The Many “Lasts” of Parenting

When I became a mom I heard about all the “firsts” of parenting. You know — first tooth, first step, first word. But, not many people discussed the “lasts” of parenting. But, that is exactly what I want to focus on…because I do think that many times the “lasts” of parenting are much more impacting to our lives than all the “firsts.”

thinking about the lasts of parenting

If you’re a mom who still has a tiny baby in her arms that you get to swaddle and soak in all those amazing baby smells — then do exactly that. Soak in those moments. Don’t rush through the diaper changes, the feeding sessions or the bedtime routines. Slow down and enjoy, because in your future there are many “lasts” awaiting you.

All of my kids are still at home and so I am trying to remind myself to step aside from laundry, writing, blogging, chatting it up with friends and focus on these children that are still in my home. No, I am not saying only focus on them, but I need constant reminders not to be glued to my phone or spend too much time sweeping and mopping the house. But, I like to focus on the “lasts” of their childhood — because if I do, it will help me to enjoy and savor these fleeting moments with my kids — just a little bit more.

For me, some “lasts” have already happened — and it’s not the easiest thing to accept. I know those precious tender years of my kids will never come back, and now it’s only moving forward — at an ever-so-hastening pace.

  • The “last” nursing session is over for me now.
  • The “last” diaper has been changed.
  • The “last” unending game of peek-a-boo is buried and gone.
  • The “last” one word, terribly pronounced sentences are things of the past.
  • The “last” wobbly, chubby toddler legs have disappeared.
  • The “last” time watching my baby try new foods is over.
  • The “last” of baby powder scents have left my home.
  • The “last” Einstein video has been watched.
  • The “last” first birthday cake has been eaten.
  • The “last” sounds of gurgly cooing are now hushed and silent.

And there are many more “lasts” happening in the next few months — and much more in the next few years.

thinking about the lasts of parenting

My oldest son is a teenager now — a teenager! When I look at him now, all I see someone who is half boy/half man. His shoulders are broader, he can almost beat me in arm-wrestling — almost — and his shoes are bigger than mine. He’s excited about his future, and so am I…but I know there will come a day when I will have to face some more “lasts” of this parenting journey.

  • The “last” family slumber party on Friday nights.
  • The “last” sounds of kids playing tag outside.
  • The “last” command of “Don’t open that refrigerator” being replaced by complete silence.
  • The “last” of super-busy cleaning days traded in for calm, quiet and orderly…but almost too quiet.
  • The “last” of shopping in the toy section for my child’s birthday present.
  • The “last” of a small child running to me with tears when he falls down and is hurt.
  • The “last” of stocking up on stain remover for all the messy days of childhood.
  • The “last” of giggling over Dr. Seuss books.
  • The “last” of dreaming of superheros.
  • The “last” of PB and J sandwiches and grape Kool-aid.
  • The “last” of sounding out simple words — ever so slowly.

Sometimes all those “lasts” do’t seem so wonderful when they’re happening in the present. But now that I have some “lasts” in my life, I have learned that I sincerely miss the cry of a tiny infant who just wanted to be close to his mother. But, it’s hard to think about that when you’re still cradling that infant and losing your sleep at night, isn’t it? But maybe, just maybe, you and me can start taking a few minutes every single day to think about the “lasts” that await us. Why? Not to bring us sorrow, but to remind us that we only get to raise our children once. There is no rewinding the years and re-writing the script so that we were sweet, more involved moms. No, we have to choose to be that way now.

When our child spills kool-aid on our new tablecloth, when we hear the glass crash and know something is broken — once again, when we see the “interesting” haircut our child just gave himself and when we’re scrapping the playdough off the floor. Those are the times when we get irritated and long for the days of quiet, clean and calm. But, those are the moments we should choose to remember that our motherhood journey is full of not only “firsts”, but also of many “lasts.”

Dear mom, have you experienced any “lasts” in your parenting journey? What were the most difficult ones for you? What did you learn from those “lasts”? I would love to hear about it on social media or send me an email via the contact information on this site.

May your journey be full of many days of soaking in the “first” and “last” moments of motherhood.

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