I feel like I’m in a bit of a dream, as though I’m watching the world revolve from somewhere else in the galaxy. On Wednesday Rosie will turn one. That means that I have spent 365 beautiful days with her – it feels like it only took a couple of hours.
Seriously, 10 months of pregnancy felt like 10 years, yet the precious and unique moments with my favorite little girl have gone by in a flash. It’s surreal. I’ve been a parent for a whole year! I’ve done nappies, sleepless nights, breastfeeding, upchuck and more for a year!
And in all that time, I’ve watched as the golden light of Rosie has weaved itself into my veins, connecting us and I feel as though my lungs have become bigger and my heart fuller as it takes in every breathe for this little girl.
Aside from my love for my daughter, I’ve realized so much about myself and becoming a parent was like a spring clean to my life.
Here are all the revelations and truths, some crazy and many weird, that I’ve learnt as a parent….anyone relate?
- You’ll never accurately know the cost of having a baby. It’s incredible how many products you’ll need that people don’t tell you about. Take for instance BREASTPADS. No, I did not think about these. Yes, there are re-washable ones but they are so rubbish. They don’t stay in place and they get so soggy it’s like stuffing a wet sandwich in your bra….so, that’s R80+ a month just for pads from Clicks/Dischem.
- Similarly, you don’t need everything. Just because one mum raved about a rocking machine doesn’t mean that your kid will like said machine. It’s sometimes best to wait until after your baby is born before you splurge.
- You can survive off of no sleep. But it sucks. Sleep deprivation can make you do crazy things and can have you wanting to swear at your little one (don’t pretend I’m alone on this hey!). On an empty energy reserve you’re a mess and your relationship with your partner is strained – you’ll still be alive, but it’s not living. Therefore, if you can have the opportunity to nap, do it. Save your sanity.
- Baby finger nails grow so quickly! What even is that? Why don’t my nails grow as quickly? Have you tried cutting a squirming kid’s nails? It’s trickier than Mission Impossible.
- I’m an easy mum. I honestly, thanks to Pinterest, thought I would want to dress Rosie up in frilly dresses and glitter more but honestly, I’d rather she was comfortable and wearing something that doesn’t require a mathematical degree to get on.
- I would really like to wear dresses, earrings and necklaces again.
- Breastfeeding isn’t easy. The image of a babe with breast on mouth, being watched by a doting mother is a lovely one…but sometimes it is so far from the truth. There isn’t enough description of the pain of breastfeeding that you can feel in the beginning – I was told via many different sources that if it hurts, you’re doing it wrong. That is terrible advice because it can throw new mothers into a blind panic. I mean really, WHY WOULDN’T IT HURT? Your nipples are suddenly the property of a very hungry and persistent little one who know nothing about gentleness of self-control. There’s gonna be some pain.
- Find your village and sow into it. I haven’t missed my family so much since having Rosie and I want nothing more , and it makes me tearful writing it, than to whip round to my folk’s place for a cuppa and to let them cuddle and behold their granddaughter. This is why I have tried to invest so much into the mums around me and I am blown away by the support of parents in Cape Town – the mum tribe is truly amazing! From my online mum bloggers tribe, to my church and long-standing friends – I am so grateful.
- It’s 2017 and people will still be tits. It blows my mind that people still don’t think before they open their mouths, throwing around crackpot advice or comment when no one asked for it. Then there are those who still defy your ruling as a parent, encroaching on your baby’s space with mouth-to-mouth kisses or dirty hands. “Oh but you’re being so paranoid” Damn straight! Do you know the effort, the pain, the energy it takes for a woman to carry a baby full-time? If you do, then you should know that I have every right to bring up my child my way. Please don’t tell me to chill out, please don’t try and condescend me or reduce the way I feel. My baby. My Rules.
- Revel in every small detail. It is so weird to see but not really see (if that makes sense) how much your child grows. I think back to when I could hold her in the nook of my arm and realize that those moments were over so fast. BUT, I don’t want them back because I am loving every new day with her.
- I am so much stronger than I thought. I can still remember every moment of my labor and every excruciating moment of my pregnancy and I’m so thankful for the strength. Being a working mum and being with Rosie full time has been a challenge (being in full parent mode all the time is draining) and thought I never doubted that Mr H and I wouldn’t be able to handle having her, I still feel massively proud of us.
- My time and energy are priceless. Being my own boss and looking after Rosie, whilst tiring, is so rewarding and has shone a light on what I need to be valuing in my life. I don’t have the capacity to entertain non-givers and any form of negativity. I have a child, I don’t need adult ones. In terms of work, I’m paving the way for Rosie’s future so what I do is incredibly valuable – it took a baby to realize that I need to stop selling myself short.
- There is nothing that feels as good as receiving love from your child. From 9 months, Rosie started giving us her heart and when she cuddles me I melt. She squeezes us, man it’s amazing, and when she really wants to give us love, she looks you straight in the eye and then leans in for kisses. Swoon.
- The world is scary. You will never notice the dangers of the world more so than when you have an innocent babe to protect. My mind is awash with all the battles that Rosie is possibly going to face – bullying, gender inequality, a broken heart, crushed dreams. I want to shelter her. I want to bear it all for her. I remember what I have had to face and I wish to take her far away. I know I can’t do that so I just pray for strength and to be the most supportive and encouraging mum I can be. But woe betide anyone who comes at my girl.
I know there are so many more magical moments that I could acknowledge but currently Rosie is lying, asleep, in my lap so I’m going to sign-off and enjoy these cuddles.