I’ve missed this. I told myself as I rocked my third and youngest baby girl to sleep. 

It’s been seven years since you’ve been needed like this. It’s been years since you’ve been in the baby stage of motherhood. It’s been years, but it still feels so fresh like yesterday.

I know you’re tired, but breathe her in. Embrace her warmth. You’re going to miss this. 

Don’t lay her down just yet.

I would love to hold each of my daughters this small just once more. For even just a moment to lay them on my chest and hold them with their sweet baby breaths. 

To breathe in their curls and embrace their coos and their need for me every moment.

So don’t lay her down just yet, I tell myself. You’re going to miss this. And you know it.

When my older two daughters were this little, everyone said, “You’ll miss this.” 

You’ll miss the long nights and lack of sleep.

The diaper changes and the little outfits.

The giggles and the free hugs.

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The running and squealing through the stores, dirty faces with baby goo all over their cheeks, bubble baths, and baby talk . . . 

All of it. 

Beautiful and messy.

You’ll even miss the tantrums and tears.

The arguing with siblings, tugging, pulling, and the hectic days. 

All of it is true . . . you will miss it all.

Back then, I used to roll my eyes when people would give me all the motherly advice, but the truth is they miss it too, and that’s why they give it.

I understand those other moms now. I understand why they said it.

My older daughters aren’t even close to being grown and leaving, but in the short 10 years I’ve been blessed to be called mommy, I’ve learned one thing . . . I miss it. 

I miss the past memories.

I miss the present ones.

And I already miss the future memories that have yet to be made.

Even as I’m embracing the new stages of each of their childhoods. 

Even with such a vast difference in their ages and stages. 

I still miss it.

And I know I’m going to continue to miss it. 

If I could go back to that 22-year-old soon-to-be momma, I would tell her to listen to all the advice. Good and bad. Take it all with a grain of salt. Don’t get caught up in taking it all so personally. Don’t push life too quickly. Don’t get caught up in the chores and hustles of life. Don’t get caught up.

Try not to rush the early mornings, naps, and evening bedtime routines. Squeeze in all those extra snuggles.

Slow down, enjoy the simple things, and embrace every stage of motherhood because you will miss it all.

Every growth spurt, every milestone, every first moment.

I want to cherish every sweet moment with them. Newborn, preschool, big kid, teen, and on. 

I want to be there. I don’t want to miss a moment of it. I want to treasure and embrace them all.

I want to find joy in the mess. Faith in the stress. Love and laughter for every moment in between.

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For the ups and downs, giggles and laughter, a shoulder to cry on, a heart to listen to, and most importantly, the one who points them to Jesus. 

I will always be their biggest fan in life. I will walk beside them with my arms always wide open. 

There’s a beauty that comes with having a long age gap between your children.

A beautiful reminder to take it all in.

I knew having my third daughter that each stage would go even faster, especially with two older children in tow. I tried to mentally prepare myself for it. 

Though there have been many, many times I have felt stretched and needed in so many different stages of their lives, I’ll remind myself of this . . . embrace it all with a grateful heart.

Treasure all these moments now because I know I’m going to miss it. 

Don’t lay her down just yet. You’re going to miss this.

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Diana Reeves

Diana is a daughter of God, wife and mother to three beautiful daughters. Her passions include photography, writing, singing, blogging and sitting by the ocean. Her passion in writing is to encourage others to find strength and dignity through their faith in Jesus Christ.

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