A Facebook post featured on popular page Love What Matters has gone viral after striking a chord with mums mourning the ‘primeval miracle of growing a baby inside your body’.
Addressed to the group of women who’ve experienced their ‘last’ go at motherhood – the last pregnancy, the last birth, and the last of everything that comes with having a new baby – commenters have agreed with the emotional sentiment of saying goodbye to such a special time in life.
‘On the day that your last child is born, you’ll find yourself filled with a jumble of emotions,’ writes the anonymous author. ‘From that day onward, this strange brew of feelings will remain inside you — because every single one of your youngest child’s firsts will also be your lasts.’
‘One day, you’ll get rid of all the bottles in the cabinet, and that will feel strange since baby bottles have lined the bottom shelf for forever. You’ll do the same a year later with the the rubber-tipped baby spoons, and then the sippy cups, and the bunny-stamped plates and bowls. All these little things you had come to take for granted will suddenly, shockingly, no longer be needed. And removing them will make your heart break just a tiny bit.’
They even go on to pay emotional homage to the less-than-glamorous parts of parenting young children: ‘You won’t realise you’ve changed your final diaper until the day that you clean out the last one’s pyjama drawer, find a stash of overnight pull-up pants, and realise he hasn’t needed one in at least six months. You’ll celebrate the end of a very smelly era with a glass of wine after the kids go to bed. Diaper changing totally sucked.’
And it’s not just infancy the author is missing. Talking about her last child’s move into childhood, and then his teenaged years, she writes: ‘With each day that passes, the ribbon of childhood will feel like it’s unwinding too quickly before you and you’ll feel powerless to stop it, and as your youngest child abandons picture books for ones with chapters and leaves home for his first sleepover and demands that the training wheels be removed from his bicycle, you will be struck hard, repeatedly, by the fact that this most amazing time in your life is slipping away from you, bit by bit.’
The post has received almost 7,000 shares and over 1,000 comments already, and although commenters expressed empathy and their own emotional tributes in response, many were eager to stress the joy of watching your children grow up and have their own children, stating that it can be just as fulfilling.
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‘But then the grandchildren come along and fill you with so much joy it is indescribable,’ writes one Facebook user. ‘Grandchildren gives us a second chance to get the toys back out of the attic, read the stories we read to our own kids. And your life grows greater bit by bit.’
Another points out: ‘So true, but I feel very lucky to be able to mourn these things rather than yearn for them. Not everyone has the chance.’
What do you think? Are you missing your babies? Or looking forward to grandchildren? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!