Remember Finding Nemo


I didn’t expect this part to be this hard.

girl on swing

Back during my first-time-mom days, it wasn’t. Milestones came and I celebrated. Yay you rolled over! Thank goodness you’re sitting up! Walk, walk, walk, please, god almighty just walk already!

I loved watching her reach and stretch and move. I loved watching her grow. I couldn’t wait for her to keep growing. Keep doing new things. Dance class and preschool and flying on her own with little more than a launching boost from me.

But now I know. The growing doesn’t stop. It keeps going. Relentlessly. Today she is confident and outgoing. She barely needs me to push her on the swings. She can get dressed all by herself. She does so much on her own.

feet sand and shovel

And yes, she still needs me to zipper her coat. And she still needs me to make her lunch. And she still wants me to put on her shoes.

But now I know. Those days are numbered too.

And it is hard.

He will be five months old this weekend. He still needs me for everything. He still wants me for everything. To the point where he has stopped sleeping through the night. To the point where he has figured out that the only time he has mama all to himself happens during the hours from 10pm to 6am, and so he forgoes our sleep to squeeze in extra cuddles.


I should put an end to this. I should sleep train. I should move him to his own room overnight. I should stretch him to make it through the night without midnight snacks because I know he can. He is capable. There is not enough concealer to cover up the bags growing darker under my eyes each day. I cannot consume enough caffeine, while nursing, to keep me going.

And yet, I can’t make myself do it.

Because soon he won’t need me for everything. He won’t want me for everything. He’ll sleep through the night, uninterrupted.


We have a code phrase at home when one of us is holding our children back for our own needs, sentimentality, or to protect ourselves from the heartache. “Remember Finding Nemo.” Don’t overprotect. Let them go. It’s good for them and good for you. They are capable of so much. Let them swim.

It should come as no surprise that M uses the phrase on me far more often than I get to use it on him.

I used to respond immediately. It worked on me. I’d stop what I was doing. I’d let them swim.

But it is hard. And, somehow, it’s getting harder.

linking up with Shell.


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