It’s been over a year since my last post, and a lot has happened. So I thought it would be a good time to reflect.
Becoming a mum has been intense. I always knew there would be things I would be able to handle just fine because of my experience in childcare, and it’s definitely helped already knowing how to change a nappy, handle a baby, different techniques for sleep and calming. But there’s definitely a big difference between handling your own one baby and eight baby’s that belong to other people. Being able to have a break is a big advantage in daycare, half an hour to an hour of uninterrupted adult time, to eat without a little one whinging at you for attention, or trying to steal your food. Having other adults there to support you is also major. The best thing about daycare work was knowing that if you needed a break from a kid screaming, or they were being constantly difficult, you could put your hand up and get someone else to take over for a while. At home, no such luxury. And of course, the obvious one: sleep. After 8 months, I truly, truly appreciate the sleep that I was able to have after coming home from work in the old days. The blissful, uninterrupted peace and quiet of resting your head on your pillow and knowing that the only reason you might have to get up is if you need to pee. Oh, I miss that.
But, of course. There are so many beautiful things about having your own child. Watching them master new skills and develop their own personality. I love the way my little girl pulls faces and reaches out for me when she’s hurt or upset, or just wants a cuddle. She’s at such a great age now: really curious about the world around her, and getting better at moving herself around. She’s still little enough that sometimes at night I’ll feed her and she’ll snuggle into me and fall asleep. And knowing that I’m her whole world, it’s such a joy, and such a responsibility. I want to be my best for her. But some days I feel like I let that down a lot. I try not to blame myself or beat myself up about it, it’s usually those days where she’s woken up every couple of hours overnight and I’m just feeling like a total zombie. Only the essential’s get done on those days, and that’s okay.
We’ve also moved house. We’re home owners now, and that’s pretty massive. We never would have been able to if I hadn’t inherited from my dad. Something I never expected to happen. It’s an amazing weight off our shoulders. We’ve got a mortgage, but it’s cheaper than renting was. We have a house we can change however we want, and a place for our daughter and any future babies to grow up in. We’ve got a couple of kittens, now that we don’t need to worry about getting the landlords permission, or whether they’ll be an issue with a new landlord if we needed to move.
It feels like so many things have just fallen into place for us over the past year. It’s strange to remember how shattered and broken I felt before I found out I was pregnant. I’d managed to find a really dark place in my psyche, but thankfully I emerged, and surely will only be stronger and wiser in the future because of it. There will always be problems, and I’ve discovered new obstacles in life as a parent. But I’ve also found many new perspectives and avenues of support (both old and new). I trust myself and my body more now, having come through pregnancy and childbirth. And I am reminded each day what a loving and supportive partner I have, he’s an amazing dad and husband, I’m so lucky to have him in my life.