My mind is buzzing right now with all all that I would like to share – diving down to try and gather all the precious little details and then soaring up to try and grasp our new vista picture that’s grown over this special chunk of time. How can I put it all into words?
What really would have helped is if I’d written more frequently. Perhaps, Duh! It has been 7 months since our baby girl arrived & I last wrote… I wasn’t even trying to be sentimental and stay in keeping with my favourite number.
What they say is true. There is very little spare time with a baby in da house. All those fellow freelance designers who reckon they can pop out a design or two… ya, with your foot, If your busy baby doesn’t daytime sleep and bottle feeds! Another reason why ‘breast is best’ – in naughty I jest – but I’ll paint a simple scenario and when I finish, you are entitled to think I’m pretty simple too:)
In the beginning, whilst feeding our bug (cradling her in my one arm with my other hand holding the bottle), I tried to take a much desired sip of my lukewarm caffeine. Like a proud pro, I propped the bottle up with my chin, reached to the side for my coffee with my now free hand and brought it towards… um, my occupied chin? So ya, you need to design with your feet and drink with your ears… (and probably also best to leave coffee consumption for solo moments sans baby). Mind you, I have learnt to open cupboard doors with my forehead, move furniture with my toes… AND I can achieve quite a productive feat in those little stolen moments while eyelids flutter in dreamland. Like a stealth on steroids. I dont even know what that means but I’m hoping that you are getting flashes of a blue & red fluttering cape… and ofcourse awesome golden flowing hair? These grab-the-gap-supa-moves are often motivated by whether I could be so lucky as to fit in a quick shower after the 1 trillion bottle / burp cloth washups and now the latest addition of healthy baby food planning, steaming & puree-ing. The luxury of touching up unintentional ombré highlights is next level for me… right up there with visiting the alps!
So where does a therapeutic blog entry fit in when I have a very kind, but tall pile of baby DIY books gifted to me…. and the feeling (still) that I really should fully read one of them… because what does a girl know, who only got 7 hours notice to baby’s arrival? So I took a moment before I got swept along and identified (by the rate of my heartbeat) that I would most definitely get overwhelmed if I attempted all the things that I ‘should’ do & read. But more than that, I realised that I would also need to shelve some of the things that I love doing too… in order to be present in the moment with my baby. Its kind of like going on holiday and taking the most incredible photos of every sight visited, which will no doubt help with etching the memories… but with sad eyes you realise afterward that you only really have pixelated visuals because you didn’t just stand there and enjoy the smell of the blossom trees underneath the Sagrada Familia.. or just sit on the park bench, watching the Spanish locals express their culture – the fullness of what makes a moment special. Like a tourist on holiday, we often want to fit it all in, see it all, tick the boxes, read the guide books, snap the shots… and then the holiday is over and your baby has moved out of home. Ok, I know I’m being a bit dramatic here but there’s definitely some truth né?… and I could feel the pressure to keep up with certain exhibits which required doing and not just being.
So I started on my momway by sending thro some rather clumsy sms’d photos to my sister, who has a 6 month mothering head start on me. Like, photos of an earbud poised, ready to clean baby’s umbilical cord and the words “cooks, am I doing this right?”
We also had some serious error and error first baths… where I frantically flipped through my Miriam Stoppard book to the ‘how to bath a baby’ section…. It felt like I was reading a recipe book with all the pots & pans out… and a scAreeeeming baby who had just pooped & widdled on the bed spread (not the most err, tasteful analogy combo, sorry:) Next was the desperate port of CALLGRANNY.
So what I’m saying is that it’s been very much learning as we go and as there has been a need. Quite often I’ve found out after the fact, that I’ve naturally been doing some of the documented to do’s… And I have really started trusting my helper called instinct and other grace-filled moms in my life… Oh, and the weekly development email from babycentre.co.uk – brilliant resource! I am super blessed to have a number of good friends with 2012 babies just ahead of me and the best thing is just hanging around them, gleaning and getting a picture of what’s to come. It feels right – less books and courses, more relationship… and relying on God’s wisdom. I’ve been wondering if we miss the full use of trusting and developing these gifts because of the excessive availability of info & advice being presented to us these days? I have been asked which method I’m using to get zoebug to sleep etc and to be honest, I have no idea what they all are or mean… I’ve picked up snippets but my most helpful thing has been to learn to read my baby and look ahead to what a particular method might mean in a few months or years time…. ie. if I got into rocking her to sleep long term, what would that feel like when she weighs 12kg’s and only knows how to fall asleep in my arms? Umm quite sore I’d say 😉 At the risk of sounding simplistic about this particular topic which can be used as a successful method of torture, I have to admit that I have hardly lost sleep and I might very well have been in ‘do’ mode, reading every book on the topic, had it been different. We will all eat humble pie at some point.
So to kind of sum up: These past 7 months have been life-changingly, overwhelmingly incredible! My husband and I are still in awe of this incredible gift of a child. I don’t think we will ever be able to fully express how blessed we feel… and how honoured we are that God… (and our special BM!!) would entrust us with raising and loving this little person. But you will probably see it in our eyes and our smiles. Sometimes we just to stand together in her room before we go to bed and watch her as she sleeps… & then we tip-toe out and repeat, “how cute is she?” “so cute!” We are completely giddy with love… and it’s growing in gargantuan leaps by the day.
It makes me so happy to see how content our baby girl is! I get so many return smiles when shopping with her facing out in her pouch, she just grins from ear to ear at everyone… & giggles at little people, animals and balloons. Sometimes ill walk past her while she’s sitting on the lounge floor playing and she’ll look up at me and just smile and then go back to sucking the daylights out of her toy… like she’s always been around, and in that moment I’m so affirmed in my role as mom. It’s big time melt heart stuff. Like all proud parents out there, we GENUINELY think she is just the cutest baby we’ve ever seen…. no really, THE CUTEST, most beautiful… and of course the brightest too:) I’m astounded at how she is developing… and what they all learn in such a short time (cos just when we think she’s unique we see all her same aged little friends doing the exact same thing 🙂 Our buglet knows a few words already…. If we say ‘kitty cat’, she looks around at the floor to spot one of our 3 furrballs, if we ask ‘where’s the light’, she immediately looks up wherever she is and finds the light and smiles (her favourite thing), ‘milkybottie’ (her other favourite thing until she wants no more and then it’s her worst thing:), Praise Baby (her favourite music) and daddy (her favourite person)…. And more. We are working on mommy still 🙂 Dad’s taken on the repetitive task of trying to teach her my titlename. At the moment if he says ‘where’s mommy’, she looks up at the light…. & then he assures me that it must be because I’m the light of her life 🙂 But we all know the truth – dad is a serious favourite – and I love that! Father daughter relationships generally undo me… I can stare forever when I see dads being loving with their girls. And now I have this beauty unfolding in my own home. Seeing the smile crinkles around my hubby’s eyes when he is engaging with our zoebug… Ah man!
And like all good babies, we have days when she’s been grumpy from waking until….. dad walks in the door and then it’s all smiles. I can only think that perhaps she was grumpy because she simply missed him ALL. DAY. LOOOOONG. And I can see his face asking me…. “why were you desperately sms-ing to ask how many split seconds away I was from home, look how happy she is” (haha:)
But right now I realise that I’m the one she mostly looks to with her little crying face, when she is hungry, or tired, or not feeling 100% and she is asking me to fix it. I don’t always get the welcome home smiles but I’m her mom and every little stinky nappy changed & bottle cleaned serves a purpose in nurturing, protecting, feeding and bringing up this beautiful little person. It is such an honour! I have noticed how quick moms are to grumble about this life change – and I’m not for a moment wanting to underplay how super hard it can be at times, there’s no “ok, let’s put this on ice and I’ll have a re-look when I’m feeling a little more fresh” Nope, it’s 24/7 and it doesn’t stop if you are feeling sick or desperately want some me-time to blog or a cup of hot coffee BUT the fact that I might for now, look a bit disheveled and miss some of my creative outlets or fun dinners out with friends… seriously, it all pales when I look at my baby and keep my eyes on the goal of raising a loved, secure little person… of character.
Ok, me time is up. Off to care for my little beloved happy cry face.
…but it felt good to be able to write again… hopefully I’ll be back before she turns 7 in years 🙂
Ps. The perfectionist in me is apologising for any bad grammar or typos… Supa-moms can’t be proofreaders too!