New Year is often the time to take stock of your life, make resolutions for the coming twelve months and celebrate the past year. I was shopping for decorations today, because I’m having a party…a birthday party…a first birthday party…not mine!
My gorgeous little munchkin made her rather quick arrival after three hours of active labour at midday on New Year’s Eve last year. So it seemed an appropriate time to look back at the incredible changes that have happened in my life this year. It’s hard to think that three little letters - M. U. M - could change everything so drastically.
Being a mother is the most difficult, elating and contradictory role I’ve ever played. It is the hardest thing I’ve ever done – way harder than I thought it would be. Sometimes it sucked so much that I didn’t think I’d make it through the day. But then there were those moments, you know the ones, where I never thought I could be so happy, laugh so much, love so much.
I’m still learning - today she licked the cat - but if I could go back, there are a few things I wish I could tell myself.
The baby won’t eat, sleep or poop that way the baby books say she will. She’ll do everything her own way and in her own time. The baby books are a guide only, so stop googling shades of poo!
That brings me to Google. It’s going to be your best friend and your worst enemy. Definitely be informed and look up facts …but stop after three websites. After three websites you’re either going to be reading the same thing, or you’ll have completely freaked yourself out.
Getting out of the house will be an absolute mission. Packing the nappy bag for grocery shopping will be the equivalent of packing for a two week African safari…except I don’t think the lions in Africa projectile vomit on you. However you have to do it or you will go completely crazy.
You don’t really know what sleep deprivation is yet, and you will want to kill anyone who tells you they’re ‘tired’. You won’t recall whether you brushed your teeth some mornings. It’s okay – morning coffee covers morning breath!
Coffee. You will learn to exist on coffee and baby smiles. Just when you think that you can no longer soldier on, that gorgeous little face will light up with a toothless dribbling grin and from somewhere deep inside you will find the energy to play one last game of peek-a-boo…and make another cup of coffee.
Don’t believe anyone who tells you that your baby’s first smile is just wind. If they smile at you and your world lights up – then they smiled at you. End of discussion.
Friends and family will surprise you. You will discover some of the people in your life are the most amazing, thoughtful, generous and compassionate people you will ever know. You guys know who you are – I wouldn’t have made it through the year without you!
Finally you will realise you are a survivor. You will never be the same but this will be the most challenging and by far, the most rewarding year of your life…so far!
Happy New Year to you and Happy Birthday to my beautiful little girl!
Leave your own thoughts and stories about motherhood in the comments section below.
From waking every 3.5 minutes to feed to spending hours settling a wide awake bubba, sleep is probably the most talked about topic for new parents (actually make that all parents because toddler sleep can be almost as painful!). And navigating life with minimal sleep is tough (there's a reason why sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture!)
We're sharing our top sleep hacks for tired parents to help make the world a little bit brighter, even when you're running on empty.