Why do Mothers Cry over the Past?

I never thought I would be the type of mother to cry when my son grew. I wanted to truly be in each and every moment, not worrying about the past or future in case I might miss something in the now. While pregnant each kick was a joy, but so was the aching back and tired toes. I knew it wouldn’t last. Things never do. Then the other day my throat became full of cotton and tears welled in my eyes when I saw a forgotten picture of my little boy. I didn’t understand. Why do mothers cry over the past?

Time Speeds By

Mothers bring home their tiny human who was meant to fit in their arms. Days mix with nights making them seem endless. It is so easy to miss how each morning the newborn baby is different. Eyebrows thicken. The once gummy smile fills with teeth. Before you know it, the Chewbacca cry they use to make is never heard again. The scrunched face they made while eating toast is left only in half-lit photos. You are left wondering why there isn’t a pause button for childhood.

Mothers are Mourning

The past is a loss of the child a mother once knew better than anyone. She will never cradle her baby again. Her favorite sleeper is left for dust. So when a mother sees that tiny sock, sweet video, or watches them walk to school like a big boy, they cry. It’s not just  sentimentality or hormones; Mothers cry because they will never see their baby again. They are grieving.

The New Person is just as Great

The good news is I have an updated version of my two-year-old. The baby has disappeared, replaced by an intelligent, goofy new person. He runs around the house making siren sounds and humming. His smile is large and white. He melts me. I wouldn’t trade him for anything.

Mothers, let your tears fall for the past. Do not be ashamed, but love the moment you have now. Love the person they have become. Too soon it will be another memory.

Do you find yourself mourning the past? Let me know in the comment section below.

4 thoughts on “Why do Mothers Cry over the Past?

  1. As the mom of a of 12-year-old and a 17-year-old, I’ve had lots of opportunities to mourn what is in the past. But when I am tempted to wallow too much, I always ask myself this: if I had lost a child as an infant or a toddler or at ANY age earlier than where we’re at now, what would I give to “have” to watch them grow up? And I know what my answer would be: anything. I would give anything. It helps me to be grateful for the gift of a new day, a new stage, a new “thing” rather than be sucked into sorrow over what is in the past. Thanks for sharing your words and heart here…stopping by from Parenting Bloggers on Facebook!

  2. As a father, “Mothers are Mourning”, is great insight in helping me understand my wife better. I can, in no way, relate to this feeling of grieving over that childhood phase that is gone forever. Sure, I’ll miss the cuddling a tad, but I’ll move on in my emotions 10 seconds later. This also explains why my wife rewatches videos of our kids’ earlier years (they’re only 8,6,2, and 10 months) over and over again. Thanks for the insight.

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