So as my little boy’s first birthday approaches (5 days to go to be precise ) I’ve found myself overwhelmed with different emotions…Where has the year gone? Am I a good mum? I’m asking myself so many questions and the truth is…I don’t know the answer to any of them. It seems like yesterday I was sat in the corner of the bathroom on the floor with a positive test in my hands shaking and freaking out (little did I know about all of the complications I was due to face with my pregnancy).
I blinked and my pregnancy was over, one minute I was being prepped for an emergency C section at 27 weeks…the next I was having a healthy 8lb 11 due date baby, and now he’s turning 1?! Where has the time gone? There is so much I’ve learned over the past year and I feel there is so much I’m yet to learn because nothing prepares you to be a parent, I read all the books, took all the advice I was given but yet I was still sat at the end of my hospital bed scared with not a single clue what I was doing, which leads me to what I’m about to say next…I’ve decided to share the best 5 things I’ve learnt over the past year.
1. There is NO such thing as “the perfect parent” – I can’t even begin to stress how important that one is. I was so determined to be this super Disney princess-like mother when I was pregnant, but the reality is that I’m sat here in my pyjamas after giving my little boy nuggets for lunch (and yes I did steal a few) and looking back, I’ve put so much pressure on myself to be like other mums. The truth is, I’m still learning…I still find myself messaging the other mummykind mums at 23:45 practically begging for advice to get Oliver to sleep (I have the youngest baby of the group so I always go to them for advice).
2. Things change physically, emotionally and mentally – this one is the biggest thing I’m still coming to terms with. My world has changed, and speaking as someone who hates change…it’s a big deal (even though Oliver is the best thing that has happened to me). I still find myself staring at my body wondering when my mummy tummy will go… I still think it’s pretty unfair that the only thing that has got smaller since having Oliver is my boobs, but there you go! Plus, nobody explains how tiring motherhood is, how you lay awake at night either worrying about your child/children or sit up trying to get them to sleep, making you emotional and mentally drained the next day…I’m admitting now, I’ve been that tired before that I’ve called a customer munchkin at work and found myself humming the peppa pig theme tune. Despite the exhaustion, with parenting comes the overwhelming sense of pride you get when you look at your child, and that moment when you just look at them and you can physically feel your heart bursting with love and pride.
3. Colic. Need I say anymore? The one word that will send shivers down any parent’s spine… I say colic, Oliver had reflux and colic so I’m not sure which one is the lesser of two evils. I remember being a new mum, scared senseless at 4 in the morning convinced something was wrong with my baby, why was he screaming? He was fed, changed, cuddled…the works. Frantically flicking through the pages of the parenting bible then a family member casually said one day “it’s probably just colic, it’s pretty normal”…I remember sat there thinking normal? NORMAL? Nothing about that is normal…but after taking him to doctors and an osteopath (who surprisingly actually helped with his colic) it was just colic and reflux, and it started to fade away once Oliver was about 4 months with the help of infant Gaviscon and ranitidine both prescribed by a GP. Just a tip for any parent with a colicy/reflux baby…Look up the tiger in the tree baby holding pose also carry lots of muslins. I remember having to apologise countless times to Sarah (one of the mummykind mums who is Oliver’s godmother) for the amount he would throw up on her, her sofa and her carpet.
4. Tongue ties. Ah this takes me back, It all started one day when I was round for a play date with Sarah and Olivia (Sarah is my go to for 99.9% of my baby problems…well all of my problems actually). I remember getting a bit flustered as Oliver kept unlatching while I was trying to breast feed and Sarah mentioned tongue tie, I saw a breast feeding advisor who confirmed it was a tongue tie, but this was at nearly 4 months and I was starting to give up on breast feeding and was put in “boobie bootcamp” as it was called, to get my supply back up in hope to get his tie snipped, but I was so exhausted from post-partum psychosis and other stresses that I found myself giving up the fight and reluctantly accepting the fact it wouldn’t get snipped…so my tip here is never give up that fight.
5. It isn’t all doom, gloom and stress. The past year with Oliver has been packed full of smiles, hugs and laughter. Every day I look at him and feel so proud…especially when I think that at 27 weeks he was given a 50% survival rate with a weight of 2lb 2oz. I look at him and know I’m going to have so many happy memories with him…of course, there are more tears and tantrums to come but for now in light of how fast this year has gone, I’m going to cherish every second I have with him and I now know what they mean when they say a mother’s love is unconditional.
I get called many things but Mum is by far my favourite.