I don’t know about you, but when I was pregnant for the first time, all I could think about was the birth and then having a baby in my arms. I honestly never really thought any further ahead than that. It was baby, baby, baby. Which I think is probably quite normal.
I remember after my birth that I suddenly realised ALL my NCT class seemed to be about the birth – apart from one session on breastfeeding – and that I wasn’t really sure what to do. But I worked it out, with the support of friends, and then when number two came along, although I found it difficult, I still managed it.
But then they kept growing. First crawling…walking…first day at nursery…first day at school….first day at Junior school…..Secondary school……STOP!! It goes so bloody fast!
Both my babies are now double digits. I have a 13-year-old and an 11-year-old. One about to decide on his GCSE options and one doing SATs this year (that’s a whole other blog post). Because my job as Singalong Sally means I spend a LOT of my time with preschoolers, I see all the parents and carers with their babies and toddlers and it just seems so far away. And then again it seems like yesterday.
One of the things I find myself saying to some of these parents is “Don’t worry, it gets easier!”. And in some ways, it does. They do eventually sleep through the night. They do eventually get in their own bed. They learn to walk, talk, use the toilet and feed themselves. The pressure on you eases in some ways.
But in some ways, it doesn’t. I suddenly realised when my eldest was in Year 5 (10 -11years old) that I was raising a human. Not just my baby. A person in his own right who I was shaping and guiding but who was, intrinsically and totally, his own person. It’s quite amazing really – I always wondered about nature vs nurture and now I see it’s a combination of both. Some things I can take credit for. Other things are just totally him. I teach him to be accepting, to be kind, to be understanding. He’ll always give his pocket money to homeless people. His heart is huge.
My youngest son is just as lovely but very different. He attacks the world. He’s a huge personality, he feels things very deeply and he’s not shy about telling you. He can rush into things and has trouble with impulsivity. He’s incredibly creative, a natural comedian and a gifted artist and writer.
Sometimes, when you’re knee deep in nappies and BLW, you can’t imagine that this little dependant bundle is a person that you haven’t got to know yet. When they’re driving you mad asking you “why?” every second sentence you can’t imagine having a long conversation about current affairs or a book.
It will happen. Before you know it, it will happen. You’ll be dragging them out of bed in the morning for school as they want to sleep in. You’ll be amazed when they tell you about something you don’t remember teaching them because they learnt it at school or from a friend. You’ll struggle to remember that NO ONE uses the word “sick” anymore and that now, bad things are totally “moist”. You’ll get laughed at for not knowing who Dan DTM is.
I suppose I’m just saying that your baby will be a child so soon. Your child will be a tween, then a teen…..
Treasure each moment. Newborns are exhausting but at least they sleep while you sit in a coffee shop and don’t run away. Soft play centres are hideous but at least they’re having a ball and you can see them. School is a scary step but you’ll be amazed at what they can do. Tweens are insane…and so are teenagers – but you can be really proud of the person your child is becoming.
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