Friday, 5 August 2016


For what feels like a very long time now, I have been so mentally detached from all things 'baby'. Our good ol' trusty Perfect Prep machine that served us so well, is all boxed up and collecting dust in the attic. Meticulously sterilising bottles has become a thing of the past and I can't even recall the last time I had to nip into Mothercare for anything, and my bank account is delighted about that!

 Pregnancy feels like a very vague, distant memory- more like a surreal dream if anything, and when a friend asks for advice or product recommendations for their little ones, I am dumbfounded-absolutely clueless. If it wasn't for my Blog and the baby book I wouldn't know off the top of my head when all these changes even occurred- When did she started sleeping through the night? When did a bottle every three hours turn to one a day? When did she start knowing she wanted cereal instead of pancakes?! When did it become so normal hearing her talk and telling me what she did at Nana and Grandpa's?
  More importantly, how have we even managed this far?! I can't quite believe it, though I have the eye bags, and Stuart the grey hairs to show for it.
I literally cannot believe i'm about to write these words, but even the sleepless nights seem like a distant memory now, and it's only if you know me, or have ever read my Blog will you understand the enormity of that statement. 

....and i've probably went and jinxed it.

The transition from little baby to toddler seemed to happen so suddenly, without us really even noticing.
 One day we had a little baby who was dependent on us entirely, the next we had an independent little girl who just wants to run really fast and free, has no fear (...except loud noises!) She doesn't want to come in from the garden in the evenings for dinner and has learnt the word 'NO' .. throws some pretty impressive tantrums, and only ever in public.
But oh my- we are having the very best of times. 

I loved having a newborn baby, I really did. I could have watched Eva sleeping for hours upon hours. The scent... ah that smell of a newborn alone is enough to make even the least maternal of people, broody. I absolutely love how scents can evoke a memory, and every time I open a box of Fairy non-bio, some Cusson's Mum and Me 'Bump' lotion or a packet of extra sensitive Johnstons wipes i'm immediately transported back to those early weeks, and it makes me feel all warm and cosy inside.
Staring down at those pouty lips and kissable cheeks, the teeny tiny little fingers and toes that grasp and curl. I loved the  morning feeds tucked up in  a toasty bed watching tv while she lay milk-drunk in my arms. I was very much happy  in our maternity leave bubble. The world outside seemed to carry on at a fast pace, while we took it nice and easy, and only really had to make sure that we were washed, fed and dressed. If it was raining outside, we didn't have to go out. Visitors came and went, copious amounts of coffee and cake were consumed, and it really was a lovely little set up, and I honestly really would live it all over again if I could, and if some mystery benefactor could post a couple of grand through my letterbox. 
All that cake eating is expensive.

But at the same time, I found being a mum to a new born really hard. Looking back it was probably more emotionally if anything, and it sounds kind of silly, because now I can't remember my life any other way, but I definitely mourned the loss of my 'old' life. I don't think I was really prepared for things to change just as much as they did, and I sure as hell never read about  experiencing these feelings in any of my baby books.
 It took me a very long time to adjust to our new lifestyle and I remember nights feeling so exhausted, and so frustrated and not really knowing who I was anymore. I'm totally aware that just sounded as cheesy as a Dawson's Creek script, (Joey, Pacey- anyone??) but it's true. I know in my case at times I felt so out of the loop knowing that everyone else was out at work, or had busy schedules all week long, while this was the first time in my life I had so much free time. Sometimes it felt like too much time.
Of course hindsight is a wonderful thing and having being back at work for over a year now, if  given the chance  to take a nine month paid leave, I'd be out that door like nobody's business, you wouldn't have to ask me twice.

I look at my almost two year old and honestly can't believe how quickly time has passed by  and how much she has learnt and developed and grew in that space of that time. It's amazing to watch her little personality emerge, -bossy, but oh so sweet. She can talk for Britain, but soaks up information like a sponge. So feisty and independent, but i'll catch her eyes wander  from across the park looking for me, just to make sure i'm there.
And i'm there, i'm always there. I'll stand and give her a great big smile, even when inside i'm wincing at how dirty her clothes are because she's carried about  a stick she's found, in and amongst the trees, or  she's pulled her bobble out and is rocking the bed head look in public. 
But i'll put these thoughts to the back of my mind, because right now, it makes my heart so unbelievably happy to see her happy, no matter how muddy or scruffy she can be.

'Let them be little, 'cause they're only that way for a while. Give them hope, give them praise, give them love everyday. Let them cry, let them giggle, let them sleep in the middle. Oh.. just let them be little'

© A New Mum Without A Manual

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