At 3 or 4am, while feeding the baby, the mind can do a lot of interesting things to you.
While on some nights, I fall asleep while feeding Breyen, I become wide awake on other nights.
Last night was interesting. I was in a rather groggy state because I was awake just 30 minutes prior to feeding Breyen. Phoebie had woken up crying at 3am and after putting her back in bed, I went back to sleep. Shortly after, Breyen started stirring and I got up to feed him.
While feeding him, I thought to myself, “Look how adorable this chubby little baby is… Drinking milk while dozing off…”
It was then a revelation came to me.
How long is a child a helpless baby? Probably a year or a year and a half.
In that year or so, the baby is totally dependent on whoever is the caregiver for everything and anything. From food to being clean or even a cuddle, the baby needs someone.
In that very first year of the child’s life, he grows and learns the most. Skills that grown-ups may take for granted, things like grabbing, sitting, crawling, eating food other than milk, walking and even talking are mostly learnt within the first year.
Looking at Phoebie (who is three and a half now), I realize how fast the first year of her life slipped by. I’m glad I made the choice of leaving the job I love right before Phoebie was born. Sure, I miss my job and the people I worked with, but nothing can give me the same kind of joy (and pain) of watching my little girl grow from a helpless infant to now.
So while feeding Breyen, remembering that he is only two months old, I suddenly wanted to cuddle him and hold him even closer. I wanted to soak up every ounce of baby-ness in him. Before I know it, he will no longer be a baby. Very soon, he will be like his sister, all grown up and a lot more independent.
Staying at home with the kids may mean that I lose a source of income, but no money can buy the joy of watching them growing.
Staying at home with the kids may mean that I have lesser contact with society (or at least that’s what some people like to tell me), but no contact mean more than the contact I have with my kids.
Staying at home with the kids may mean that I go out less, but no where is as important as being in the lives of my kids.
Staying at home with the kids may mean trying my patience day in and day out, but it has allowed me to grow with my kids slowly but surely.
Staying at home with the kids may mean facing them all day, sometimes leaving no time for myself, but facing them also means watching them achieve every milestone every step of the way.
Children will only keep growing older and bigger, and there will come a day when we as parents will have to let go because children may feel they no longer need us. Just for now, at least, I enjoy letting them depend on me.
To my sweetheart girl and my darling boy, Mummy has no regrets choosing to stay at home with both of you. Even on the very trying days, no regrets. Thank you for letting me be who I am to you. Thank you for allowing me to journey as a mother. Thank you for being who you are. May we help one another to grow into the best people that we can be.
To my wonderful and most supportive husband, thank you for agreeing to let me stay at home with the kids and thus becoming the sole breadwinner. Thank you for providing for the family so that I can watch our kids grow every day. Thank you for being understanding about my insistence on wanting to be our kids’ caregiver. Thank you for being the best father our kids can have. Without your support, it wouldn’t have been possible for me to be a stay-at-home-mum.