What to do when your ‘baby’ grows up?

Here's my Georgia fan taking the crib apart for probably the last time.

Michael taking apart the crib for probably the last time. He wants to sell it. I told him No Way!

We’ve had a lot of changes in our house over the last few weeks. Our baby (actually 2 years and 6 months old) has started preschool and moved into a big girl bed (bye bye crib), and I’ve had some tearful days with these transitions.

The red bed has been in our family for 60 years. But I'm still sad about saying bye-bye to the crib.

The red bed has been in our family for 60 years. But I'm still sad about saying bye-bye to the crib.

About three weeks ago it really hit me, oh my goodness my baby is going to start Mother’s Morning Out two mornings a week. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot but when you’re used to them being with you, it is! I found myself crying in my minivan and at home with Michael so sad that our baby is growing up!

Now I know that she is more than ready to go to preschool. She needs to develop her own friends, her own age and not just hang out with Rose and Walsh’s buddies. Plus, she is ready to be a little bit independent. She practically ran into the place on registration, and she told her teacher on the first day “I want homework.” (She sees her sibs doing homework every afternoon.)

I did tear up as I left her, and it’s weird being without her! (We haven’t been apart in 3 years, 3 months if you count gestation!)

Lilina excited about the first day of preschool.

Lilina excited about the first day of preschool.

On top of that transition, Miss Priss has decided she no longer wanted to sleep in her crib. She’s been yelling at us at night “No sleep in the cib! Hate the cib!” So we we made a cozy spot on her floor until we could drag the”big girl bed” out of the basement.

On Labor Day, Michael took down the crib for most likely the last time and brought the big girl bed out of the basement.  I was in tears and took lots of photos! (The red bed was my mother’s bed as a toddler and is more than 60 years old. And no there’s no lead in the paint. That does make the transition a little less sad. My brother and I slept in the red bed and so have all three of mine.)

Meanwhile up in New York, my girlfriend is most likely crying her eyes out right now because her baby (5 years) starts kindergarten today! My girlfriend is heartbroken that her special time is “over” with her daughter. She keeps leaving very sad messages on her Facebook page looking for other mothers to explain to her how to cope with this change. This is her only child right now. They are hoping to adopt another child soon. She also wonders if part of the reason she’s not quite ready to separate is because she did adopt her daughter. (Do any other adoptive parents have insight into this? Did you have a harder time separating?)

Her bag is bigger than she is. Her class is called The Busy Bees!, which I just adore!

Her bag is bigger than she is. Her class is called The Busy Bees!, which I just adore!

I left her the message that my girlfriend had just given me while I was crying alone in my minivan. I told her we have to embrace and celebrate each stage of their little lives. And they’re growing independent and it’s a testament to how well we’ve reared them and how secure they feel that they are ready to separate from us.

It all makes sense logically, but a mother’s heart still hurts.

There is of course another way to handle all this for many moms – just get pregnant again! While crying on the couch one night I broached the subject with Michael. He told me if we had just started earlier then we probably could have had four. He thinks we’re just too old to start over again. (But if we had started earlier we wouldn’t have had the savings for me to stay home. There’s your trade-off.)

By the next morning, the reality of taking care of all the needs of all three kids set in, and I kind of got over that idea – not over the feeling of sadness but at least that idea.

However, one of my friends didn’t. Last year my friend’s second to youngest started kindergarten, her baby (then 2) started mother’s morning out two mornings a week. She also had a 5th and 3rd grader.  She was so sad without a house full of children that she literally got pregnant that first week of school!

I told her I would have left that feeling ruminate a little bit before jumping in. (And how amazing is her fertility she could get pregnant that one week!)

Transitions are of course natural and will happen all through their lives whether it’s preschool, big school, college or even marriage. But how do you cope as your “baby” grows up?

61 comments Add your comment

New Stepmom

September 9th, 2009
4:37 pm

Theresa, there is a great consignment store in Sandy Springs that takes women’s clothing. Not sure if they do maternity/nursing clothing. Email me if you want the name and you can call the owner. She is great and I have taken women’s clothing to her and gotten a decent return (30-40% of original value).

New Stepmom

September 9th, 2009
4:40 pm

DB good to know about valuing stuff. I have always been told to never claim more than $500 on donations. I will start inventory-ing our donations from now on.

FCM

September 9th, 2009
5:19 pm

MJG — THANK YOU I appreciated your soap box alert, it let me know that I could skip the entry since you decided to tell off ATL06!

You are evolving!!!!!! :) (yes that means one day I might evolve too)

DB

September 9th, 2009
5:21 pm

New Stepmom, as long as you have the documentation, you’re fine. It’s the people who claim $1,000 for a bag of clothes but have no back-up that get in trouble. You make a list of what you donated, assign a reasonable value, and have the charity sign it when you take it in (or attach their form to your copy.) Throw it in your tax file, and you’re done.

motherjanegoose

September 9th, 2009
6:15 pm

DB….good points….I also did not know about the way to claim. I almost always get a receipt, except that I did donate a box of children’s clothes to the school where I went yesterday and the counselor is going to give them to the children who may need them.

I have sold things on Craigslist ( probably bought more stuff…hahaha) but have had no luck with clothes. I took 8 girl’s ( size 10-12) church dresses with velvet collars, fur and sparkles etc. to a consignment store by the MOG and they offered me $1.50 per dress. Maybe I am WAY out of the loop but for that kind of money I will GIVE them away. I am not savvy about where to take clothes and what might sell. I ironed the dresses before I left and was mad as it was not even worth taking the time to iron them. I took them home with me. Am I doing something wrong?

My daughter also has Guess, American Eagle and Aeropostle ( sp) junior jeans in size 3-5. They have freys at the bottom and on the pockets…some came this way. The store I went to said they do not take them in this condition…we bought them retail in the condition…now THIS is where I really do not have a clue. See, I do not know everything and obviously know nothing about this topic.

Theresa…I was shocked too ( about the liquid diets) but I am sad for my sister who worked so hard to get the weight off and now is in pain.

@ FCM…sometimes you can teach and old dog ( me) new tricks…hahaha! Who is ATL06….i do not remember seeing the blog name often but maybe he/she has been around a long time and I might have missed it. I am not big on reading posts where they poster just rags on anyone else instead of sharing or asking a question. To me, it is not all that clever to just criticize.

@ Becky my kids and husband do not see eye to eye with me either….thanks for sticking up for me!

motherjanegoose

September 9th, 2009
6:30 pm

FYI…I know I sometimes criticize other posters BUT this is NOT the only thing I do. Some posters only chime in when they want to rag on others….if I stand to be corrected, then so be it…I just prefer it to be done with validity.

To me, this blog is like the newspaper…there are some sections ( posters) I always read, some I might read and some I find just plain foolish. I am sure the road goes both ways. This is why some folks have to read People Magazine while some of the rest of us read Reader’s Digest.

I song I wrote for and sing with kids is called:
THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT PEOPLE ALL AROUND
Yep, that is ALWAYS TRUE!!!

DB

September 9th, 2009
7:13 pm

MJG, have your daughter take her stuff by Plato’s Closet — they are a little more savvy about what teenagers wear and buy, and if it’s stuff that’s in demand, like American Eagle, then they will probably buy it. Not a great price, but it does get it moved out the door.

cp

September 9th, 2009
8:37 pm

…pretty sure it’s “lo and behold.”
Usually, I don’t like correcting others, but it seemed called for.

Tiffany

September 9th, 2009
10:27 pm

Theresa, don’t let anyone bully you into letting go of that crib. You never know what might happen…you could end up needing it after all. You can always tell yourself that your saving it for the grandkids. It is nice to save a few of the really special baby things- like their first pair of shoes, Christening outfit, ect. They will appreciate it one day. And as for your husband…I think he looks kind of hot in that Georgia shirt!

DB

September 9th, 2009
11:54 pm

Theresa, I don’t think that your cousin in the paper is your second cousin. You don’t have a greatgrandparent in common, if her mother is your mother’s cousin. That would make her the granddaughter of your mother’s aunt/uncle. Her grandparent would be your great-grandparent, so there is a generation difference between the two of you. Thus, she is “once removed” — first cousin, once removed.

catlady

September 12th, 2009
10:47 am

I can’t imagine a 2 1/2 year old knowing the word “hate.”

My words of wisdom: Let your children grow up at develomentally appropriate rates. Don’t push them out, but don’t hold them back. Allow them to make appropriate decisions and TAKE THE APPROPRIATE CONSEQUENCES. Remember each child is an individual, on their own timeline. Finally, DON’T HANDICAP YOUR CHILD.