Marla Sokoloff’s Blog: The Bittersweet Firsts of Your Last Baby

04/08/2016 at 04:30 PM ET

Celebrity blogger Marla Sokoloff is now a mom of two!

Since audiences first got to know her at age 12 as Gia on Full House, Sokoloff has had many memorable TV roles — Jody on Party of Five, Lucy on The Practice, Claire on Desperate Housewives — as well as turns on the big screen in Whatever It TakesDude, Where’s My Car? and Sugar & Spice.

Sokoloff, 35, played Dani on ABC Family’s The Fosters and also starred in a two-episode arc on Grey’s Anatomy.

She wed her husband, music composer Alec Puro, in November 2009 and the couple — plus pup Coco Puro — make their home in Los Angeles.

In March 2015, they welcomed their second child, Olive Mae, a sibling for 4-year-old daughter Elliotte Anne.

You can find Sokoloff on Twitter and Instagram.

Marla Sokoloff blog
Courtesy Marla Sokoloff

We just celebrated my last baby’s first birthday. To say that this milestone has me feeling a bit blue would be an understatement.

Olive’s first year flew by so quickly; it almost feels like a blur. I believe her early arrival started off this rapid pace and we really haven’t slowed down since the day she was born.

Even though I constantly reminded myself to be present and soak up every nap on my chest, every sweet baby coo, every delicious smile and giggle — it still doesn’t feel like I stared at her sweet baby face long enough while I held her in my arms.

In all fairness to the chaos of time management and the schedule of having two kids, these moments are a little harder to savor the second time around. If the baby is napping on you, the 4 year old is going to want a snack or a toy at the top of the shelf in the playroom — it’s just inevitable.

Marla Sokoloff blog
Stephanie Loren Photography

My last baby is about to be a walking toddler, and I know the days of her letting me hold her as she falls asleep on the same glider I’ve been soothing babies on for four years are numbered.

Of course there are complete joys in watching her become this precious little person with a personality that’s all her own, but the baby phase of both of my girls’ lives is a time I will always cherish and forever miss deeply. As the baby “firsts” start to fall away, I can’t help but feel a little sad that my babies are just not babies anymore.

The firsts are falling away and everything baby seems to feel like a last. This is the last time I will pack away sweet smelling newborn clothes. This is the last time I will feed my baby their first food. This is the last time I will happily weep watching those first wobbly steps.

I will obviously get to experience these moments again through my friends and family’s children, which is also such a joy, but this last first birthday was the last time I will stand next to my husband, and proudly watch our 1 year old take her first messy bite of cake. I am clearly needing some more time to recover.

Marla Sokoloff blog
Courtesy Emily Brown

My husband sees this inevitable child growth as a good thing (not sure what HIS problem is) and keeps reminding me that soon the pacifiers and bottles will be gone and our family of four can move out of the baby zone and into the adventure zone. You know, the zone where you don’t have to change diapers or worry about nap schedules. He seems pretty ready to say goodbye to the diaper bag and hello to life with kids that talk and walk and have no desire to be swaddled.

I understand both sides — early on, we made the decision to have a family of four, not a permanent nursery filled with babies — but I guess I’m just having a little more trouble wrapping this part of life up.

Of course, I too, am loving every second of watching our daughters grow into these adorable little people, but I wasn’t prepared for how quickly (seriously, I blinked twice!) their infancy was going to pass me by.

All of this being said, I really love our foursome. I feel complete and whole when I look in the back seat of my car and see those faces staring back at me. Even though my heart was heavy as I gave away my maternity clothes, I have no desire to be a permanent pregnant person. It’s the perfect number for us and I can say that at this moment*, we are set. (*Covering my bases here in case my words come back to haunt me.)

More from Marla’s PEOPLE.com blog series:

Marla Sokoloff blog
Courtesy Marla Sokoloff

These sweet sisters share a bond that simply blows my mind every day. During my pregnancy, I was so worried about how Elliotte would feel about having a little sister and how it would change our household. The change was truly the best thing that could have ever happened to us.

Olive was and is the perfect addition to our family and completed us in the most magical way. Elliotte is such a loving big sister; she truly cares and worries about Olive constantly, and yes, I know that the sibling rivalry will kick in at some point. But for now, I’m relishing every second.

I also feel it’s important to mention that I know just how lucky we are to have these two little ladies. I know there are so many families out there struggling to have kids of their own, and I just want to acknowledge that every single day I think about you. I’m truly sensitive to how difficult your situation is and how fortunate we are to have our girls.

I suppose all of these heartaches and joys are part of the process of watching our kids grow, watching us grow. It’s equal parts beautiful and hard for me because it’s really showing me how life just moves at lightning speed and before I know it, these children of mine will be full on adults.

Marla Sokoloff blog
Stephanie Loren Photography

My pediatrician, Dr. Peter Shulman, once said something to me when Elliotte was a screaming 6-week-old baby with severe acid reflux that truly resonated with me. He said, “The days are long, but the years are short.” Man … was he right.

I am blown away that the years of being in the trenches of new motherhood and newborn life are behind me. I’m done. I did it. I feel accomplished. I feel proud. I feel like crying. I feel like I need a nap. I feel incredibly lucky.

Parents, do you relate to this feeling? Was it hard for you to say goodbye to the baby phase or were you ready? Really looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Find me on Instagram @realmarlasok and Twitter @marlasok.

Xo,

— Marla Sokoloff

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Showing 35 comments

thefestivechick on

Cute Kids!🙂

guest on

What beautiful daughters!

Susie Q on

FLIES BY!!! Understatement of the century. Just celebrated my twin daughters Bat-Mitzvah’s. My oldest and my youngest – all at once they are ladies. So bittersweet. I have tried, like you, to enjoy every moment but I still feel like I blinked and here we are with teenagers. If I could push the rewind button I might, I might not. There are far too many great memories I’d have to erase. However, I do agree with your husband. Travelling and adventures are so great without nap schedules and diapers.

Kristin on

I’m definitely feeling a mixture of emotions now that my second baby’s due date is approaching. I’m feeling sad that this may be my last baby, but I’m looking forward to the fun years ahead. They grow so fast it’s scary how time flies.

rachel on

It goes by so quickly! I was blessed with 3 kids in my 20s. I wanted a 4th and was unable to conceive in my 30s even through IVF. I think one of the hardest parts was not knowing that all of the “lasts” were with my 3rd child. I wish I had known and I would’ve clung to those “lasts” even moreso. I just always assumed I would get to do it one more time. Cherish every moment.

kelly on

If you are lucky like I have been, your girls will continue to want closeness past high school. They will snuggle up in your bed and ask for a tickle, massage, and they will divulge their secrets. Be aware of that time that they come to you and share their secrets. That time and place will be your place to share going forward. They will feel very safe in that place if you don’t judge them and let them be.

Elizabeth A. Genge on

O.M.G. but Yesssssss!!!!!!!!!

I can still recall the white/pink polka-dotted gown I wore when we welcomed our youngest, a girl who just this past Wednesday turned nine. I remember, with crystalline clarity, the little hand of our oldest child, Mia, which popped out from her newborn swaddle, which then rested on top of her fuzzy newborn head. When I first laid eyes on her, I honestly could not believe something that perfect could emerge from my husband and I. While I was still taped down to the operating table, having just gone through a C-Section, I turned my head and saw my husband cradling his newborn first child, just staring at her, not saying a word. I can only imagine what was going through his head.

Mia is twelve. She will enter middle school in the fall. She needs to wear little tank tops under her clothing, lest some leering pre-teen boy comment about her burgeoning chest (hardly much of anything shows quite yet!) Corinne, our youngest, is in such a hurry to start wearing a bra. She walks around with “The Care and Keeping of You” book (American Girl) tucked underneath her armpit, so eager for her little tiny body to start sprouting teeny, tiny boobs. I, as you can imagine, am in no hurry whatsoever.

I too am having to learn how to embrace every little place these two gals are in. I know they will be grown long before I am ready.

It moves at lightning warp speed. All you, me and all the other mommies out there can do is hold on tight!

Cheers!

Elizabeth

Lex on

Your post describes to the T exactly how I’m feeling right now. You couldn’t have described my situation better. My husband said exactly what your husband said. My daughter is 9 months and my son 2.5 and your last paragraph made me cry. I’m still hanging on to my breast pump and I don’t even know why.
Thank you for making me realize I’m not alone.

Jen DC on

@Elizabeth: OMGosh, you so described my sister and me at that age. I, the older, didn’t really have an interest in bras, but my SISTER was burning, yearning for any hint of activity in her chest area. I couldn’t quite explain to her the constant aching of everything, and I don’t think she would have believed me if I had known enough to recognize it for what it was.

Love everyone’s stories; very sweet.

smpalesh on

Elizabeth – That was a seriously disturbing post. What kind of mother posts on a public forum about her daughters developing chests? More than likely some sick freak hoping to get off on getting women to start discussing their daughter’s development. I have two daughters, 10 and 13, and I guarantee no mother is going to post that kind of a comment.

Christina on

Thank you so much for writing this! I coincidentally ran into this article literally on the day before we are scheduled to deliver our second child. It’s so nice to hear someone normalize the struggles of a mother. This was also a reminder to slow down as much as I can. I know time will roll by very quickly. So thank you for writing this!

Maria Rosa Herrera on

omg you made me cry, i feel like i wanna have another baby just to feel it all over again but i cant we are four as well, ill try to enjoy every single second with my kids they grow so fast , i feel im missing every day by cleaning, preparing food, theres no enough time when you are a mom, and thats not fair.

onemom on

So many women can relate to your post, thanks for sharing it.

JessinSeattle on

Look up “The Ache”. There are so many stories like this. Mine are almost 15 and almost 8, but I know exactly what you mean. The ache is real.

sharon on

I have same feeling with my son like you and I think your children are very cute.

Kimberly on

Awww adorable children!! I personally feel that there is more of a bond between same gender siblings, I have two sons and they are close, even more so as they are getting older. It’s nice to see that bond. It looks like these girls will have a close bond as well.

Kimberly on

Marla it certainly is normal to feel that ache, I know sometimes I truly miss the baby stage as well. I ask my husband can we adopt and we have an older son in Hs and a 12 yr old! It is nice seeing your children grow into young adulthood and beyond as well and to see the bond they share. Your girls are absolutely beautiful!! 🙂

Erin on

What gorgeous girls!

alissa on

Yes many people can relate “the ache” you had, you’re not alone. Glad you’re doing good now.

Carol on

I am reading all these posts and tears landed on my phone. I too am a mommy. So true. Try and enjoy all those moments.

marie on

When my 3 kids were young, I thought they will never grow up, now they are in their 30’s, boy does time fly. I miss the days when they were babies.

one mom on

What a lovely post.

MJ on

What a beautiful family and such gorgeous daughters – the baby is absolutely precious. Her comments are right on, I am sure every mother has felt the same way,

Jocelyn on

I can relate very much. I am in this stage right now with my youngest of three girls coming to her first birthday in a couple of months. I went through all the clothes she has grown out of and was a bit sad to realize that the baby days are over for me. They went by so fast but I also look forward to the days when baby clutter is gone and they are little more self-sufficient.

Nicole on

I love reading her blogs. They are always so honest. She has such a beautiful family. 💖

Sandra Lindsay on

I SO miss my babies! I remember staring at my baby while rocking and just telling myself to soak it in, cherish it so much & I did! But yes, the years go by fast. Now I look forward to one day holding a grandchild in my arms!

Anonymous on

“The days are long, but the years are short” is the understatement of a lifetime. We were just reminiscing with our kids this weekend about some of the cute things that they each did when they were toddlers. The older ones are now 20, 18 and 15. We still have our baby but even she is now 10 and starting middle school next year.

Time flies and you can’t get it back. I found myself anxiously awaiting all the firsts with my first and then wishing I could somehow slow everything down with my last. It was hard for my first born because she looked at it like I loved my youngest more. It wasn’t until she was older and I actually explained it to her, that it was the last of every first, that she really understood. Now, even she, has really started cherishing the last of the firsts with her baby sister. Needless to say, the youngest is reaping the benefits here. lol.

Monica on

I definitely understand! My girls are 8 and 6 and it kills me that my youngest is almost done with Kindergarten! I miss my babies. I wanted a 3rd but my husband’s exact words were “You are welcome to have as many kids with your next husband as you want.” so no go there. Of course in a few years with 2 hormonal teenage girls, I am sure I will be happy there are only 2! My only hope is for grandbabies one day. Sigh…

Vanna on

Yup such an honest post, kudos to you.

Anonymous on

I always love her blog entries, but am not a huge fan of this one.

I totally get “the ache!” I’m a mommy of two young girls, and am about to have my (very likely) last baby (boy.)

I cried a thousand tears every time I thought it was the last time I’d breastfeed, the last newborn diaper I’d fasten, etc.

I still cry at possible lasts.

But… I don’t love the suggestion that having more than 2 babies equates to being “a permanent pregnant person.” She mentions that a couple of times.

Perhaps she’s trying to talk herself out of the emotions she’s feeling, but she needs to realize that it’s ok. It’s ok to decide to hang it up after two, but it’s also ok to reevaluate your feelings after having a baby (or two.)

It’s fairly common to naively pick an arbitrary number of kids to have when you get married, but I know almost no one who held to that number.
Beautiful little girls!!!!

Anonymous on

I just had my first child at 41. I didn’t think I was able to have children but miracles happen. Although I would love another with my age and financially its not possible. My daughter just turned 2 months and even though Im happy shes a healthy growing girl, folding up her newborn clothes that no longer fit made me tear up. Beautiful article Marla. Your daughters are beautiful, and even when they are grown they will always be your babies!🙂

Jenny on

I am not a mother, but in true honesty why is it that most people only want 2? I am one of four and I know that the bond I share with my three sisters is something no one else has. I want the same for my kids(one day) I want them to have more than one sibling to connect with. Thoughts?

Maya on

Thank you for writing this beautiful post…

I can relate to EVERY. SINGLE. WORD. you have written. I Have a 5yo girl and a 2yo boy and I feel exactly the same. Except for that I don’t feel complete and I’d love a third one (my husband doesn’t, so I guess I have to deal with it.) Me too, I try to savor every minute I have and try to remind myself everyday how precious they are. I try not to complain about everyday issues, but be grateful and enjoy life with them. When they will be 18 and leave the house it won’t matter anymore that they didn’t sleep through the night until they were 3yo. I try to live my life from day to day. On my littles ones first birthday I couldn’t stop crying tears of joy and from feeling blue.

Your girls are gorgeous! Wishing you all the best for your family!

Sarah on

This whole article hit it right on the head for me. I have my two babies and we are through the baby phase as my last baby, is three and doesn’t want Mommy to rock him anymore and when I hold him, he tells me that he isn’t a baby anymore and wants to get up and play.

I know we are done, we have our two babies that are my whole world but as you realize that your babies aren’t “babies” anymore and you wont have those snuggly newborns, it’s a hard thing to process. Yes, sleepless nights are hard, teething is horrible and you function on no sleep and coffee but its a sad feeling as they grow up and you realize how fast time flies when you have these amazing little nuggets of love and light in your life. As they grow, things get easier but sad at the same time that they are growing up so fast.

Thank you Marla so much for saying what many mothers are thinking.🙂

West on

I love how you have placed your words , so very thoughtful and true . At least true for me . I feel very lucky to be the mom of two boys that are now past the baby stage . The thing is though as they grow and become more independent they still need mom and dad . And it’s awesome to be that parent too . 🌟

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