3 Things to Expect When You’re No Longer Expecting
1- The relief you may feel. People talk often about the sadness that comes with being done having babies, but it’s as important to talk about the relief many moms may feel. While remembering the smell of a baby may have you yearning for the newborn stage, the lack of sleep, painful and long-term healing process, and fluctuating hormones may have you feeling relieved.
Maybe you dealt with postpartum depression or anxiety, or the struggles that many marriages face the year after a baby is born, or perhaps you simply found adjusting to a drastically different way of life challenging.
For many moms, the postpartum season is extremely challenging. And then, it is over and you survived it. And now, you can focus on your child with a bit more space to also focus on yourself, too. And you love these older stages. You love being “mom” and not “mama.” It’s okay if it makes you happy to be done with the newborn stage. There are incredible aspects of every stage of your child’s life, and it’s okay to be ready to enjoy the next one and feel relief over being done with having babies.
2. The waves of bittersweet nostalgia you will feel.
There will be moments where you will desperately wish for one more night of rocking your little baby in your arms. You might miss it so badly your arms will ache. You will remember those sacred, deeply intimate mother-child moments so clearly that you’ll feel like you are right there again, in that sleepy, love-struck haze for your baby.
You might hear a song you sang to your child when they were a baby, or see an old TV show that you watched in that postpartum stage, and think back with an equal measure of gratitude and sadness that it is a memory, a moment of the past.
You will have a moment–maybe many, maybe only a few–when you will yearn for the days when your voice, your smell, your arms, was all your baby needed to feel safe and happy.
It will feel deeply bittersweet, remembering the shape of your baby’s tiny nose, the way their little fingers wrapped around your thumb.
I’m not sure if this bittersweet feeling will ever go away. You will feel lucky to watch your baby grow up. And you will feel sad to watch your baby grow up. It is the beauty and pain of parenthood, and knowing you are done having babies intensifies this feeling.
3. The fun you will have at each new stage.
You will enjoy each new stage. You will relish in your baby’s first steps. Their first soccer game (you know, the one where they picked flowers behind the goal the whole time). You will one day be driving your daughter to school, both of you singing along to Taylor Swift, and think to yourself, “I am truly happy in this stage.” And you have had enough years or kids by now to know that this will continue to happen, over and over, in each new stage.
There is so much joy to be found in watching your children grow. The bittersweet feeling of knowing you are done is one that moms may carry with them forever, but there is room for joy, too.