At 28years of age I gave birth to my first child, a gorgeous, healthy baby boy. I still get emotional when I think about holding him for the first time. The midwife handed me this tiny crying baby boy. I knew instinctively he just wanted his mam and within seconds of him hearing my voice, he stopped crying and snuggled into me. That’s when I knew nothing would be the same ever again, this little person needed me, I was forever his Mum.
Often I hear people say they were nervous, clueless even terrified when they brought home their first born. Honestly I don’t think I ever felt that way. I’d experience caring for children prior to having my own so I guess I had a certain confidence. Lucky enough because some months after, my partner admitted he was absolutely terrified. He hid it well. I did however however feel overwhelmed by the lack of sleep for the first few months. When friends and family hear you’re pregnant there are always comments like ‘enjoy your lie ins while you can’, ‘welcome to sleepless nights’ etc. But seriously; I think I thought people were exaggerating! Early mornings I accepted & could quite happily deal with, but a seven I clock start when you were awake with the baby 5-6times that night!!….what! Anyway the good news is, it doesn’t last forever. At the time though it seems endless. There were mornings when my partner would be leaving for work, after I’d been up all night with the baby, and I just felt like bursting into tears! But by taking one day at a time, you get through it & you get better at anticipating your little ones needs. After all, no baby is the same. Eventually routine becomes your best friend. Once baby is in a routine then you and your partner can work out what routine best enables both of you to get adequate sleep. I use the word ‘adequate’ because that’s usually as good as it will get. Sleep ins are just a memory from my 20s! Speaking of partners, I honestly believe if you and your other half can get through the first year of your baby’s life & your relationship is still strong, I believe you will get through a hell of a lot. Sleep deprevation can make people seriously moody, unappreciative, unmotivated & in general not the best type of person to be around. Trust me I can be one of those people.
But then…something incredible happens. Your baby’s first smile, your baby’s first word, your baby’s first step, the first time your baby giggles at his own little fart…and you look at your partner and smile, feeling a mutual sense of pride! It’s those moments that you share that make it all worth while. As your little baby grows you begin to see the world through their innocent eyes. You get excited about little things all over again. Going to the park to feed the ducks, the playground, going to the zoo. Who knew it was hillarious when the animals munch on their food! Joy on your little ones face is the best reward they could ever give you.There is nothing more satisfying than gazing in at your sleeping baby every night, knowing they had a fun day.
When you’re a parent, that little person becomes your priority. From the time you wake up in the morning until you go to sleep at night they are on your mind, you even dream of them. Once baby is on the move, privacy goes out the door, there is no such thing as your ‘own space’. Days of just doing ‘nothing’ are no more. You actually wonder what the hell you did do before their existence. Sometimes I find myself longing for a little time to myself, just an hour or two. Yet the odd time I get it I find myself missing the little guy, looking at picture of him on my phone, buying something nice for him if I’m out shopping & excited to see his little face when I get home.
And then there’s guilt. I don’t know any mother who hasn’t felt guilty on numerous occasions. Whether it’s going back to work, cooking something handy for dinner because your exhausted, for making them cry when you correct them, for looking forward to their nap times so you can get some housework done….the list is endless. Guilt is something that I’ve accepted is going to be a reoccurring emotion that I will have to deal with forever as a mother. That, and worry, as a mother I have this constant niggling in the back of my mind. At first I thought it would fade when I got used to motherhood. However I’ve discovered it is something I carry with me wherever I go, whatever I do. If I go somewhere without my son I worry, is he ok, will he be looking for me, will those caring for him know what he needs. Deep down I know he is absolutely fine & anyone that looks after for him loves & cares for him wonderfully. I guess it’s just mothers instinct, to worry. If he’s with me, the worry is less, however always there. Is he getting all the correct nutrients? Am I discipling him enough or being too soft? It’s endless & something I’ve learned to address but control & be smart about.
So I guess thats a summary of some of the main things in my life that have changed since we had our little man. But the absolute love you feel for that child is so strong, and the joy they bring to your life daily makes all the guilt, worry & sleep deprevation so worthwhile. Life will never be as it was again, it’s one million times better!
Back soon, E xx