When I became pregnant with our 3rd child, I was often met with a question regarding starting over. Our kids were turning 8 and 6 and people couldn’t understand why we would start all over. They would bluntly ask the question and follow up with “was this planned or an accident?” Sometimes they didn’t even ask and just assumed the baby I was carrying was unplanned or would be a burden on our somewhat independent lives.
As much as I tried to push the comments aside, they slightly resonated with me.
We were starting over.
Our kids had been sleeping through the night for years, they could go to the bathroom on their own, we didn’t schedule anything around nap time and going out of town required minimal planning. We had been experiencing independence in our household and it was fantastic. However, something was missing, our family wasn’t complete. So after 2 more years of infertility and a miscarriage, our family started over. Little Vivian joined our world in September.
In those first few weeks as I held my new daughter I realized that every time someone made that comment about starting over it was made with a negative connotation. Yes, we were starting over with sleepless nights, dirty diapers, around the clock nursing and days dictated by naps. However, what they failed to consider is that when we started over, we got another chance to embrace the gift of time.
Our first two are exactly 2 years apart and honestly there are times when I look back at pictures and don’t remember those moments. I do remember wishing they would grow up, learn to walk, talk, be independent and then I blinked…and they did. They grew up before my eyes and I missed embracing the moments I cherish most.
Starting over has allowed me to the opportunity to slow down.
I cherish the late night feedings, studying her every feature in the dimly lit room.
I sit on the floor watching her play, not wishing she would roll or crawl, but just enjoying the moment.
I listen to every squeal, giggle and babble, trying to record the sound in my head, knowing that one day I won’t hear it anymore.
I hold her a bit tighter because I have seen how quickly they grow up.
You see, starting over has been the biggest blessing and has taught me so much. While I have been given another chance to treasure all the moments I may have missed or overlooked with my older two, I have also been stopped in my tracks and reminded how I need to embrace each moment of their lives as well. The sweet babies that made me a mom are turning 8 and 6, they are independent and need me less and less for their day to day tasks. Starting over reminded me that I need to invest and cherish their everyday moments as much as I cherish the beginning days. I have slowed down, hugged a little tighter and talked with them a little longer. I am so thankful for the opportunity to “Start Over”.
The greatest thing about starting over is the fact that you don’t need a new baby to do it. You can start over today, take a deep breath and embrace the joy of this moment.