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My baby is turning one tomorrow, and in a sea of ‘When did this happen? ‘ and ‘Where did the time go?’ I am actually sitting down to reflect on the past year: cliches aside, it has been a pretty momentous year, filled with sleep deprivation, laughs, tears, rows, career changes, friends lost and newly found mum mates, and constantly being too tired to think straight.
So here they are, ladies: these are the five very important things my baby (I will call him that until tomorrow, I swear!) taught me in his first year:
- It’s ok to spend a day (or two…) doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AT ALL
I used to be the early bird who caught the worm: I was THAT annoying girl who had not only woken up at the crack of dawn but also either gone for a run and showered by 7am or cycled to work and on my desk by 8.
I had a planner with lots of activities scheduled for the day, and I was on top of things.
Well, the key is in the past tense: I used to be.
My baby, with his breastfeeding non-routine, and his penchant for sleeping during the day and partying all night, has made sure I had a fair share of duvet days, the ones I should really have had win my twenties but I was way to efficient to even consider.
Well there you go 20s, I spend my days mooching around my flat in my (stained) pjs. I am winning at life!
2. At some point you will tap in into unknown reserves of patience
If you had asked any of my friends or indeed colleagues whether I was a patient person just a mere 12 months ago, they would have LAUGHED in your face.
I was so impatient that I sed to think Amazon Prime was a joke at delivering goods!
Again, my baby has taught me to tap into my inner Zen, and really start counting on my breath.
Every single time I left him with daddy to go have a manicure or a blow dry in his first six months of life, I made sure I left the house as silently as possible like a skilled ninja. No such luck, he knew, he just BLOODY KNEW I was popping out and screamed his head off. Needless to say, I didn’t get a lot of pampering done.
But I did get a lot better at being patient and I am considering transcendental meditation. Again, I win at life!
3. You will know who your real friends are (and will cut off a lot of fake ones)
Suddenly those invitations you used to receive for cool and curated events start to dry up, and you are left feeling like a loner, in between puddles of your baby’s posset and the mountains of perfectly good food thrown on the floor for fun and games.
You will realise you didn’t have lots of friends like you thought you had, and yes, the realisation well and truly SUCKS.
What you will be left with though, is a bunch of really nice and close friends who truly, deeply care about you, and are willing to listen to your daily rants on sleep deprivation and baby-led weaning.
All I am saying is, treat those few friends really well and don’t forget their Christmas cards!
4. You will Become a queen of non-judgement
I will admit it, i was pretty judgemental before I had my son, I would often rock up on my high horse and definitely thoughts a few people were beneath me, especially women on planes travelling with young babies!
How wrong was I ! Obviously, karma being a bitch and all, it all backfired pretty spectacularly when my turn came to be judged.
And boy, have I been judged ever since becoming a mum: judged for giving birth abroad, for trusting my instincts in raising my boy up, not practising sleep training, choosing to breastfeed beyond six months….the list could go own.
I couldn’t care less what people do in their lives now.
Live and let live, everyone. My new motto.
I am too tired to care!
Last but not least, here is the real gift my baby bestowed on me (to the risk of sounding cheesy, but we all love a bit of good ol’ cheese):
5. My baby gave me the strength to finally trust myself and start afresh
I would have NEVER in a million years left the security of my desk in the City and go into the big bad world and pursue a career that makes me happy!
Caring for my baby gave me the confidence to think i could do anything if I put my mind to it.
It is thanks to my baby and the wisdom he gave me, first during the wonderful birth I had with him and then afterwards, that I have decided to focus myself in helping other women achieve an empowered birth.
So, thank you baby, Mamma loves you x
ps. I now run ‘Hip Mama Hypnobirthing’, www.hipmamahypnobirthing.com, and my mission is to empower women to have the best possible birth on the day, sign up to my newsletter to receive a free ‘Rock Your Birth!’ ebook. Sharing the love and all that.