If there's any one thing I've learned in my decade of parenting, it's to appreciate the here and now, because as cliche as it is, time really does fly. Not the days -- never the days, but the years? They seem to pass in record speed once you become a parent.
Back when I had babies and little-little kids (as opposed to the big-little kids I now parent), there were phases I wished away, sure that the next one would be easier or better, somehow. Some of them were really dreadful -- you couldn't pay me to experience teething again and I love that my kids are now pretty self-sufficient. But then there are the things I wished away that don't look all that bad with a little distance. In fact, I long for them most days. Things like these ...
1. Having to schedule everything around naps. Sure, that was a bit of a pain and all, but hello? THEY NAPPED! Daily! Sometimes for two hours ... twice a freaking day! What I would give for that now.
2. The clingy phase. Yes, it was annoying to be hung on all day. It sucked to be the only person my sons wanted, and it was almost impossible to get anything else done. Now I wonder why I felt the need to do anything other than cuddle with them, anyway.
3. Getting constant advice. I don't know what I'm doing now any more than I did then, but nobody shares their secrets these days. Ironically, I'm all ears now.
4. Diapers. Do I miss changing diapers? No, I'm not a crazy person. But now that every meal out is interrupted with my youngest's need to defecate, I find myself tempted to just slap a pull-up on him so I can eat my dinner in peace. And with an appetite still intact.
5. The infant seat. It's bulky and it's heavy and it's a pain to schlep around. But they are contained in a seat that moves with them. Think they make those for tweens?
6. Middle of the night feedings. At least they gave me a reason to be awake, as opposed to the plain old insomnia that now plagues me.
7. The stuffed animals. They once haunted me. They were EVERYWHERE. We couldn't leave the house without at least four of them and they took up more of the bed than all of my children combined. Now, though, I'd take 30 stuffed pigs in a heartbeat in exchange for an iPad.
8. Cutting their nails. I was TERRIFIED of this horrible task and convinced that I would somehow maim my offspring. Nowadays, I'm terrified of the task for a whole different reason: Lord knows what the hell I'll find under their nasty fingernails.
9. The pacifier. I cursed the damn pacifiers for years and it was a bitch to break all three of mine of them. But what I would give now to be able to shut them up in a second!
10. The constant crying. Because back then it could be so easily fixed with a feeding, a changing, or a burping. The older they get, the more complicated it becomes, and I can no longer simply kiss away every boo-boo.
What do you miss most about not having a baby anymore?
Image via Scary Mommy