My morning doesn’t begin with the soft kisses from little ones full of baby smell anymore. They begin with the rush of all members of the house getting ready to leave the home and go to their daily world outside. I close my eyes and try to imagine what the baby smell and the baby touch used to be like.

Even though their world has less of me now, mine still has only them.

Breakfast is no longer a simple meal for both—its meeting demands and choices of two individuals who suddenly have their own personalities. It’s now about who sits where at the dining table, and not the dedicated high or low chairs, that now sit in a dusty corner in the garage. I hold on to that corner as I can’t part with that part of my world just yet. They watch TV while they feed themselves.

Their world has less of me, but mine still has only them.

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Afternoons are no longer quiet while the babies rest. They are all about getting to the park or the birthday party or the friend’s house to channel the unending energies. As they play with their little friends far away from me, I watch them play. I am not their favorite playmate anymore.

Their world has less of me, but mine still has only them.

Outings and dinners are no longer accompanied my huge diaper bags, but smaller, more feminine bags that actually go well with my outfit. And though they don’t need anything while away from home, I keep a change of clothes, just in case. They now make their own way to the male and female bathrooms, respectively, and I stare after them, amazed by their confidence.

Their world has less of me, but mine still has only them.

Shopping for clothes is not walking in the baby aisle anymore. I head to the girl and the boy section, but I can’t just pick what I like. I keep in mind their choices of colors and styles. My choice is not theirs anymore as they now have their own opinions. Yet I take a stroll through the baby aisle as I am not ready to bypass it completely just yet.

Even though their world has less of me, mine still has only them.

The showers are no longer a delicate affair, with a warm tub and a soft towel. Its shoving them inside, scrubbing the sand and sweat off their bodies so they can resemble the kids they were before playing outside in the sun. It’s no longer soft nursery rhymes and tiny giggles. It’s loud voices and laughs and even louder songs I haven’t even heard. I still gently tap the towel on their bodies to dry them off despite knowing they can do so by themselves.

Their world has less of me, but mine still has only them.

Playtime is not what it used to be. The tickles and kisses are replaced by strategic card games, accompanied by pats on the back, and high-fives in the air. It’s no longer cute jiggly cheeks and innocent eyes but smiles with naughty twinkles, the smiles that take my breath away every time. I still have the stuffed animals and the noisy toys.

Even though their world has less of me, mine still has only them.

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My complaints of sleepless nights no longer hold true as they sleep after a long and exhausting day like little angels here on Earth. But who do I tell of the enormous pain I am going through now, of the restless nights despite the silence, of the setback of not being needed every minute of every hour. I watch them sleep as they dream big dreams.

Their world has less of me, but mine still has only them.

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Their world is growing bigger now, but mine is still the same.

They follow the birds, wave to their friends, share secrets with them, and relish food outside of home. They know what they want and how to get it. They have dreams and goals and minds of their own. There will so much more between me and them in the days and years to come. But I hope they know I will always be right here, watching them with pride. My arms always big enough to hold them tightly and lap still big for their heads to rest. I will be the home they need to come back to from their big, wide world outside.

Chandni Bansal

She is a mum of 2 little angels (ages 1 and 5) and lives with her husband and kids. She loves to write about love, life, and family, and share her experiences of being a mom and wife with all her readers. You can follow her on her personal blog, Little Voice of love.