Whenever I see a mother and baby, I’m overcome with a wave of nostalgia. A nostalgia that totally distorts the reality of having a small person totally dependent upon you. And there is a part of me that sometimes wants to return to those baby days, even though when I’m in them, I spend a lot of time wishing them away. So I can get some sleep. And not wear a nursing bra. Clearly, I’m a lunatic. My youngest isn’t even two. I’ve done this baby lark three times. I should definitely know better. But amidst this insanity, it does give me a little perspective that I want to share with you new mums.
Rose tinted glasses.
Because, believe it or not, there will come a time, not so far away, where you, a new mum, will also feel this wave of nostalgia. You’ll romanticise what it was like. And perhaps even think about doing it again. Mostly, that’s Mother Nature’s devious way of trying to convince you to have another one. So the human race continues. She’s clever like that. Three kids later, I tell her to sod off and pour myself another gin instead.
Right now, of course, there’s nothing for you to romanticise. You’re in it. Well and truly. You’re sleep-deprived, emotional, and generally so totally knackered, that if someone tells you to ‘enjoy them whilst they’re young!’ or that ‘time will go so quick!’ when your 12 hour days are positively dragging on, you’ll (rightly) want to punch them in the face.
I want to punch them in the face for you.
Stop the noise in your head.
The thing is, once your reproductive years are over (in mind, if not also body) and you’re done with the baby phase, it’s a bit like wishing you were 20 again.
You wonder if you made the most of it. You sometimes wish you could go back (in some ways, certainly not in others). Now. I’m no fool. I’m not going to suggest you thank your lucky stars today, when all you want is eight hours sleep in a night, not a whole, bloody week. And I’m most definitely not going to tell you to enjoy your baby while they’re young. People who say that to new mums are psychopaths.
But what I am oh-so-gently suggesting is remembering how you feel about those times passed that you can’t get back. The ones that, back then, you might have wished away. And use those to maroon yourself in today’s moment. Don’t agonise about what tomorrow might bring. Whether your baby will sleep. If they’ll ever self-soothe. STOP all the noise in your head. The questions. The doubts. And just be. Smell your baby’s head. Marvel at their toes. If they’ve fallen asleep nestled on your shoulder, enjoy the warmth and close your eyes too. Go. With. The. Flow.
(Because phases pass and it WILL get easier.)
It isn’t forever.
Whilst you don’t need me to tell you that these baby days you’re in are relentless. Overwhelming. Uncertain. You might need to hear that they aren’t forever.
That one day? You too may turn into a nostalgic lunatic like me. And sometimes find yourself missing them. Whilst wondering where those teeny, tiny toes went.
Now. Isn’t that something to look forward to?