There are a lot of things I hope I never forget about the baby stage. I hope I never forget the smell of the top of a newborn head. I hope I never forget the sounds of the sweet, high pitched voice saying ”Mama” for the first time. I hope I never forget how my heart soared as I bent down with arms wide open witnessing their wobbly first steps.
But one thing veteran partners forget to remind you to ingrain into your memory is the hard stuff too. Right now I’m in the thick of the good, but also the hard stuff too. And I hope I never forget the hard stuff. I hope, even after the hard parts of the baby stage pass, that I can still relate to other parents just entering into their hard stage, even once I’m on the other side of it.
I hope I never forget the sheer exhaustion of those first few months with a newborn. The worry and the sleepless nights and how they are written all over a new mother’s face. I hope I never forget to hug a new mom and tell her “this too shall pass.”
I hope I never forget the prep work that goes into taking a baby on an airplane. I hope that once I’m out of the baby stage, I offer enormous amounts of grace to the tired, new parent on a flight.
I hope I never forget all the patience it requires to take babies and toddlers out to a restaurant. I hope I never forget to remind young parents they’re doing a great job, even when they might be worried they’re failing. Especially when they feel they might be failing.
I hope I never forget the weight of a baby on my hip with another holding my hand walking into the grocery store, and how much effort is required to do simple errands with toddlers in tow. I hope never forget to offer a smile and kind words in the checkout line, when the new mama in front of me wrestles to keep her kids in the cart.
I hope I never forget that, despite a mom’s best efforts, she will still arrive late to meetings. I hope I never forget that blow out diapers and fits over the yellow cup are often predicted but never prevented. I hope I never forget that a mama cannot make a child stop screaming in church or that teaching manners requires many, many reminders before the lesson sticks.
Yes, I hope I never forget the peaceful feeling of an infant sleeping on my chest. I hope I never forget baby giggles and my son’s arms reaching for Mama. I hope the good is always engraved deep into my heart and my memory, but I also hope I never forget the hard stuff too.
I hope I never forget so I can continue to relate and offer grace because I haven’t forgotten the hard stuff too.