Sometimes I wonder if I am heartless. Why don’t I feel the same feelings that seem so natural and normal for most moms? According to society, I am clearly supposed to miss my kids being little. I am supposed to lament the fact that my kids are growing up so fast. Nearly every day I see some reminder of how much I should be missing it. More experienced parents are mourning all the things they miss. My friends are posting pictures of their kids as babies and toddlers with captions that read, “I miss them being so little!” Someone is holding a friend’s new baby and declaring how much they’ve missed it.
I have never felt that. Not once.
I consider myself a sentimental person. I record all the precious moments (and also many mundane ones for good measure). I preserve the cherished keepsakes. I adore looking back at photos from when my kids were tiny and remembering the cuteness. I reminisce about the good memories. I indulge in a cathartic laugh about the more trying times. I am constantly surprised by how quickly time passes, how in the blink of an eye a kid can transform from toddler to tween.
But I have never once missed it. I have never once longed for just one more of those days.
The older my kids get, the more I enjoy motherhood. With each new stage, I felt relief to be progressing and moving on from the last. I was thrilled to prepare the final bottle. I never once wished for the need to rock a baby to sleep one more time. I didn't shed a tear at kindergarten registrations. I was giddy when my kids learned to dress themselves, to feed themselves, to shower themselves. When I realized I had given my last bath, I felt nothing but grateful. I rejoice that my kids are now old enough and responsible enough to walk to school on their own, to make their own sandwiches, to do most of their homework without me going over it question-by-question.
I am in a sweet spot right now – a soft cushion of years where my kids are old enough to do most things for themselves but still young enough to want to hang out with me. On Saturday mornings they get up, pour their own cereal and milk, and turn on their favorite show without so much as a knock on our bedroom door. But they are still young enough that they want me to cuddle with them, read to them, and tuck them in each night. They have their own interests and their own lives, but I am still the first person they want to tell about what happened each day.
I am in such a sweet spot. I have never once missed my kids being little – but I may very well miss these days when they are gone.
This story originally appeared on Filter Free Parents.