first have a baby, but I truly could not comprehend exactly what they meant when they said it, even though I thought I did. It’s not just that the time itself totally flew by practically before I blinked. It’s like that time never even existed. I still find myself saying, “I just had a baby.” I feel exactly the same as when I gave birth — albeit a little wiser and a little more exhausted — but I don’t feel a day older than I was when I had him. It’s like I froze in time, but he grew up. It seems like I was just getting used to having a newborn baby, and suddenly I’m raising a toddler.
Instead of telling you how fast it goes by, maybe people should warn you that when you start feeling ready to have a baby, what you should actually be asking yourself is do you feel ready to have a 2-year-old. A whole child. A person. I absolutely love having a 2-year-old, and my child is the most amazing, sweet little boy in the world. But it still caught me off guard when I realized I was the mother of a 2-year-old.
I still feel I was ready to have a baby, but somehow that part flew by before I even realized it happened. Suddenly I’m the mother of a child. And it’s not that I don’t think I can handle it, but I really wasn’t expecting it so soon. It seemed like something that was still always so far off in the future.
Of course I always wanted to be a mother, and I have looked forward to all stages of parenting and raising my child in an abstract way since before my son was even a twinkle in my eye. I looked forward to taking my child to playgroups and dropping him off at nursery school. But now that it’s here I feel totally caught off guard. I absolutely love it every single day, but I never quite thought to myself, “Yes, I’m ready to have a 2-year-old” the way I thought, “Yes, I’m ready to have a baby.” But I think that’s the question we should ask ourselves — because the baby part we fantasize about so much more goes by so extremely quickly.
And as crazy as this experience has been, somehow I have a feeling I’ll be saying the same thing in five years and then again in 10!