I cannot believe I am writing this blog post. If you would have told me 2 years ago when we were in the thick of our fertility struggles that I would be celebrating my baby’s first birthday I wouldn’t have dared to believe you, but here we are!
Alfie has just turned one. I have been his Mum for a whole year. The fastest, hardest and best year of my life. I have learned more than I ever imagined I would – about looking after a baby, about being a Mum, about my relationship with George, about juggling work and motherhood and so much more. Some days it’s gone smoothly and others it most certainly hasn’t but that is all part of the crazy rollercoaster that we are now on isn’t it?
After we finished our antenatal course we felt pretty prepared and ready to be parents, but oh no no no there is no end to what you will learn once the baby is here and ready to party. Looking back on the last year, there are a few things that stand out as big lessons for me, and here are my top 5.
- You can never have enough muslin cloths. We used them for absolutely everything – whether it was for wiping up baby sick on him or me, or the sofa, or the floor it was always handy to have a few in each room ready to go. Our washing line was always 50% muslins!
- Sometimes babies can been cuddled out. When Alfie would cry my immediate reaction would be to pick him up, to bounce up and down or walk around the room but occasionally what he actually wanted was to have some space and he loved more than anything lying on his changing mat staring up at his mobile. Every baby is different so trying everything at the beginning was key to learning what he liked and didn’t like.
- Tag teaming is essential. I have never been good at asking for help, but becoming a Mum quickly forced me to become better at it. George and I have always shared as much of the parenting role as we can. We alternate the early mornings, bedtimes and make sure each of us has “time out” whether its a few minutes or a few hours, when we need it which I think has been key to staying sane some days.
- Teething is the work of the devil. My goodness where did my happy, smiley baby go when that first top tooth was breaking through? I did not enjoy that week and I am not afraid to admit that I wanted to be nowhere near him at times. A lot of tag teaming is done during teething!!!
- It’s amazing how little sleep you actually need. Before having a baby, if I was up once in the night to go to the toilet I would be annoyed, but all of a sudden if I got two stretches of 3 hours I felt on top of the world!
I wanted to be a Mum more than anything in the world and I can honestly say it has been everything I imagined it would be. The thing I continue to find the hardest is juggling work around being a Mum. Two pretty full time jobs that both warrant a lot of energy and I am still learning through trial and error how to make it work but it’s a lovely problem to have and one I waited a long time for. Here’s to the next year, and a lot more learning as I go!