As most of you know, my children are 20, 19, and 16. My step-children are 14, 10, 9, and 7. My grandson is almost 4. I don’t have babies or toddlers in my life anymore, but I do still belong to a ton of “Moms Pages” on Facebook. Almost daily I see questions moms post about co-sleeping, weening off the bottle, potty training, sippy cup, pacifier, thumb-sucking, and security blanket “addictions.”
I’m going to share something with those moms that my mom shared with me, I learned in my two decades of parenting, and I shared with my daughter who now has a little one of her own:
Every child grows at their own pace. Just because your oldest daughter potty trained at 18 months, doesn’t mean your newest will. If your cousins son was off the pacifier by the time he was 1 and your almost two-year old can’t fall asleep without it, don’t fret. If your 3 year old sleeps with you and hubby every night and you wonder if he’ll EVER sleep in his own bed, I assure you, he will.
See, here’s the thing…
How many grown adults do you see still wearing a diaper, sucking their thumb, drinking from a baby bottle, carrying around a security blanket, and sleeping with his parents? Seriously.
One day, your LO will get off the bottle, will get off the sippy cup, will learn to feed himself, won’t need diapers and will wipe his own bottom. One day he will sleep in his own bed every single night (except those few nights when he is scared, or sick, or has a bad dream,) one day he will leave for Grandma’s house or daycare and not need his blanket anymore, one day he will feel secure enough in life without it (thanks to you!) One day he will feed himself, dress himself, brush his own teeth, take baths then showers by himself, and walk all by himself.
He’s going to learn all these things you are worrying about and more. As each new day passes he will become more and more independent.
I promise you, one day you will miss co-sleeping. You would give anything to feel his cuddles in bed at night, that sweet baby smell, the toddler nighttime hiccups, and him nuzzling your chest. One day you will pick up her security blanket that you’ve held onto for years and years, and take a deep sniff hoping to smell your grown daughter’s childhood. What you would give to go back in time for just a moment, so you can feel what it was like to be your child’s center of the universe again! One day you will see your adult child drink from a beer bottle and remember how you tried so hard to ween off the baby bottle. One day you will watch your child change the diaper of their own child and smile inside knowing how much you stressed about potting training her so many years ago.
The thing is, “one day” happens sooner than you think. You are a wonderful mommy. Don’t rush things. I know I sound like your grandmother when I tell you this, but time really does go so fast…