OH EMM GEE. I don’ even know where to begin with this one. I have been a Mum for almost a year now and I still cannot believe that I have an actual baby – can I still call him a baby? He’s walking more and more each day now so I guess he is a toddler. That feels a little too grown up though, WHERE HAS THE YEAR GONE?
If you’ve been following me you will know that it’s not been the easiest of years, even though it has easily been one of the best of my life.
There’s been highs, there’s been lows – there’s been a hell of a lot of poop, puke and porridge mush all over our carpets, walls, sofa, us.
The first few months passed in a blur. Looking back it is if I was moving through a fog. A blurry with sleep deprivation, hazy with love over his scrunched up little features, fog.
But we got through it. We did it! It was hard, mine and D’s relationship wasn’t the greatest, but we turned a corner.
I stopped breastfeeding, which was emotional, so hard that I still feel sad four months on when I look back at why we stopped.
We finally settled into a routine. And I’m not going to lie, I think transitioning to bottles along with introducing solids helped with this. I knew when to expect naps and with these lasting from an hour to two hours I had a little slice each day that I knew was baby free.
Although this quickly filled up with cleaning bottles, prepping meals, putting in load after load of washing and all the other associated extra household baggage that comes with popping out a tiny human.
I felt like I had more time to myself, but similarly felt like I had lost myself a bit during the whirlwind months that preceded. That’s why I started writing this blog; I’ve always been a writer, carefully scribing my stories onto lined paper and annotating the edges with pictures from a very young age. Now the illustrations are photos of me in my pants, but the enjoyment is still there.
As for D and I we’ve gone from barely spending any time together and saying nasty things to one another when tired and grumpy to pulling together and becoming more organised which makes everything easier. Most importantly, we plan in family time, we plan in time for each of us to spend alone, and we plan in nights where the two of us sit on the couch and eat pizza together. We even snuck in a holiday together.
Watching R grow over the past few months, as he begins to understand more of the world and begin to explore it has been the highlight of the year. (Except for maybe the moment when he was placed on my chest for the first time). Watching him figure things out is incredible, when you see a child comprehend how to sort shapes, or match colours, or that to turn the tv on you point the remote at it is fascinating. Someone you created is learning because you are showing them the world. MIND BLOWING.
And scary because he knows (well almost) how to work the TV.
Seeing him take his first steps, wobbling like me after a few too many gins, filled me with pride. And the grin on his face as he stumbled towards me with arms outstretched was truly beautiful.
These tiny moments, these snapshots of a pure happiness, they make all the shitty nappies, the sleepless nights, the feeling of being overwhelmed, worth it.
Those last few months of maternity leave were the sweetest. We went for long walks, played in the park, built sandcastles, met friends for coffee and lunch dates, and were busy but happy.
Was I nailing this motherhood thing?
Because in the spirit of honesty it’s back to being hard again. I thought I was so organised and ready to go to work. Then the last few weeks of maternity leave flew by, and it was back to work with a bang.
I’m only doing four days a week though so I thought it’s not going to be THAT hectic. I’d done my KIT days so I had the desktop all set up, I’d refreshed my mind of all the systems and settings, met all the new faces, and organised childcare and travelling.
As always, the reality of motherhood is that you can’t prepare for SHIT.
I’m ok leaving him, I’m a practical person and know that I have to go to work. There’s bills to be paid, money to save, and most of all I love being at work.
But when I get back, see his little face for all of six minutes before he’s in his highchair, dinner is on the table, then its bath bottle and bed. Ouch. That hurts.
When we are up during the night, and its a bad night. I might relish the snuggles, and his sleepy little body melting into mine for a little while. But when it’s been three hours of waking during the night, when he shrieks every time you lower him into the cot, and you know there’s not chance of a sneaky nap the next day. Ouch. That hurts.
When he’s not settling at the childminders, and your plans of putting him in one day a week are scuppered. So he’s in for a few hours throughout the week now as well as his full day. Ouch that hurts the old wallet and my heart because I DIDN’T THINK OF THIS.
When you have to take a day off work for emergency childcare, and feel like you are dropping the ball all over the place. Yep that’s another big dollop of hurt.
Motherhood is really fucking hard.
But now I know, I know every day won’t be a shit storm. (Thanks spell checker for suggesting ‘hailstorm’, will bear that one in mind) And even when I haven’t seen him all day, watching him snuggle peacefully down to sleep, his chubby cheeks pillowed on his hand, dodies scattered around his head for when he inevitably loses the one hes sucking. That moment is worth everything.
Or when it’s 5am, and his tousled little bed head peeps over the cot then beams with a big goofy grin when he sees you. That’s worth the sleepless night.
We’ll get there. We’ll get into another routine, albeit one that involves me running out of the door checking my suit is free of yoghurty fingerprints.
It’s all worth it, every single day. Being a mum is THE BEST.