As we round the corner to the eighteen month milestone, I’ve been reflecting on so many things. Here are ten things I didn’t know, this time eighteen months ago:
1. How quickly time passes, and how much a baby changes in these early days, months and years. How quickly the soft wrinkly skin of a newborn turns to firm, rounded baby skin. How quickly a pair of blurry, unfocussed eyes become sharp and inquisitive. How quickly rosebud lips come together to form sounds and words. Sigh.
2. How many strong and real friendships I would make through this mothering gig.
3. How much joy a little life would bring. I mean, I knew it would be good, but I never imagined how RIGHT and how joyous each day would be, despite hiccups.
4. Blogs. I had no idea what a ‘blog’ was eighteen months ago. And I am supposedly Gen Y! Go ahead, laugh!
5. The weight of being a parent. I could never truly imagine the heavy feeling that comes with being a parent before I had my own baby. The feeling that makes you want to get everything right, that makes you worry about what-ifs, that keeps you awake at night craning to hear your little one breathing.
6. I didn’t know I would adapt to this new life so well. I didn’t know that I would happily move into a slower life, based more closely to home, without a blink of an eye. It was something that worried me before I had a baby – what I would ‘miss out’ on. The short answer to that concern is – absolutely nothing! Nothing that is better than what I have gained.
7. That I have an intense interest in food and health and wellbeing. Until that first teaspoon of food entered my baby’s mouth, I didn’t know that.
8. That I am passionate about women’s choices during pregnancy, birth and motherhood. Until being pregnant and giving birth myself, I had no – and I mean no – idea about the ‘options’ you have during this time and how ill-informed our culture is on so many levels.
9. How much I love my husband, parenting partner and best friend. What a guy! Having a baby has opened my eyes to the work that a parenting relationship takes. Constant discussion, shifting, compromising, reading, thought. To pick the right person to enter this venture with is essential! I count myself as very lucky.
10. I was going to write – that this path couldn’t be more right for me. But I think I knew that well before having a baby. I always knew I wanted to be a mother, this journey has just showed me the type of mother and person I strive to be. I didn’t know that having a baby would open my heart to my truest self.
I love you Baby.