When Your Baby Is No Longer Your Baby

27/07/2017 16:29
FangXiaNuo via Getty Images

I've thought and said countless times since I became a Mum, that nothing on earth prepares you for the emotions that come with it. There are highs and lows that we go through as parents that will make you feel like you're on a crazy rollercoaster. One minute you're head over heels and can't get enough of your mini me and the next minute you're counting down the seconds until bedtime after the day from absolute hell. All the while either feeling like you're the world's shittiest parent or just feeling so emotionally drained you don't know if you're coming or going.

Then they're finally asleep and you stand over them. Watching them as they breathe their little sighs. Taking in their innocence and beauty as you feel a surge of pride that that little person in all yours. And then you feel guilty for ever wishing bedtime would come quicker.

As each night goes by, they look a little older. As the transition goes from Moses basket to cot and from cot to toddler bed until they're finally in a single bed looking tiny again. We can take these stages for granted. These moments of the little person growing into the bigger person, until one day it will hit you. They're not your little baby anymore.

This year is a big year for us. This morning I felt emotions I have never felt before. This morning I had to man up in front of my Little Man and put on my own brave face as I took him for his first full day at 'big school'. Today was transition day and I have never felt so sick in my life.

I was full of nerves and apprehension for the Little Man and for myself as well. The school gate has never been something I have looked forward to. This is only natural for the introvert in me.

It wasn't until I was getting Little Man ready this morning that I saw him in a totally different light. That little baby I brought into the world just over four and half years ago has blossomed into the most beautiful, handsome little boy who is nearing the next big adventure of his life and this was the beginning of it all.

This morning he looked different somehow. Like a real little person. That sounds silly reading it back but I know other parents will understand. I sat for some time this morning looking at him without him knowing and I could feel myself getting emotional at the thought that my baby wasn't my baby anymore. He's grown up so fast.

He is ready for this next step. Beyond ready. We haven't had an easy time of it lately. His behaviour has been challenging to say the least and while I know that this is perfectly natural, it has made me doubt myself on many an occasion. He needs school. He needs the stimulation that learning and socialising will bring him. He is ready. So ready. I'm just not sure I am.

I'm not sure I'm ready to say goodbye to these earlier days. Life will never be the same again when school becomes a daily occurrence. He will flourish and grow so fast. Faster than he already has and while I know that this will be an amazing and wonderful thing to watch and witness, it will be with a tinge of sadness too. My baby won't be my baby anymore.

I was worried today would be a struggle. I was worried there would be tears and there was. But not from him. From me.

Walking away from the school after a hug goodbye from an excited little boy, I managed to pull myself together until I got to my car and then the morning's hidden emotions came flooding out. I felt better after. I told myself to stop being so daft and to pull myself together. He would be fine.

And he was. Of course, he was. He loved every minute. After what felt like the longest day in the history of the universe, I waited at the school gate to collect my little boy for the very first time and the pride I felt when I saw him walk out with his bag and coat along with a painting of a big smiley face was like NOTHING I have ever felt before. I was positively beaming. That was my little boy. I made him. He's all mine. As if I didn't feel proud enough at that moment, I was told by his teacher that his manners are adorable. Well, I nearly bloody hugged her then and there. Maybe I haven't done too bad a job at this parenting game after all.

He might not be a baby anymore but he will always be my baby. I tell him this often. There is always a new milestone for children and this is our next one. He is so excited and after today, I am too. To see him so happy made me forget all about my selfish reasons for feeling sad. This is his time and I'm so excited for him. So proud. And I didn't think it was possible but I think I love him, even more, today than I did yesterday.

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