Five Surprising Things I Miss About Having Babies

Leslie Kennedy has never pretended to love the baby era of parenting. But upon reflection, there are a few things she wishes she had appreciated more in the moment.

I make no qualms about the fact that I did not love the baby days (see 10 Things I Definitely Don't Miss About My Babies). I didn’t love the 100% dependence on me for every single thing. I didn’t love the fact my newborns cried pretty much non-stop. My kids are five and seven now and I love watching their personalities blossom. I also enjoy seeing them increasingly capable of me leaving them alone in the room while I go pee without fear they will kill themselves.

That said, when I look back on those early days of my children’s lives, there is a lot I really do miss and that I wish I held on to and appreciated just a little bit more.

When they fit in my arms

I miss being able to sit with my baby on my chest, close enough to kiss their cheeks at will, cozy enough to get their entire little cherubic body right up against mine. I miss looking down and having them look up at me with their huge eyes when there were no words yet to pass between us and all we could do was that look at each other with our foreheads inches apart.

When they started to discover the world

As our kids grow, we get to see them learn and master new skills. But I miss those early days when I got to witness my babies discovering they were people; finding their hands, discovering how to grab at toys, learning to smile and roll and crawl and walk and talk. Every new skill is still worthy of celebrating and remembering, but there is something about seeing these new people slowly morph from newborns to babies to toddlers that I loved and miss.

The toddler waddle

This is a silly one, but every time I watch a little new walker go on their way, I smile and giggle. I miss when my kids were enjoying their new found freedom of being able to get up and go where they wanted, but barely being coordinated enough to do so. It was beyond adorable and I oddly miss that stage of my children’s lives when they were passing through that stage of being limited, to limitless.

The adorable clothes

Let’s face it. It doesn’t take long for our kids to want to pick what they wear. The time we have to pick every single thing we put on our children is short-lived (heck, I dressed my daughter as a garden gnome for her 2nd Halloween. It was epic!) and I miss seeing my 6-month-old boy dressed like a wee man and putting my daughter in ruffle bums.

The mispronounced words

I don’t know if this was bad parenting, but I never corrected the mispronunciations. I loved it when orange was “ornage,” bathing suit was “baby soup,” Pop was “Nanandpop,” uncle was “oncle,” and cousin Noa was “no no”. I miss those adorable mispronunciations and only wish I wrote them down so I could remember them all.

I love moving through my children’s lives with them, seeing them take on each new challenge and learning and mastering new skills. As my kids go up another belt colour in taekwondo or hit the next level in reading, I feel pride and love watching them grow. But I look back on things about the early days of their lives and wish I spent a little bit more time living in the moment and appreciating, not the things people say you should—I never enjoyed a middle of the night feeding. Sue me—but the things you don’t necessarily think you will miss; like ornages. 

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