Surely, I am not the only mother who has done this…
My son is 12-weeks-old today. I officially packed away his 3-6m clothing, and even moved him into medium sized diapers. It’s bitersweet.
I realized in all of this, that I didn’t have enough 6-9m clothing (one grocery bag full, to be exact!). So I went down in our basement, and pulled out LoveBug’s 6-9m clothing bins in the hopes that I’d find something boyish looking in all of the little girl clothes. And then the tears came.
There is something about clothing for me…I often think about how much I’ve forgotten of LoveBug’s infancy, but all of the sudden, when I pick up these itty-bitty clothing, things come back. I remember how she sat up for the first time while wearing that pink hoodie that says “LOVE” on it. And I remember how it felt when I held her in that purple and white checkered sleeper. Oh, how I long to slow down these precious days.
I was going to try to sell some of her baby clothes to help fund my business venture. But I don’t know if I’m ready to yet. Maybe I can sell a few things. Maybe not. You see, there is so much that I don’t remember about LoveBug being little. Thankfully, all of her “big” milestones happened in the evening when I was home with her. But for all of those little smiles, giggles, kisses, and naps, I was gone.
So many people told me it would get easier. That I wouldn’t cry every day I came to work after the first week. That I would even be glad to leave my baby with someone else for the “break.” That I eventually wouldn’t care if my child didn’t get my breast milk, so I would stop pumping. That I eventually wouldn’t care if she got a rash from a disposable diaper because they’re easier than using cloth.
But it didn’t get easier, and I didn’t stop caring. For every 5 or 6 days a week that I had to leave her, my heart broke. It still breaks when I think about how much I missed. I know that I didn’t have an option, and that I really did do the best thing for my family. I know that her Daddy was with her, or her Grandma and Aunts if he was working. But it wasn’t me.
I don’t dwell on the fact that I missed so much of her first 18 months. I don’t even think about it that often, really. But the fact remains that it wasn’t me, and no matter how hard I try to grasp certain memories, I can’t. I hate that.
Thank you, Jesus, for little clothes. They are like a band-aid for this mama’s heart.