About 2 years ago one of my closest friends came to visit and as we walked around a lovely National Trust House my now husband told her that he wanted to have a child with me, but that I didn’t seem to want to. My friends reaction was to turn to him and exclaim ‘really, she’s goes mental when she has a baby you know’.
Although there was a little tongue in cheek to it when it was said, it is true that when I had my daughter I did somewhat struggle. For me, the baby stage of having a child is quite frankly the hardest. It’s particularly intense and in my experience my hormones go nuts. It’s also fair to say that having a baby is somewhat at odds with the fact that I like predictability and order to my life. Finally, there is the simple fact that I need my sleep.
So, as Finn moves past the three month mark I find myself inevitably reflecting on how it’s been this time around…
1. I definitely do not do well without sleep. I get emotional, snappy and generally a bit miserable. In short if I don’t get enough sleep I do indeed go a little … er … mental. This has not changed from when I had my daughter but this time I’ve been more aware of it and much more open about it.
2. I’m a sharer – probably a bit too much. I’m really not one for pretending and so when asked how things are I really do struggle to do the ‘yeah fine’ line and instead tend to dive headlong into how knackered I am, how hard work it is and whilst Finn is just amazing – I really can’t wait for him to be a little older. Sometimes I really do fear that people are getting a lot more than they bargained for or wanted.
3. I’m a wimp. I truly thought I was from the school of tough parenting but alas it turns out that I am a total wimp. Listening to Finley cry makes me feel like I’ve been punched in the stomach.
4. I’m a joiner! I have started going to a couple of regular baby groups and already started booking things like music groups for when Finn is older. I simply love the contact with other parents, the easy entertainment for Finn and the cup of tea that’s offered!
5. I cannot understate the joy I am getting out of being Finn’s Mum. Chatting to him, seeing his smiles, watching him roll over and play, listening to his coo’s – literally every single moment like this makes me incredibly happy. Sadly Ellie had colic when she was first born and that definitely impacted on my ability to enjoy our first few months – this time around I feel lucky that Finn is generally a happy little baby. I’m less keen on the fighting to get him to nap and night time waking for comfort but hey – you can’t have everything and we’re working on it.
6. I’m really conscious of the milestones that come and pass as time passes – and I’m determined not to miss any of them. For Finn it’s the obvious things like – the first time he smiled at me, the first time he rolled over and as I look ahead – when he starts solids, when he starts to crawl and so on. For me it’s been things like – when I could drive and stop the medication after the emergency c-section, when I could fit into some of my old clothes, when I finally felt comfortable enough to bin my post c-section big pants! All little steps but all important milestones for us both – for me because I feel like I’m getting back to my normal and for Finn because since we aren’t having more children these are things we will never get to see and experience again.
So there you have it – my friend wasn’t wrong about how tough i find the baby stage, but I have to say that even she has since commented how different I seem this time around. There’s simply no doubt that whilst I’ve definitely had melancholy moments they have been very much in the minority across our first 3 months.