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I’m in the big little years.

It’s when you’re no longer in the tender season of babies and toddlers—those sweet, smothering, exhausting years of being constantly touched and needed . . .

. . . but you’re not yet in the big kid years—navigating boyfriends and driver’s licenses and bracing your heart for the impending ache of an empty nest.

I’m somewhere in between.

I’m in the years of having littles that aren’t so little anymore, but still need you for so much. They have big feelings. Big ideas. Big dreams. But they have mostly little problems (even though they can feel so BIG) that can still be solved with a kiss and a hug from Mommy. They have sweet little voices and little bodies that can be tucked in and snuggled on your lap.

RELATED: I’m Between Babies and Big Kids

These big little years are soul-filling, and delightful, and fascinating, and so much fun. They are magical and loud and exasperating. They are full of wonder and exploration.

These big little years are miraculous, and you have the privilege of a front-row seat. You get to watch their personalities truly blossom, nurture their passions, and see their imaginations take off. You get to have actual conversations with them and hear their thoughts and opinions on absolutely everything, and you get to marvel at how much they know and understand.

These big little years are an adjustment.

You’re no longer cocooned at home together, just you and them, with all the time in the world. Now they’re in school and all these activities and suddenly life becomes so very busy. Now there is self-consciousness and attitude and academic pressure and trying to fit in and awareness that the world is not always a warm and happy place.

RELATED: This In-Between Stage is New For Us Both

These big little years can be hard on a mama’s heart. Time goes from a crawl to a sprint. You find yourself lying in bed at night, scrolling through pictures and wondering how it’s possible for these littles to be so big, just yesterday they were your babies. And you think to yourself, this is just the beginning, someday you’ll be lying in bed waiting to hear the reassuring sound of the garage door opening as they pull into the driveway and if it already hurts so much, how will you bear that excruciating pain?

These big little years are special.

Even though they exhaust and deplete you to your core. Even though you’re still not sleeping through every night. Even though they test you in a way you never imagined. Even though they stretch your capacity every day to be a better mom and a better human being.

I’m in the big little years.

The beautiful, hard in-between.

I’m in the big little years.

And there’s no place I’d rather be.

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

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Emily Solberg

Emily Solberg is a soldier, military spouse, mom of two, and fierce advocate of women supporting women. The goal of her writing is to help others feel less alone in their parenting journeys, and she isn’t afraid to share the hard parts of her own. You can find more from her over on Facebook and Instagram at Shower Arguments with Emily Solberg.

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