It’s been just over 3 weeks since Parker turned 1 and I felt like I should take the time to reflect on the year that’s been.
When we first found out we were having a boy I was so nervous. I have 5 sisters and 1 brother so growing up it has always been a predominantly female orientated household. I wasn’t sure I was ready for changing boys nappies and dealing with all the boy stereotypes I have perceived over the years. Sports and the thought that one day another woman will wisk him away and make him a married man (yes I’ve thought that far ahead lol). How would I cope?
Well as soon as he was born all those worries left my mind. The most important thing for us is he is safe, happy and healthy.
In fact a lot of things left my mind when he was born and it was a real moment of honesty and self reflection where I learnt who and what mattered the most to me. It’s amazing what a reality check having a baby is. You really just have to go through the experience to understand what I mean. Those things that bothered you before don’t matter any more. The birth of our son was the rebirth of my sense of self. I was someone’s mother. Is there anything more important?
The first few months were amazing and challenging all at once. You can never truly be prepared for what’s to come. Between being completely overwhelmed with responsibility, my troubles breast feeding and other stresses in my life we got through. I’m so grateful to have such a supportive partner who has helped me through all the ups and downs.
Looking back Parker was a relatively good sleeper in the beginning and even though we had (and still have) our rough nights now I would say that we’re still pretty lucky in that department. Mind you, the nights that aren’t so good…really aren’t so good. I can understand why they use sleep deprivation as torture. It really messes with your brain.
People always said to me in the beginning ‘Cherish it whilst you can because they don’t still little for long’ and I would be like yeah yeah yeah. Well now that I’m on the other side of that I can totally agree and urge others to do exactly that. Cherish every single moment. Even when it’s 2am in the morning and you haven’t slept and this brand new baby is screaming and you don’t know why and the only way you can get them to sleep is tie them to yourself and pace for hours and hours just so they can rest. Yes those times are trying but you will miss them.
We went from a lovely little newborn who would just stare at us for hours (we seemed to of skipped the cuddly sleepy during the day baby) to a baby that rolled, army crawled, crawled, started solids, grew teeth, started to pull himself up and then started walking all in the blink of an eye. We now have a giant toddler who eats, poops human poops, laughs, throws tantrums, cuddles, claps, shares his dummy and comes and sits on your lap to read a book. How did it happen so fast? More importantly, how did we survive?
I think one of the most important things I have learnt along the way is to stop listening to other people. Stop googling. Stop comparing yourself to others.
Yes that sounds harsh but you can only take so much advice from people who haven’t had kids, or their kids are 25 (yes you can offer some valuable been there done that knowledge but some of it is a tad out dated sorry) or ‘those people’ whose kid did everything way before the average age. Wow your kid can tap dance and juggle whilst singing the national anthem and they’ve only just turned 1? Good for you.
Parker was an early crawler and an early walker (apparently) but I don’t try rub that in people’s faces because you know what? He doesn’t say any words yet (although I swear I heard him say ‘oh shit’ the other night lol). Some babies I know are babbling away and saying plenty of words and that’s great but I’ve decided not to stress because all kids develop at different rates. Parker communicates in his own cheeky little way and that’s ok by us.
Just when you think you’ve got this parenting thing sorted something will change and you have to readjust all over again. Like how all of a sudden your toddler has decided they will on have one sleep a day. Or they won’t eat their dinner unless they get to use the spoon themselves. The best thing to do is go with the flow. In the early days I threw all strategies and text book schedules out the window and listened to my child. Call us crazy but he calls the shots and it’s honestly made life a lot less stressful then trying to implement routine and dealing with hours of resistance. Yes we’re team attachment parenting all the way here and it’s worked great for us.
In a years time I’m sure life will be completely different. A two year old will be a whole set of challenges and adventure. I will embrace it and learn from it. I will remind myself that it just goes so fast and it is time you will never get back so I will make the most of it. I hope you do too.