Now don’t get me wrong, babies are wonderful.
Squidgy, cuddly, delicious little things that just want to be loved.
And rocked and shushed, bounced, burped, fed every hour, changed even more often, and at the end of a long day you’re treated to a long night of the same.
Ok, I guess it’s fair to say I found the first year of motherhood hard work.
Of course it was wonderful, but it was hard.
One of the things I found the most difficult was repeatedly being told to savour it. “Enjoy every second!” “It won’t last!” “Oh you think this is hard? Wait ’til they’re walking/talking/eating/answering back…etc.” “Babies are easy! Just you wait.”
I felt enormous pressure to make the very most of every second of babyhood because while it felt never ending at the time, I would look back and regret it otherwise. The looming idea that what was coming would be so much worse forever lurking in the back of my mind.
And here we are, marching headfirst into the murky waters of toddlerhood which I have been so thoroughly warned about. With two strong willed parents, we were always going to have a firecracker of a daughter and Lily is certainly living up to that so far.
But I have to tell you… I love it.
I absolutely love our determined, busy, clever little girl. We don’t walk, we run. Every other word is no. Occasionally having mulled it over a little it becomes a yes, but more often than not it remains a no. There are tantrums and tears. But the overwhelming feeling I have is of utter amazement. We play games, we chat, she makes jokes, just like her mother she’s happiest when making people laugh, and we have finally entered the world of make believe.
Pretend picnics, tea parties, driving cars, boats, spaceships and aeroplanes, we can be all sorts of animals in the space of a few moments and we have a hoot.
I could go on and on, but I won’t bore you. I just wanted to say, that if you’re new to motherhood and perhaps you’re struggling with a never ending night-feed as you’re reading this, you should know that… this too shall pass. Everything is just a phase, things will get easier and if you’re not loving every second of the baby phase, just know that it won’t last too much longer. Before you know it you’ll be chatting to a tiny person with thoughts and ideas of their own, they’ll be making you laugh and your heart will feel like it might just burst, because you get to be friends with this person for the rest of your life.
After a very wet trip to the park today, we came home and put our pyjamas on. Lily poured us some imaginary tea and even helped me blow on it, to cool it down.
To see her generosity and kindness shine through feels so incredibly rewarding, it makes all those sleepless nights worth every moment.
Take care of yourself, take it easy, no-one looks back on their childhood and remembers whether or not the ironing was done, be sure to ask for help and take time for yourself.
Just remember, everything is a phase, if you don’t like this one, you’ll love the next.