When you’re a new mom every experience is new, every milestone is a first time, and all of it is cause for celebration. As your babies age, however, those “firsts” get further and further apart and the feelings they evoke become increasingly bittersweet.

I was literally overjoyed when my oldest began to walk, I could not be more excited for him and the bit of independence he was gaining. Last year he began full time school days and even though he was super excited for the freedom and independence, it broke my heart a little to miss out on so much of his day. This year he reads books and asks for “alone time” in his room, he writes in a journal that is private, and asks deep questions about everything we have ever taught him, he is growing up and growing away a bit, and again my heart is torn. I want to delight in the boy he is becoming, the young man I see right beneath the surface. I want to trust that he will be kind and make good choices, that he will be safe and other children will be good friends. At the same time I yearn for my squishy toddler, the one I knew every little thing about, the boy I spent every single day next to.

This is the journey we have been called to sister mamas.

To lay it all down, to sacrifice body, mind, and spirit for the blessing of babies. We are called to pour out and into them. We will be their everything for a short while, teaching them independence...then, in a blink they are actually independent.

I know that I have MANY more firsts to go through with my kids -- there will be first crushes and first cars, the first time they feel the sting of rejection, and the first time they feel the glory of a job well done. Now, more so than ever before, I look forward to these firsts with intention. I realize now, like I never have, that it is my responsibility in the present to prepare them for these future firsts.

How I parent in the everyday, today, will have incredible impact on the people that my little people become.

I need to let them fall.
I need to let them try.
I need to let them do big things on their own.
I need to be their cheerleader.
I need to put my trust in God.
I need to say "yes"... and stand back.
I need to wipe tears and bandaid knees then send them back out to try again.

I need to have faith in who God created my children to be, and I need to believe that He made them my children for a reason. I need to know that I am a good mom, I am the mom that God created for each of my four babies and that each of my four babies are the children God created for me. Together we can navigate this world of firsts, and we will often fall short, but we will always have one another.

Amber is the founder of Beautiful & Beloved and Reveal Ministry.  She loves to connect with other mamas as @ambervnewberry on Instagram or Twitter.

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