This weekend Harley turned one. It’s so scary how quickly time flies, it literally only seems a few weeks ago since we brought Harley home from hospital when he was a day old, and now he’s a little boy that climbs stairs and gets around the house in lightening speed.
My little baby is now a toddler and he has the most happy, chilled-out personality with a love of food, music and banging the drums (he gets that from his daddy). I couldn’t be prouder and whilst planning his birthday party turned me into a bit of a crazy list lady (God help my friends and family if we ever decide to get married) I loved the birthday excitement. It’s also made me super nostalgic thinking about the past year; all the firsts, the tiny outfits (although not too tiny) and the nights spent listening to Steve the Seahorse playing Frere Jacques so I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve learnt during my first year of motherhood.
Sleep is overrated. At least that’s what I tell myself. We’ve had real ups and downs with sleep along the way. For the first six months of Harley’s life he slept a lot but then we hit regressions, teething etc. Now it’s a mixed bag. One thing I’ve come to realise is it’s ok. Your body starts to adapt and you can continue on less sleep than BB (before baby). And if you get a magic eight hours sleep one night you end up feeling more tired the next day anyway!
Make the most of the cuddles. Because once they start moving they won’t sit still again. Harley was such a cuddly baby but since he’s been crawling he’s not so keen on sharing the hugs especially not during the day. If I could go back in time I’d cherish those cuddles just a tiny bit more.
You can’t even put it into words. It sounds really soppy but genuinely I can’t even put it into words how much I love being a mum. The pride, the excitement, the fact that somebody is depending on you for everything. Just like every heart and smiley face emoji ever.
Don’t get hung up on the milestones. Some of the pregnancy apps I was signed up to send daily/weekly emails detailing the milestones baby should be reaching. Don’t take them too seriously. Babies develop at their own rate and hone certain skills before others, it’s not worth getting worked up about as they’ll get there in the end.
Who cares about the housework? This was a hard one for me to let go off as my nesting instinct never really left but since Harley’s been mobile getting housework done has been so much harder but who cares? I’d rather spend my evenings cleaning the kitchen and the time with Harley singing, dancing and making dens, it’s so much more fun!
You become a social butterfly*. *Only in the day, I’m a hermit at night. Baby groups meant meeting lots of mums – don’t get nervous because everybody is in the same boat – and when we’re out at the shops people seem to flock to us asking questions like ‘how does he sleep?’ and ‘I guess he likes his food?!’.
The world becomes a different place. I see danger more and often worry about what will happen in the world as Harley grows up. It’s not anything I can control which freaks me out more.
It’s ok to admit you’re doing a good job. We’re so bad at giving ourselves compliments and always focus on the negatives, well I do anyway. At the end of the day I’ll focus on the only bad thing that happened that day, like when Harley cried as he was getting weighed at baby clinic or when he was a bit sick when we went out for lunch worrying that the people around me thought I wasn’t doing a good job. But it’s not that you need to focus on, it’s how you respond to it and soothe baby. Ignore the judgement. Mums you’re doing an amazing job so let’s not get too hung up on the small things and focus on the fact that you keep a little person fed, clothed and happy everyday.
I’ve absolutely loved my first year of motherhood, warts and all, and can’t wait for my second.
Aspiring Yummy Mummy. x
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