Ready or not, there she goes

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My daughter and I have always had this special bedtime routine. It’s a simple moment at the end of the hectic days to unwind and  bond. There are no distractions – no TV, no toys, no iPhone. We snuggle up, giggle over some silliness, sing the bedtime song I made up for her and then she goes to sleep. It’s one of my favorite parts of the day.

I knew a day would come when she would no longer need or even want snuggles and silly songs. I didn’t know it would be this soon.

Our pared-down conversation from last night…

The Diva: Night mommy.

Me: Don’t you want to snuggle?

The Diva: No.

Me: Don’t you want me to sing your song to you?

The Diva: No, you can go downstairs.


Be brave. Be brave. Don’t cry. She’s growing up. This is what kids do.

I walked downstairs and lost it.

I know she still needs me. Loves me. There will be nights when she wants to snuggle and sing. There are beautiful times ahead. But it’s hard. She is my first (most likely my last) child and it’s just. so. hard. She’s growing up. One day soon, I’ll blink and she’ll be heading off to college, getting married, creating a family of her own. But that’s a decade and a half away. Right now, in this moment, I look at this 2 1/2 year old little girl who is starting to seek independence already. Already. Already?!

I’m not ready.

It’s a painful precursor to the times ahead. When she’s in elementary school and would rather have a sleepover than snuggle with mommy. When she’s a tween and thinks I’m the uncoolest person on the planet. When she’s a teenager and thinks I “just don’t get it.”

I get it. I really do.

If there’s a silver lining, it’s that I don’t have to rip the band-aid off. She’s slowly peeling away – one bittersweet, painful, wonderful, heartbreaking moment at a time.

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  1. This made me cry. I don’t want them to grow up. She will want the bedtime song again.

  2. I know how you feel. They are growing up way too fast. No one prepares you for these overwhelming feelings for your child.

  3. brittney says:

    I cried, too! I could feel the heartbreak. 🙁

  4. Cassandra Huber says:

    My son is only 15 months and has had his independent streak since he started walking at 10 months. He doesn’t cuddle as much as he used to, he wants to play by himself and uses us as a jungle gym but wants to play by himself since he is so involved in imaginative play when we want to play with him, he wants to be on the go all the time and doing his own thing and wants nothing in his way.

  5. Aww. This is heart breaking. Last night my three year old broke my heart as well. I had all three of the boys in bed with me watching a movie (it was very eventful lol) and the two youngest fell asleep and my oldest one told me he wanted to go downstairs to his own bed.

  6. sweet story and yes it only gets worse:) sorry the older they are the less time they want to spend with you or atleast show off their independence.

  7. I wish I could tell you it gets easier, but with kids at 13, 12, & 8 I would be a big fat liar. 🙂 Once in a blue moon something will happen that causes the 13 year old to jump into bed with his father and I on a cold Sunday morning, and although I play it cool – I am crying like a ginormous slobery happy baby on the inside. 🙂

  8. Growing up WAY too fast 🙁 Here’s to future moments of snuggles and song singing!

  9. I am not ready for this day with my son. He turns 3 in a few weeks and he flatters me every night. He will cry and have a huge tantrum when Daddy tries to put him to bed. I hear him sob “Mama, mama, mama” and I run in the room and happily take over. This made me cry a little because I know the day is coming when he doesn’t need me to go to bed.

  10. Oh no. This makes me sad! My daughter is 8 months old and is now just pulling away from mommy to be on the floor and “crawl.” I just want to snuggle, but she wants to play. 🙁

  11. Jennifer Peaslee says:

    Aww, sorry to hear about the situation. But on a positive note, she’s growing independent, and you definitely want her to be a strong, independent woman 🙂

  12. My son just turned 2 and is showing his independence too… they grow up so fast 🙁

  13. Savannah miller says:

    🙁 Hang in there mama! I remember when I had to pack up my little guys clothing as they grew out of them my oldest is 5 and when I packed up his 3-6 month clothing I broke down crying and not cute little sniffle crying hysterical sobbing crying. It hard to watch them grow up.

  14. aww it is really hard because you want your kids to be more independent but when they do it kind of hurts your feelings. My son already wont give me kisses any more if I do give him a kiss he wipes it off

  15. I feel this way everytime I see my nieces and nephews. I know it’s not exactly the same, but since I don’t have any kids of my own, and won’t, I think it’s as close as I’ll come.

  16. You are right about blinking and then they are in college. You can always do what I did. Have more kids in your forties so you don’t have to go through the empty nest saga. ha. Lovely post.

  17. This brought up those “stop growing and stay my baby just a bit longer” tears I get every once in a while. Time goes by so fast, but at least you are treasuring the moments while you can.

  18. Sniff, sniff as I wipe my tears.
    I can remember those moments with each of my five children. Although is seemed most of them were just testing the independence waters so to speak. The majority of them still wanted a short bedtime routine with me until they were in perhaps the second grade and then it really dwindled down to next to nothing.
    The up side for me, I now have grandchildren who love to be rocked while reading a book.

  19. Awww! I hate it when they grow! My daughter is almost 5 and sometimes I really wish I could put a stop to time for a while!! Oh well, old routines go, but new ones come too. You still have plenty of time to be with your little girl before she becomes completely independent. If its any consolation, in most cases kids do get close to their parents again when they hit their 20s…

  20. You took it much more gracefully than I do. I don’t go down without a fight:

    Me: Okay, time for kisses.
    K8: No kisses.
    Me: Well, you have to say goodnight with some sort of contact. Shall I lick you?
    K8: Okay, you can lick me.

    (if that doesn’t work, I violate the “no kisses” and then “take them back” when she scream bloody murder.)

  21. It does only get worse when they get older. My kids are teens and think they are independent!

  22. A similar crushing mommy moment for me was when I dropped my son off for his first day of preschool and I asked to take his picture in front of the classroom door real quick- he turned to me in front of all the other parents and said mom just go cry in the car already you are embarrassing me –I wasn’t even crying yet !! well after he said that I was 😉

  23. Big hugs! They take these independence grabbing steps and we as mom’s are caught off guard that they don’t actually need us for something. It reminds us that one day they will be their own woman or man and we’ll lose that precious role where our babies are dependent on us. Keep hugging her – she’ll always need you!

    Elizabeth Rising Early, 31 Days

  24. The other day, I was helping my son (a little older, with speical needs, we are hitting those milestones a little late, but hitting them!) dry off after his shower. I dried of his head and tried a peek a boo type game, “Where are you?” I asked. He waited until I took the towel off his head, looked me right in the eye and said, “Is there a problem?” So glad he’s growing up, but damn, it was like a punch in the stomach! My baby isn’t a baby anymore!

  25. So hard! But they always come back…

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