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I wrote this post a few years ago, Why I Still Carry My Kids, but it still is close to my heart, so I wanted to share it again today.  A good reminder for myself & hopefully others. 🙂 

why I still carry my kids

I see you looking my way – when I hold my 7-year-old, my 5-year-old, my 3-year-old in my arms. I want to tell you something:  my 9-year-old doesn’t fit there anymore… and that is why I still carry my kids.

It was last year that I carried him last. Last year that he was too tall to be carried. He is almost the same height as me now (I’m 4’11) and I remember when I tried to pick him up to carry him down the hall and I couldn’t do it. He has tall and heavier than I had remembered. When did this happen? When did he grow so much? Get so big? So old?

Last year, my seven-year-old got hurt on the soccer field and I went out and carried him back to the stands. My husband, who was also his coach said “Babe? Why did you carry him? He was OK to walk.”

I replied “Do you know how many of those people cared that I carried him? ONE. One person cared… Beau, our son.” He was the one that cared. He was the one that felt safe, loved, taken care of by his mom. It didn’t matter if the people in the stand cared because they weren’t my kids.

This year, Ethan, 5, was tired and when I told him that I would carry him, he said, “I think I’m too old now.” I told him that you will never be too old for your Mom to carry you. Too big, perhaps, but never too old.

mansfield family

When Allie, 3, wants to be carried, I pick her up. I joke with people that she lives on my hip. She won’t be this way for long.   She is all about her mom right now and wants me to pick her up constantly.  I love how she runs to greet me and jumps into my arms because I know that this ends.  I know that they go from jumping into your arms to an “Oh, Hi, Mom.” in just a few short years.   Yes, I’ll carry her… as long as she will let me.

sleeping baby girl

I remember that in all of the things that we do, they end.   My parents don’t tuck me into bed anymore, they don’t read me books anymore, they don’t tie my shoes anymore, they don’t help me ride a bike or read a book or do my homework.  No… I’ve grown up.  So will our kids.   Soon, I won’t be doing those things for them.  If I can just remember that this will not last long, I am more likely to enjoy it – every second of it.

Next week could be the last time that I carry Beau, our 7-year-old, up the stairs, or the last time that I carry Ethan, 5, to bed, or the last time that Allie, 3, wants to be carried through the grocery store.

Today isn’t that day… today I still carry my kids and I don’t care who knows it.

you know you're a mom when

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Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. Amen Mama Becky !! My husband always says E is going to be 4 soon, why are you still carrying him around… I don’t think he gets this… And the laying with him at night… he gets mad because it might become a “habit.” I’m trying to build a business and raise my son, but my son comes first My husband knows I should go to my office and start working so I can get done before 3 am, but my son will remember if I chose my office over him… This post almost brought me to tear.. {good ones} But they do grow up too fast too!! And I feel like I’m rambling but you get it !

      1. I’m 62 and our 5 year old weighs 40 lbs…it’s getting harder for me to carry him upstairs to bed but I stil,try!

    1. They are only little once, and when they get to big to carry, well you can still have them sit on your lap…you can still have that closeness..People used to laugh at me because I laid down with my kids until they were asleep..I didn’t care they were MY kids..because once they are grown, they are grown and it hard to get around all the work schedules in order to get them all at the table for holiday dinners..

      1. Do you know, I’m 65 years old and I still remember my Mom laying beside me as I took my afternoon nap after kindergarten. She passed away when I was 33 and I still remember the wonderful smell of her laying there and the soft feel of her arm as I rested my hand on it as I fell asleep. I’ll never forget!

    2. Hi, I’m a dad,my son is 5 , and I’ll carry him at the drop of a hat for the same reasons until i cannot carry him any more.. Loved this article.

      1. Weeping over here… I also have 4… ages 7, 5, 3, and 1. The thought of not being able to hold one of them is heartbreaking because it is an instant way to help, offer love. What you are writing about/validating/proposing here very much reminds me of prolonged nursing, which we know is recommended and beneficial. We should not wean them from being carried by their mothers until they and we are good and ready. I scratched my anxious 7 year old’s back while she fell asleep tonight…she gets anxiety before holidays and tomorrow is Halloween. You sound like a great Mom. Thank you and God bless you.

  2. Yes!!! I carry my four year old everywhere and people give me the strangest looks. I don’t care. I love that she wants to be carried still and I love holding her in my arms. 🙂

      1. This was so beautiful to read. I am all too familiar with how they grow up so fast. When my youngest son was 8, we decided we were not ready to not have children to “carry”. However after he was born I had my tubes tied. We were broken hearted. We decided to try and have them put together. It worked! When he was 12, we finally had another. 22 months later, another. My oldest is now 35 and my youngest is now 12. I look at her and remember starting my little family over at her age. Time goes so fast. Before you know it, they are too big to carry. It makes me sad, but the good news is that now we have 3 beautiful grand babies that I carry and cherish every minute of. Good for you!!!

      2. Becky,
        This article of carring your children has blessed my heart. What you are (instilling) giving your children is far greater than people around you will ever know. Reminds me of the Lord Jesus. When we walk with him he carrys us? Becky, my thoughts , are you are a beleiver. Thanks for your article

        1. That’s such a great comparison! (& yes, I most certainly am). 🙂

  3. Love this post!
    I know I look ridiculous when I try to carry my 6 year-old (I’m just a little over 5 foot myself), but they grow up too fast. There will be a time he won’t want to even walk near my, let alone let me hold his hand or hug him in public. i plan to carry him as long as I can.

  4. My daughter is 2, non mobile and non verbal. She looks more like a one year old, but I’ve still had remarks of, “If you didn’t carry her so much, she would walk.” if I didn’t carry her, she would never get anywhere except maybe across the floor from rolling. Do I get tired of it? Sure. We’re ordering her a wheel chair after Christmas. But will I ever stop holding her? Only when my body can’t anymore, just as what happened when you tried to carry your oldest. There’s nothing wrong with carrying your kids when you feel like it or they need you. Love your perspective. God bless 🙂

    1. Hi Sarah,
      Ok, this is a first. I never comment on any site but something in ur comment made me do it. Have u heard of I have recently done a program with them named ‘what to do with your brain injured child’ I honestly do not knw what is the reason behind your daughter being non verbal and non mobile. However, if it has anything to do with brain injury, I am sure ‘IAHP’ can help. As a mother of a child who had major speech delay and many other sensory issues, I highly recommend them. They are based in Philadelphia. Contact them they can make your child mobile and verbal. I am not in any ways associated with them. I am just a mother who has seen tremendous changes in her son after I did this program with IAHP(institutes for attaining human potential) you can also read this book before you contact them: ‘What to do with your brain injured child’ . One last thing which I would like to tell u before I sign off and thats something that made me write this comment, DO NOT get ur daughter a wheel chair. Please..she will never TRY to be mobile. Pick her up, hug her, cuddle her, give her as much love possible but let her be on the floor and you be with her on the floor too.
      Love from India x x

      1. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head! I work in special education and Sarah Hunter your daughter IS mobile! I truly believe a wheelchair will make her wheelchair reliant/dependent. I had a 5 year old at my school who had only ever rolled around or been carried but at 4 years of age he did learn to walk (not long before beginning school) he had other delays also, but it IS possible your daughter will walk in her own time. A wheelchair will not assist her to have the drive to walk/be mobile. I hope you are also seeking the assistance of an Occupational Therapist and other health professionals. Kind regards.

  5. my daughter will turns 4 on January and till now I’m still carrying every time she asked me too cause I find it sweet longing for my affection though my doctor advised me not to carry heavy things which I thought my daughter is an exception to that.

    I’m suffering from back-pain and had some problem with it few years now even my doctor told me to stop pursuing running habit or anything related to it even my hubby keep on nagging me when he see me carrying our daughter cause he knew I will suffer back pain afterwards but those sweet adorable lovable voice saying “mum, please carry me to bed” was one f the sweetest thing I always heard so technically I don’t complain to my hubby now about my backpain to avoid arguments 🙂

    1. 🙂 I know.
      That’s so funny that you don’t even say it anymore. 🙂

      1. Becky, love your article, why is it funny that Mac doesn’t say it anymore? Mac needs to stop carrying her daughter now because there may come a time when she will get so bad she won’t be able to enjoy happy future moments with her family because she is so grounded in the moment. You are healthy and so love that you are that connected to your kids, but this woman has a back problem and should listen to her hubby and doctor.. Don’t know what’s funny about her not acknowledging her pain anymore.

        Mac, please find other ways to connect with your daughter. What if years down the road you have a grandchild and can’t hold them because your back is so bad?

        1. Hi, I am a mom of 4 kids who have grown and had kids so now I’m grandmother of 10 I so enjoyed this article I often see mothers carrying kids too big to be …however after reading this it gives new perspective. I loved it when my granddaughter would run to me and jump into my arms @ 4, 5, and 6 yrs old now she is 11 yrs and I hardly get a hello kids grow up too fast so we as parents and grandparents NEED to cherish the moments of endearment holding our children is loving them !!!

    2. if you already have back pains, for the sake of your daughter, stop carrying her. Walk with her, hold her hand, speak loving words to her the whole way, but you really should avoid carrying her. Lay down and cuddle with her in her bed if she needs that extra contact (or hold her while sitting on the floor next to her bed if you don’t fit in her bed).

      I know you feel the mom guilt, and the years rushing by, and the overwhelming love feelings and all that…. and I get it…. but you are doing your daughter a disservice because with every strain you put on your back, you weaken those muscles, and put yourself more and more at risk of serious back injury. Having a serious back injury will affect you for the rest of your life.

      Sure, you might think you can suffer through the pain, and that you’d never let a little back pain keep you from being there for your daughter, but what are you going to do when she needs you and you can’t even get up off the floor?

      Back pain doesn’t just affect your back, either. It affects your upper and lower extremities, as well. Arms and hands go numb, it can cause severe hip and leg pain, foot pain, neck and shoulder pain…. the back is kind of crucial to protect, Friend.

      As the daughter of a mom who quietly suffered through her back pain for years, I can tell you quite honestly that 1.) I feel horribly guilty for causing some of that pain, and 2.) I resent it now, because she is in so much pain she can barely walk now. I live just three hours away from her (by car), and I only get to see her if I go to her place, even though a few years ago, when I lived an 8 hour drive from her, she came to visit at least every other month. She doesn’t come to my place now because the drive is too much. She can’t go out shopping like we used to because she can’t walk for very long. She can’t go to the museums or to the zoo, because it’s too hard on her. She is a wonderful mom, and I love her dearly, but I do wish she had taken better care of herself when she had the chance.

      I know it is hard, but try something else with your daughter. She will thank you later.

      1. Thank you for this important reminder. Moms often give everything they have , willingly and without a second thought, but down the line neglecting ourselves has consequences for our kids, too. I needed to read this as I am terrible at self-care. It’s a wonder my husband hasn’t left me as I’ve let myself go so badly…then what, my kids will have to split their holidays and buy two picture frames instead of one? …

    3. Becky,

      I used to think ten times before I carry my kid and used to get tired of carrying my kid, but now your post made me to feel to get excited of about this..thanks tons

  6. I still carry my 3 year old on occassion, and of course my baby. But I just can’t carry my 5 and 7 year olds anymore. My back hurts too much when I try. But I still cuddle with them daily on the couch, and on the rare occasion that they are up before me, they come into my bed and we cuddle there. So I still hold my children, just don’t carry the bigger ones. I like your perspective though. I also have a 15 year old and she isn’t too into the cuddling anymore. Although when I’m lucky she will come share a blanket and lay her head on my shoulder during movie nights. 🙂

  7. I’m still carrying my kids, but wow, they are soooooo heavy!!!! My husband gets an award how much he carries!

  8. I have a 9 yr old and 6 yr old, I will hold my 6 yr old in public for as long as I possibly can (he is getting to heavy) but both of my boy will crawl up in my lap in the evening when we are unwinding from our hectic days. I will never tell them no!

  9. Right on! I LOVE carrying my 4 year old. She’s long but still light enough and she loves it. Im so glad to see im not the only one still does this. 🙂

  10. I love to carry my four year old and do so whenever I can. I love that he still wants to snuggle on the couch under a blanket on weekend mornings or at bedtime when I read to him.

    He is my only child and I am keenly aware that each day is the last time he will be precisely that age/stage and I intend to soak it all in, and love the stuffing out of that kid at every chance. I just love this post and couldn’t agree with you more!

    I have 5 year old twins. That’s it. When they grow up they will BOTH be grown up. Their lasts will happen right around the same time. I won’t have that next kid in line to ease the pain of them letting go. I hold them every single second I get and I love how it feels to have them wrap around me when I carry them. So, you go mama! Keep carrying those babies until they say no more. 🙂

  12. My oldest child was one the last time I carried him….and it was when I carried him into the emergency room with a hi grade fever about four hours before he passed away. I really do not care how other people feel when they see me carrying my five year old, two old or one year old. If I had my way I would carry my children down the aisle on their wedding day because you never know when or why you may never carry them again.

    1. Oh my gosh- I don’t even know what to say, except that I am sorry.

    2. Bless you hun, he is definitely watching over you and his other siblings. Losing a child is heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing. Im sorry for your loss.

  13. I love your article! I have a 7 year old and I carry her to bed, call her my baby and carry her around when I want to. My in- laws are annoyed by it, and always say” why do you call her a baby, she isnt a baby.Whya re you carrying her, she is a big girl. It’s the most annnoying thing. I love my in laws, but this one thing gets to me so much. She is my baby, she will always be my baby and I will call her that even when she is 30 and 40 years old. I will carry her until she is too big to carry and then I will cry because I cant. I ask her if she wants me to call her my baby and if she thinks she is my baby and she replies that she is and she knows that i ma not calling her a baby, but my baby. I love your article, it brought me to tears, because I know one day I won’t be able to carry her. They grow up too fast. From day to day we do not know what can happen and I might forever regret not carrying her that one time…

    1. One day she will really be a big girl & you’ll miss when she was your ‘baby”. 😉

  14. I miss all that, most here seem to have younger ones, but here is a biggie to cherish Learning to drive, driving them around.
    The talks you have, all the wonderful things you are part of, all the time you share. Dont waste a minute of being in the car with your kids, one day they will get their license. and it ends. Looking back on it, that seems to be the day the childhood ended.
    So carry you babies, lay down with them at night, tickle their backs, help them up when they fall. Cherish it all, it ends.
    But the day your child is grown, is also a wonderful day, you get to meet a fantastic young person. It begins again.