Shit! This time last year I had this inside my body:
And a year later I have this in my arms:
How the hell has 12 months flown by.
I cannot believe just how fast this year has gone. In some ways it feels like forever ago that I gave birth but then in other ways it’s like only yesterday that I was putting up the Christmas Tree whilst labouring. So I wanted to write down a few words to Josh.
We made it! The first year of anything is the hardest; motherhood, marriage, being an adult and paying the mortgage. And they weren’t kidding about motherhood. I love you more than anything in the world but bloody hell, you were the steepest learning curve imaginable. And the most worthwhile.
When I was pregnant, I thought I already knew everything about myself. Then you came along and just like that, I learnt a million things about myself, and motherhood, that I didn’t even know. I first realised I was a lot stronger than I gave myself credit for two days before your due date of arrival. You had clearly decided Hotel Womb was no longer for you. Not surprising really; you were bloody enormous and I (at least, at the time of writing), am quite small. Having run out of space you decided waiting two more days was bullshit and you were going to make a slow but early entrance into the world. But like the determined Mummy I am, I got the Christmas tree up ready for your arrival, I got that Tesco shop done (not before some old bloke in there sent me home cause he could see I was in labour) and I even managed to watch Emmerdale that evening, albeit whilst clinging on to the side of your fathers fish tank contracting in a vast amount of pain!
Within 24 hours you’d arrived. Dramatically, of course – like Mother, like Son, and a most wonderful surprise. I will NEVER forget the sound of your Dad’s voice saying “it’s a boy” when they lifted you out of me (you came out the sun roof – your massive head got stuck in my pelvis)! It was such a whirlwind. I will never forget the first night it was just you and me. Your Dad had to leave at a certain time cause of hospital rules. (FYI – You just decided to have a meltdown as I write this blog, even though I put you to bed half an hour ago. NOT COOL). Anyway, that night we were kind of in awe of each other. We didn’t know each other very well yet, but we fell instantly in love. That night, for the only time ever whilst you were a baby, I got you into bed with me and had you sleep on me all night. We cuddled up together, you had lots of milk and we sussed each other out. Turns out, it was like we’d never been without each other. I am so glad, despite the absolute fear of keeping you alive on your first night out in the big wide world, we had that first night just us, close, and cosy.
Of course the lesson learning didn’t end there. In fact it was only just beginning. One thing I did learn early on is that I fall in love with you more every day. But I have to be honest, the first few weeks were pretty bloody hard work!! When I was pregnant with you I thought I was prepared. Maybe I was physically, I had everything you could possibly need. But mentally, no way was I prepared; I had so much to learn. It was a headspin at times trying to work out why you would be crying, or how to feed you properly, how to comfort you, how to make you smile. But I got there, we did so together. It was one huge learning curve but we ploughed through it together.
I questioned myself a lot in the early days of your life; if I was doing a good enough job, if I was being the perfect Mum. But then I realised, there is no such thing as the perfect Mum. All you can do is your best, and to you, what I’m doing seems to be pretty bloody great. One thing I don’t miss about those early days I had with you is the self doubt I had. I’ve learnt that self doubt is toxic, pointless, and bad for you. And I had no reason for it because looking back, particularly at how I persevered with breastfeeding you (very bloody painful in those early days but we cracked it and are still feeding now as you turn one), I did a good job of looking after you in those newborn days, when I was so tired I didn’t know my arse from my elbow.
Our first year together has had its moments. Amazing highs, magical memories but also the realistic and often tough times as I learnt more about you and what made you happy, what made you smile that gorgeous cheeky grin. The first year of motherhood isn’t always all happy and wonderful; it can also include anxiety, sheer exhaustion and those moments when your child pees on you, poos on you or vomits directly into your mouth – you, my darling son, have done all three of these to me! I don’t think you’ve done any of those things to your Dad though – double standards! But the most amazing thing is that we’ve grown together, a little Mummy-Son team, and I’ve got this amazing little friend who I get to see change, develop, and grow every day. Yes you drive me friggin mental at times. For example today you’ve refused to eat hardly any food as you’ve got a tooth coming through, and you felt that having a meltdown at the garden centre when I had you and your friend Tabitha to look after would be ideal; you had the perfect jam packed café audience and used the size of the room to perfectly throw your distressed screams across the room to ensure as much attention (unwanted on my part) was given to us as possible. If only they knew you were having a shit fit just because I refused to allow you to eat my lipstick!
But these testing moments are often the ones that, by the end of the day, I can laugh about. Hell, these stories have enabled me to write this blog and often make others laugh. You’ve given me the most life changing year of my life and I am so happy, grateful and a better person for it. And now I’m excited for the next chapter. I’m excited to have a little boy holding my hand, a little friend with me everyday. A boy who can continue to teach me valuable lessons about life, and make me laugh everyday in the process.
I love you so much!
And on that note, here’s a little message to myself:
You did it Fi! You got through the first year. You didn’t you would when Josh was a few days old, as you sat crying and crying, wondering what you’d done, how you’d cope, overwhelmed at how life had changed. The road ahead will only get steeper, but in front of you there are many different obstacles that, again, you will learn to battle through. Because that’s just what Mummas do!
And you don’t need to worry about not being Supermum. You don’t need to be Supermum. You don’t WANT to be Supermum; she’s too perfect. She’s a fabricated 4×4 driving, Joules dressed day dream. You hate Joules – it’s an irrational hatred, but you don’t like it (you are determined to stick to New Look for as long as possible). And you’d never be able to park a 4×4. You don’t bake – why would you when you could whizz to Tesco (or Waitrose if you’re going really fucking crazy) and buy a ready made, absolutely delicious cake and kill two birds with one stone by picking up a bottle of prosecco to celebrate the fact you kept the kid alive for another day! You get cross, you lose your shit, you swear (under your breath…. most of the time), you sometimes eat chocolate orange for breakfast. You let Josh eat in the lounge and now the carpet is so foul you had to go and buy a rug to cover the stains. You let Josh to watch TV – sorry but frankly, where would we be without Iggle Piggle, his dodgy blanket and his slutty sidekick Upsy Daisy. And you know why.
Because that’s real life. That’s survival! And Josh worships the ground you walk on for it. Because he is loved such a ridiculously huge amount sometimes (cheese alert) you could actually burst!
So well done you. Good Job Mumma!