My little man turns one in the next couple of weeks and my attention has suddenly turned to the all important first birthday party…but who is it more important for I wonder – the child or the mother?
The child will look back on this moment in years to come through photos and stories, whilst the mother will remember this day as being a celebration for a number of reasons. Some of mine come down to the following:
- A year of unimaginable, unconditional love
- A year of leaps and milestones
- A year of understanding what it is to be a zombie and reliant on caffeine
- A year of leaning on others for support
- A year of acknowledging a lack of social life
- A year of knowing what it is to be a mother
I have also learnt a number of things over the past year of being a mother, such as:
- Reflux and uncontrollable continuous screaming is not fun to deal with
- Having a mother’s group for support is such as blessing
- Even an all-nighter as a uni student doesn’t compare with the lack of sleep a new mother has to deal with
- Breastfeeding IS painful and not always easy
- You should not feel like you’ve failed as a mother if you’re having difficulty with milk supply and your Doctor puts your baby onto formula to get the baby’s weight up
- Midwives can be very judgemental
- Having a health nurse tell you they’ll slap a ruler over your knuckles if you haven’t slept during the day by the next time they see you does NOT help someone who is already having difficulty with a reflux baby who catnaps
- Always trust your mothers’ instinct
- Nappy explosions will happen and yes you will talk to others about your baby’s bowel movements
- 13Health is a great hotline for those who live in Australia
- Accept the fact that your life is different and the number of social invitations you will receive is less
- Learn to pack the kitchen sink before heading out
- Having a clean house is not always possible, learn to let go…sometimes sleep is better
- You can do a lot one-handed
- Dummies are not necessarily a bad thing, even if you said you weren’t going to be ‘one of those mothers’
- You may know the lyrics to all the Wiggles songs but at least that CD in the car keeps the baby quiet
- The terms Igglepiggle, Makka Pakka and the Ninky Nonk do exist and you wouldn’t be without your ABC programming
- Don’t try to compare your baby with others, each baby will reach milestones at their own pace
- You will finally understand what your friends meant by ‘if you don’t have kids, you don’t understand’
- Having time for yourself may now mean doing all the things you didn’t get time to do during the day because you were looking after baby
- Don’t assume your partner can read your mind. Ask for help.
- It’s called parenting and not babysitting for a reason. Have your partner take the baby for an afternoon, so you can have some time out to yourself.
- Sleep training is not for everyone but if it works for you, don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise, especially when you catnapper has suddenly started sleeping through the night as a result of it.
One year and yet so much knowledge gained. I never thought it would be easy but eye-opening is definitely one word for it. I wouldn’t change a thing! My little one is just perfect and the apple of my eye. Happy 1st birthday for a couple of weeks’ time sweetheart.