Tag Archives: independence

It Might Be Time To Let Her Grow Up…Just a Tiny Bit

If I could freeze time and forever keep my kids little, I wouldn’t even hesitate to do so.

I love the squishiness of their little bodies and the wonder that they see in everything.  I love holding them and feeling the way that they just melt into me.  I even love the way that they are still dependent upon me for so many things.

I won’t even pretend that I’m one of those moms who eagerly awaits the first day of school, sleep away camp, proms, graduations, and weddings.

I’m the mom who truly mourns the end of babyhood and toddlerhood and I’m often in complete denial that my children are getting older.

I’m starting to realize, however, that it might be time for me to fully acknowledge that Katie is a preschooler and as such, she is ready for some big girl stuff.  (Thank goodness for Craig’s calm demeanor and his encouragement to let them grow and change.)

This is a picture of Katie’s bed:

Katie's bed as it was when we brought her home from the hospital and as it still is.

Yep, our three-year old still sleeps in a crib (and yes, we still use a video monitor on her).

I’ve often joked that we were going to keep her in her crib until college. And while that’s clearly an exageration,  we did plan to keep her in her crib until Matthew was sleeping through the night, as we thought it would be easier to handle one nighttime challenge at a time.

Well, that day has come.  Matthew’s been consistently sleeping through the night for a few weeks now.

My list of worries for why making the switch from a crib to a toddler bed worries me is long.  Here are several of them:

  • Will she still nap?
  • How will we make sure she stays in her bed?
  • Will our great sleeper suddenly start waking in the night?
  • Will bedtime be stressful?
  • Will she wake us up at say, 5:00 am, by standing at the side of the bed and giving me a heart attack?

Although my worries are plentiful, I’m beginning to feel that the list of benefits to her being in her own big girl bed is growing longer.

And as much as I dread the switch, there’s also a tiny part of me that is eager to see her face as she realizes that she’s being given a bit more independence.

There will be tears…and they will all be mine.

If any of you have any tips on how to make the transition go smoothly, I eagerly welcome them.

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The Most Difficult Part …

…of being a parent for me has always been knowing that one of my jobs as Katie’s parent is to help her to learn independence, in varying degrees, starting from the very first days of her life.

We taught her to fall asleep on her own, without needing us to rock her until she was sleeping.

We encouraged her to sit independently…

to stand, to walk…

…to run. 

We encourage her to participate at gymnastics, playdates, and birthday parties without needing us by her side.

In a few short years, we will drop her off for her first day of kindergarten and we will sit in the car, holding hands and crying, as we know that everything that we have done for her thus far has been to foster a sense of self and independence so that she wouldn’t completely depend upon us.

Then, years down the road, she will leave for college, most likely never to return to live at home with us.

And as much as this will hurt, I pray that we have given her the tools–independence, self-confidence, determination–to be just fine on her own.

This is our job as parents.

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