Is There a “Best” Stage of Parenthood?

Cover Photo by Liana Mikah on Unsplash

what is the best stage of parenthood

Recently a fellow mom told me that if I think the toddler years are hard, wait until the teenager years…

As a person with the singular talent for getting anxious about problems that don’t exist, this… as you can imagine… threw me.

I went home to Andrew and told him, and he said (as always, because there has to be someone who operates by logic in the relationship and #itaintme), Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. We literally have ten years before we have to worry about this.

He’s right. Why worry about something ahead of time and waste precious energy you could be using to enjoy the moment?

So I put my teen-years anxiety on ice for now. And slipped back into enjoying the simple–but crazy–moments of early parenthood.

Because with a 7-, 5- and 2.5-year-old, that’s still where we are. And man, I love it here.

If there’s one piece of advice or perspective I could give a new mom–or even to *myself* even a year ago–it would be this: All the moments are The Best.⁠

I know, it doesn’t seem that way. Hell, it might not even seem like you can make it through the day without losing your mind, your wits, your sanity, you car keys, or all of the above because these early years? They’re hard, man. Hard and beautiful.⁠

I have mourned the fact that our Baby Days are done. That there won’t be another crazy-painful, stupidly-excited drive to the hospital while in labor to see our new person’s face for the first time. That all the cute, carry-them, snuggle-them-close days are gone.⁠⠀

Those moments are great. But so are these.⁠

Walking down the street and seeing your 2.5 year old get excited just to see some colorful board books in the window at the book store? That’s the best.⁠

Killing a half hour walking around, holding her hand, picking her up because she’s tired? That’s the best.⁠

Watching your older kids reach over to grab their baby sister’s hand on the couch? That’s the best.

The beauty is in the little moments, at this, and every stage.

And even though I’m sad to leave one chapter behind for another, I have to remind myself: Every chapter has its beauty. For all that I’m leaving behind, I’m bound to gain some different little moments to make up for it.⁠

If you could give yourself or a new mom advice, what would it be?

what is the best stage of parenthood
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