Piggyback Rides and Boo Boos

I am so delighted to have Tracy from Sellabit Mum here this week as this week’s Small Moments Mondays guest poster (don’t miss the great story behind her blog name).

One of the first things that I learned about Tracy is that she is a genuinely kind, gifted writer. The more I get to know her, the more I realize just how much I like her. She’s shockingly funny, endlessly generous, and truly supportive.

Thank you so much, Tracy, for sharing this lovely story of your family with us. Your love for your girls just permeates this piece. Much love to you, my friend.

I always wanted my kids close in age. I was pregnant with Esther by the time Eloise was 17 months old, and pregnant with baby number three by the time Esther was 15 months old.

Baby number three did not arrive as planned. After four losses, countless tears, and finally acceptance that two children is truly the perfect family, Astrid arrived just before Esther turned five and Eloise seven.

Our family had an easy rhythm before Astrid arrived. Diapers long gone, kids showered on their own, I had stopped cutting up food, kids cleared their own plates, big plastic toys had been replaced by books and pencils, play dates were now called school or piano lessons, vacations days were not based upon baby’s nap times, I could sit on the bench at the playground and choose not to get in the water at the pool, and all baby items had been donated.

The small moments with my children were easy and free and completely unplanned. We moved seemingly in unison.  They had reached an age where it wasn’t about big cuddles or milestones. They were at the age where the best moments were popcorn and a movie while we snuggled on the couch, time in the car singing out-loud to our favorite songs, working on schoolwork or drawing elaborate pictures pictures on their own.

Astrid changed everything.

Besides stretching my motherly efficiencies beyond what two hands can handle, she took my time, my energy, and my focus as any baby should.

I spent months apologizing to my older girls for not being able to go on field trips, volunteer at school, help them with a picture, cook a good dinner, listen to their stories.

I worried they would resent their baby sister.  I worried that I would lose them and this precious time.  I was at times angry at Astrid for being so fussy. For crying for 12 months straight. Did she mean to take me from her sisters?  I mourned the moments I had already missed.

But one thing I have learned about motherhood, is just when you think you’ve failed, your kids hate you, and you just cannot do it one more minute  – or just when you think you’ve got it all figured out and this next stage mastered..it changes on you.

And it did.

Instead of staying mad or sad or jealous and shutting themselves out to me…to us…these beautiful girls stepped up.

They watched their sister when I cooked, when I cleaned.  They played with her when I showered. They snuggled with her on the couch to watch a movie.  They were old enough to pick her up, to put her into her bed, to change her outfit, to feed her breakfast.

As Astrid got older, she would crawl to them for comfort, choose to lay with only them on the floor for a huge snuggle, cry at the bus stop as they left for school each day, and great them with cheers and kisses each day at three.  She was their biggest fan.

So more and more they are now the ones making the small moments together.  I am just an observer.  I stand by the sink with dishes and hear the laughter from the other room, I hear Esther ask if Astrid needs the red crayon, I hear Eloise quiz Astrid on her shapes.  I see piggyback rides and kissing boo boos. They put on her shoes and take her outside to the swing set. They get her ready for bath time. They read her bedtime books. Hours can go by and nobody comes to get me. Unless there is a poopy diaper.

I smile because I feel comfort in watching them be the ones for her, I don’t feel left out or a compelling need to join them.   I don’t want to interfere as these moments they are making as sisters will take them into the future together, as these will be the women they will lean on forever.

To learn more about the lovely Tracy, please visit her over on Sellabit Mom. Don’t miss some of my favorite posts, Where Twitter Knows Nothing About CatsWanting a Minivan, and She Made Us Five.

Please go find Tracy on Twitter and Facebook! I have no doubt that you will love her as much as I do!


  1. tracy sellabitmum.com

    Oh Nichole – I am so incredibly honored to be here. Thank you so much again for this. Love you. xo

  2. galitbreen

    Much love to you and your beautiful family sweet friend! XO

  3. Miel et Lait mieletlait.com

    Wow. Just WOW! The milestones come and go, but it IS the small moments that create a life together.

    Your daughters sound like amazing girls!

  4. Tracie fromtracie.com

    This is so beautiful! I love that they are all so close.

  5. SquashedMom

    Tracy, what a truly beautiful story. And Nichole, thank you so much for bringing it here to share with us. I love how your older girls have stepped up to pitch in, the best kind of family connection.

    I was also thinking of way down the road, when your daughters are grown, what an amazing relationship they are going to have. I have a number of friends who come from 3-sister families and they all have this incredible bond, a real magic between them. (Must admit as an only child I am sometimes a twee bit envious of them.)

  6. MamaWantsThis mamawantsthis.com

    What a gorgeous story Tracy. Your girls are incredible. And so are you. xo

  7. Jessica mytimeasmom.com

    Tracy, I know all about this because my kids are 5 1/2 years apart. It's hard to start over again after so many years but it's also nice to have older children there to help with the younger one.

  8. Kir thekircorner.com

    Oh Tracy, just when I think I can't possible like you more, you write something like this!! I loved this, how sisterhood is not just a phrase but a reality in your family. I love when siblings accept and nurture one another…"rise to the occasion".

    My brother is 9 years younger than me and I look back on his babyhood and know I was instrumental in helping to raise him..in giving him another soft place to land. He is 31 now, but he will always be the "surprise" that completed our family.

  9. egholtrop

    This is just beautiful. There is something precious about having younger siblings. I'm only 3 years older than my brother, but some of my favorite memories of my childhood are changing his diapers, reading to him in the mornings so my mom could get some extra sleep, and playing games with him. I'm so glad Astrid joined your family and your older girls stepped so gracefully into the role of big sisters.

  10. Jessica fourplusanangel.com

    What a beautiful, beautiful post, although I wouldn't expect any less from Tracy.
    We started over too, after many years of just one and it was shocking to go back to diaper bags and naps but now I forget there was ever such a gap and wouldn't change it for anything.

  11. This makes me smile in its beauty. I always thought it would be so difficult to have a little one once I was out of the baby stage. I love that you mention the hard parts of it but recognize that the benefits are so much more wonderful and special than those difficult moments. And also, it kind of makes me wish Abbey would have the chance to experience sisterhood.

  12. Beautifully written. How wonderful that your girls have such a close relationship.

  13. Amy spreadalittlethin.blogspot.com

    This is such a wonderful story of sisters. I love the bond that sisters have and hope my son with bond with his sisters that way too.

  14. Whats the song … Sisters, Sisters … all those words – perfect.
    I was an only child til nearly 12, I always wanted a sister. (but now I have an amazing sister in law, so all is good)
    We went thro secondary infertility after having Chelsea and finally adopted Tas when Chelsea was four. For all the world I want them to be friends, as different as they are, I want them to look out for eachother forever.
    You look like you have it all sorted out – what a great testament to your mothering … and your moments!

  15. alexandra gooddayregularpeople.com

    Oh, yes.

    I have often thought to write about what baby #3 taught us.

    SO MUCH.

    WOnderful post.

  16. Paulette mspdrama.blogspot.com

    That is just beautiful! The painted in words & seen is incredible!

  17. julie gardner juliecgardner.com

    I love that you watch while the girls make small moments with each other; becoming what they will be to each other for the rest of their lives. Sisters.

    That right there is how you know you're doing it right.

    I adore this, Tracy. It is perfect.

  18. supermomboots

    Such a great post and it is so wonderful that your girls have such a beautiful relationship.

  19. sugarbowlmix

    Lovely post. It is so true that once you think you've got it all figure out, it changes – I feel like it's that way with life in general. I can only imagine how hard it would be to go back to the baby stage after moving beyond it. I remember feeling that way with my second and she's only 2 years younger! I'm the youngest of 3 girls so I really relate to your little Astrid's experience. Your girls are so beautiful all together.

  20. liz

    I love that she's their biggest fan! How sweet! And they are such good "big" sisters to nurture her.

  21. tracy sellabitmum.com

    Thank you. I seriously just melt when I see them together.

  22. tracy sellabitmum.com

    I never had a sister and always wanted one. My mom had 5 sisters and here in their 50's and 60's they are still so close. I wish that for my daughters.

  23. tracy sellabitmum.com

    Raising hand envious here also. My brother and I, while friends, were never that close. He never would talk about my period or my boyfriends. damn. xo

  24. tracy sellabitmum.com

    I know – now I love the large spacing. It makes so much more sense to me.

  25. tracy sellabitmum.com

    I love this "the surprise that completed our family" – Isn't that just so true. xo

  26. tracy sellabitmum.com

    Their love for each other is truly the best part of my days. It's like I know when I am gone someday – they will still have each other.

  27. tracy sellabitmum.com

    You are are so sweet, my friend. Yes your gap is even bigger but isn't it amazing.

  28. tracy sellabitmum.com

    I know – I also now want several sisters to grow old with.

  29. tracy sellabitmum.com

    Thank you so much. I know there may be some not so friendly teenage years ahead, but I hope there bond will hold strong.

  30. tracy sellabitmum.com

    I think about how much my brother and I fought through the years growing up, but we came through as good friends.

  31. tracy sellabitmum.com

    Oh I am sure those girls of yours will be there for each other though and through.

  32. tracy sellabitmum.com

    Thank you for this comment. It's that baby #3 – or the last – every time isn't it? xoxo

  33. tracy sellabitmum.com

    Oh your comment just made my day – thank you!

  34. tracy sellabitmum.com

    I find that is the biggest thing – I stand back letting them create their relationships and play and place. It is a thing of beauty. Okay, I may cry.

  35. tracy sellabitmum.com

    I hope they remember this when they are 15. lol

  36. tracy sellabitmum.com

    It was a huge adjustment. But they were so quick to accept and love.

  37. tracy sellabitmum.com

    It is so cute if we go to their school for something, Astrid will SCREAM their name when she sees them. They about die of embarrassment ..or perhaps love.

  38. supermomboots

    Yes, when they are fighting over bathroom time and stealing each others clothes :)

  39. Elaine misselaineouslife.com

    I think God planned your family just the way he wanted it to be. And this post tells me so. Your girls are a most fabulous trio. :-)

  40. It's so nice getting to know you!! You are an amazing woman, Tracy!! I'm so sorry for your losses…and isn't it always the way, as soon as you get rid of all the baby stuff, you end up needing it? Happened to us for #4. Really enjoyed reading this :)

  41. Kris prettyalltrue.com

    My daughters are somewhat different in their relationship, but they love one another fiercely.

    Love your words of sisterhood.

    And the photo?


  42. tracy sellabitmum.com

    Thank you sweet friend. I think so too. I have the kids I do because of how it all worked out. xo

  43. tracy sellabitmum.com

    LOL. OH I know – sure was fun buying all new though!

  44. tracy sellabitmum.com

    Thank you so much. I love catching some un-posed moments.

  45. Sherri

    Oh Tracy, this is wonderful! What an incredible story of your resilience as a mom and your ability to see that (here's my favorite line)…
    as these will be the women they will lean on forever
    I loved this….and that picture is heaven!

  46. Stacey staceysmotheringmoments.com

    That was so sweet and such a wonderful description of what siblings are! I love to watch my children together. Some of the sweetest moments of motherhood have come from watching them be there for each other. Thank you for sharing that wonderful moment!

  47. Cheryl @ Mommypants mommypants.com

    You have captured so precisely that addition of a baby to a family of big little kids. Sage takes Xander upstairs and plays with him for an hour, making up games and he so loves to be with her. He can't wait for her to come out of her classroom every day.

    And I, too, lament all the things I can't do with the older two because I have a toddler, but I also celebrate the ways in which he made our family complete

    Love this post. Love you! xo

  48. This, I think, is what mothering is all about…raising our children to love one another. To care for other's interests ahead of their own…I love to see when my own children go to each other for help before coming to me. I love listening (from a distance) to them playing together & taking care of one another, kissing each other's boo-boos. I've actually noticed that when I'm right there with them they tend to bicker more…perhaps competing for my attention, but when I'm doing other things, they will play for much longer in their own little world!
    And I do think it is amazing that each time a new baby is added, just when you worry that the older ones may feel slighted or over-looked, the opposite happens…the love increases exponentially! They feel needed & a part of things. And there is something SO precious about a new life, a new person, a sweet baby…that even if they cry for 12 months, there is love!
    On another note, I'm glad to hear that your girls don't change diapers…I was going to be a bit jealous! My kids are great helpers with the baby, but I've yet to get anyone to change a diaper, LOL! Great post Tracy!!

  49. JaimesStory ainsleylynn.blogspot.com

    Love this post, and love Tracy's blog. I am conflicted over this topic right now. I've always wanted my children close in age. And to make that happen, I probably need to start thinking about #3. But, we are not in a position to have #3 right now or anytime in the future…so I've had to start letting go of that idea. It's made me angry and sad…but this is so comforting. So nice to see that you have little helpers and how much Astrid does and will always adore her big sisters. Lovely post!

    And…your daugters are so gorgeous. I know I've commented that on your blog, but the pictures you take of them are stunning.

  50. CDG

    I can't imagine adding to this. Because it's just right, the letting go and accepting help, allowing your children space to grow together, giving them something intangible and forever–and getting to shower, too!

  51. tracy sellabitmum.com

    Thank you, Sherri. Wouldn't it be nice you could have a forever support network of awesome women? I do hope this for my girls.

  52. tracy sellabitmum.com

    Sometimes I now wish I could even have more. HA! Okay, maybe I am too old and tired..

  53. tracy sellabitmum.com

    Sweet Melanie. Thank you for this. Most everything I know – I learn from you – my amazing friend and mother of FIVE small ones. You are such an inspiration. xo

  54. tracy sellabitmum.com

    Thank you. Seriously I LOVE having a larger gap. It made baby #3 so much easier. When you aren't chasing a toddler and the big kids are in school..it kind of is like starting over again. Magical.

Add a comment

(required, won’t be displayed)

About this post