I’m evolving every day as a mother. So are you by the way. Unless you are a father in which case you’re doing the very same as a Daddy. I’ll be honest, I am not the kind of person who looks back with regret because truth be told everything makes sense in the moment. We do things because they make sense to us and we can’t grip hindsight until the moment has passed.
I was what some people might call a high strung parent in many ways. I wanted things done a very particular way. My way. Our way. But really, I was just a first time mother trying to navigate my way through this very scary new place. It’s a bit like walking in the dark but feeling as though you have to walk confidently to onlookers. It is hard.
I’m unapologetic about the way I’ve done things because it’s all lead me to this point. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t “calmed down” a little bit though. It’s not a conscious decision. I didn’t wake up one morning and decide to be more easy going. Far from it actually. Easy going doesn’t really exist in my world (apart from my husband who is so laid back he’s horizontal). I have noticed that I am a lot calmer these days. Like all things in life it’s been a case of learning on the job and confidence really does come with time.
I remember being so obsessed with sleep. If we are lucky enough to have a second baby some day I will definitely do this part differently. I won’t listen to a single person other than my baby. I’ll expect nothing and take the positives as they come. It’ll save me a lot of heartache and second guessing myself. He’s three now and the sleep has improved a lot but he’s still a member of the “not a sleeper” club. He has shares in the organization like. As time has passed we’ve found a rhythm that makes life manageable for us. It’s a flow that is ours and nobody else’s. A routine, that to a lot of people, might not make any sense at all.
I’m calmer now though. Calmer about what he eats, calmer about sleep and calmer about bloody house-work. Do you ever just ask yourself if your aim in life on this earth is to clean as much as is humanely possible? Is that going to be my legacy? No thanks. I had a chat with myself one day and decided that I was going to half the amount of cleaning that I did. Not to live in filth (because I can’t be dealing with that) but based on the fact that no matter how much I do, I end up doing the very same amount the next day. These days I cut my losses and do what is manageable but not at the risk of missing out on park trips and a cup of coffee in peace. That’s the good stuff. That is the stuff I’ll remember. Not the clean floors.
We’re lucky to have ourselves a “good eater”. To be fair now he really is brilliant. He doesn’t eat everything but he really does eat most things. To us it’s normal but it’s something that people tend to notice. It’s made me realize that so many people battle with food and their children. For them food is the very same demon that sleep has been for us. I had no idea. In my opinion we didn’t do anything massively out of the ordinary for Billy when it came to food. We’re a house of foodies and I’ve always been a lover of cooking. We also ate out pretty much from the moment I could sit down properly on a chair without being in pain (sorry, not sorry. Labour makes you sore). It was down to luck in some ways I’d say. I do think me joining Slimming World made a difference though. Billy was thirteen months and had about six months of purees, finger food and baby lead weaning-esque grub behind him. At this point I ditched all jars from our house because they were fattening. That’s the truth. I made everything from scratch and it made no sense to give little man anything different. So yes we have an eater but not a sleeper. I’d like to think we all get “one thing” so that the world can be fair and full of sparkly unicorns.
Sometimes it’s about taking stock and genuinely realizing that you are never going to get this time back. I’m watching my best friend mother her second baby these days. He’s a few weeks old and is the epitome of beautiful. She’s breastfeeding him and it literally takes me right back to the newborn days and I can’t quite believe they are gone. It’s all so short. So fleeting.
And then comes the hard stuff. The things that knock on your door when you weren’t expecting visitors. The really hard life stuff. That’s when you realize that it’s a waste of this precious life sweating the small stuff. The truth is that small stuff is standing there in front of you covered in yoghurt and asking you for a sloppy kiss because they “love you whole world”. And still, three years on, I am learning every day to calm down a little more. To relax a little more and to remember to thank the universe for the gift that keeps on giving. I am a parent and this is everything I’ve ever wanted.