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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. I carried my now 16 yo daughter until she was 5 or 6 and her daddy continued to carry her piggy-back to bed until her feet touched the ground. I still will wash her hair, lay with her, or any other request because one day she will be the mommy and these are the important things I want her to learn!

    1. haha!! yes, my husband carries ours to bed every night (up the stairs.) 🙂
      I agree with you! They are important!

  2. This has brought tears to my eyes. I have always been told and reassured we couldn’t have children. We, as in me. I even went to a fertility clinic. That’s where I was on 9/11 by the way. I was being told I could never get pregnant but could bring 8-10,000 dollars if I wanted to try!!! I didn’t have money like that. The doctor also went on to say I was too old anyway. Well after a few mothers days and a lot of asking God for a child I did have a baby!!!! I was 44 and now he is 7. I have cherished everyday with him and I think the sun rises and shines with him. I have always told him I want to carry him as long as I can. When he even mentions for us to do something together I am up for it. I tell him that I want him to always remember he came before the house and before anything else. That time when they want to cuddle, watch a movie, go for a walk and yes, be carried is so short. I hold him every chance I can and tell him often how much I love him. (maybe even a little too much). Oh how I already miss him being that little baby I could hold as long as I wished so I’m not letting anything come between “our” time. I love my son so much and thank God daily for him. Thank you so much for the blog.

  3. I agree. With my firstborn, I enjoyed carrying him until he was two. one day he just no longer let me carry him, he just wanted to run around himself. That was when I missed carrying him. Now I am a mum of three, the youngest 5 year old. Last year in winter, I was carrying my then 4 year old son in the stairs in a cold day, an old lady started telling me to let him walk himself and that if i do not let him be indepent, he will grow up to be a dependent person. I partly agree with her, still I wanna enjoy carrying him until he is too big. I even carry my 7 and 5 year olds to bathroom in the morning. That is a thing I enjoy, and who says I cannot 🙂

  4. I am an almost 60year old nana , I can manage a short piggyback or on the hip ride from bath to bed , physically I am not able to carry my grandkids to much ,especially the two older ones , but when I can I do , they also still sit on my lap and have a book read to them , I try the good old superman ride now and then but it is harder. There is nothing wrong with carrying your kids if you want to and can . My youngest almost 5 wants to be carried all the time but I can’t .

    1. My mom is the same way! What a great relationship you will have.

  5. This story was so touching!!!! I carried my Son as long as I could and as long as he would let me and wanted me to…then when they grow too tall or too heavy, we can always carry them close to our hearts where they started out in the first place!!! I loved him before I met him. I loved him before I knew him. I love him forever. That’s my boy!!!!

    1. Thank you. 🙂 I love that. I tell mine that, too… ‘I loved you long before I met you”

  6. Thanks for this post! Made me smile 🙂
    Glad I’m not the only one who carries my children around. My 4 year old is so tall and wears 6-7 year old clothes and people forget he’s still so young. It is getting harder now to carry them but I’ll always try to give them the what they’re needing. I’ll be sad the day they don’t want a pick up and are too big x

  7. My son is 4 almost 5 and I still carry him. My husband was in an accident in January and one of his goals of recovery was being able to carry our son again. He can’t do it as much or for as long as before, but he does it as much as possible. We are told all the time to put our son down. We have an only child – not by choice- and the day we can no longer carry him will be so so sad.

  8. I love this article so much. My daughter is only 11 months (next week!!), so I haven’t heard too much yet about carrying her, but I do get comments about “Do you pick her up every time she cries?” Um, yes. The day she stops lifting her arms to be picked up, I want it to be because a) she can ask, “Momma, pick me up?” or because b) she’s learned to soothe herself well enough that she doesn’t need it constantly. I NEVER want her to stop lifting her arms up because she thinks no one will pick her up. The very idea of that breaks my heart. Gah, even typing that makes me cry. So, all those judgy pants people can shut up. I’m’a hold my baby every chance I get!

    1. Oh so so sweet! Kids do what they see… I’m sure she is going to be a very kind, empathic little girl. 🙂

  9. Thank you! Thank you so much for this article! I carry my 10 year old boy, not everywhere or in public but when he first sees me he’ll lead into my arms. I don’t know if he does it for himself or more for me but either way I’ll take it! My husband does the same as yours, gets onto me about “he’s not a baby anymore” or “you’re going to hurt yourself” I DON’T CARE! I carry him because he wants me to, because I want to, because when he digs his face into the crook of my neck for that moment I have MY SON IN A LOVING EMBRACE, where he feels safe and loved!!! AMEN!

  10. Thank you! Thank you so much for this article! I carry my 10 year old boy, not everywhere or in public but when he first sees me he’ll lead into my arms. I don’t know if he does it for himself or more for me but either way I’ll take it! My husband does the same as yours, gets onto me about “he’s not a baby anymore” or “you’re going to hurt yourself” I DON’T CARE! I carry him because he wants me to, because I want to, because when he digs his face into the crook of my neck for that moment I have MY SON IN A LOVING EMBRACE, where he feels safe and loved!!! AMEN!

  11. I carried my children up until this last winter when I had a foot injury and then surgery. I have fibromyalgia and arthritis. They are 7 and 10 now and I can’t seem to get my strength back to lift them as much as I did. Perhaps it will never come back as they are 73 and 77 pounds. In spite of all that they are still welcome on my lap and are held when they need it. Yes hold them and carry them when they are in need. It will go too quickly and that love and support will be remembered.

    1. Oh no! I’m sorry that you have that, but I love your alternative. 🙂

  12. I have three kiddos. 6, 5, and 2. And I still carry them. There is nothing better than mama’s love to make them feel safe. My oldest is almost as big as me (I’m only 5’0”) but I still carry them anyways. The day is slowly approaching for me when they will no longer want me to. Beautiful article!

  13. I’d still carry my 18 year old if she’d let me. Just kidding, but I lay with my 11 year old at night and carry my 8 year old when he’s tired. My goal for my house is that the kids feel safe and loved. If that means I lay with them until they fall asleep every night I will or carry them because they need a bit of love. Despite my husbands protests that they are too old. Maybe they are, but they will grow up knowing they were safe and loved.

  14. That is what finally got me back into the gym and lifting weights. I was struggling to carry my four year old (and last child) around the house and up the stairs and thought, “No! This can’t be ending.” He just turned eight and you bet I carried him all the way to the car when he got stung by a bee last week. Thanks for the reminder.

  15. I love how you show love to your kids. Just a note to all who are mourning the fact that the cuddling and carrying are over. Once my kids got through the teen years, they have come back to being very close to me. My 31 year old daughter still lays her head on my shoulder and will lay up beside me on the bed and chat about life. My 29 year old son still wraps me up in big bear hugs which I treasure.