When you are in the midst of the endless night feeds and sleep deprivation is making you slightly crazy, you think the person that says to you “one day you will miss this” is either slightly unhinged, or about to be slapped. But they are right. One day you will miss the 2am feed in the dead of night, just you and your precious bundle. Because one day, you too will look back on parenting with a rose tinted haze.
You see women with bellies full of babies and you forget the back ache, the sweating, and the sickness. Your birth story is part of who you are now, along with the tiger stripes and weak bladder. But you look at those bumps and remember the baby kicks and first scans and the excitement and wonder of it all.
When you have your firstborn you think that you will remember it all. Every savoured moment. There is no way you could forget. Then you have your second and you realise that you did forget. Somehow you forgot how newborns breathe weird and make you panic slightly, because you had to remember all the names of the Paw Patrol pups. You forgot how you would wake up soaking wet because your boobs had exploded, because you have to remember the next pre-school dress up day, and when you last had their feet measured.
One day you will hear a song on the radio and it will bring with it a wave of nostalgia that brings a tear to your eye. The song that used to calm your crying baby. The only song that worked. The song you would play on loop as you paced the floor. Knowing that as soon as it stopped or you stopped moving, your baby would cry. And despite the aching arms and the exhaustion, you want to step back in time and hold them in your arms again.
You forget about the endless nappy changes and attempts to get your baby to lie still as they practice their new found rolling skill whilst you are mid pooey wipe. Instead you look back and you miss those tiny dimpled bottoms and the soft fuzz on top of their heads. And you remember their smell. Oh that baby smell. It makes your womb flip just thinking about it.
You miss the tiny sleep suits. And you forget about the endless poppers and never getting it right first time, even though your baby is screaming to be fed. You forget the permanent ache in your back as you hold both their hands whilst they try to master their first steps. Instead you remember where they took those first unaided steps and how you cheered them on.
When you are in the midst of the toddler years, the tears and the tantrums, you won’t appreciate the little old lady who stops you in the street and tells you to “savour every moment because it goes so fast”. You don’t want to savour the dinner time negotiations and bedtime delaying tactics. You don’t want to savour the public meltdowns and onlooker judgement when it is the twelfth tantrum of the day. Your toddler changes from angel to monster so quickly it makes your head spin. But one day you will look back and laugh about the epic tantrum they had because the front door wasn’t red, or that you wouldn’t let them play with the hair dryer in the bath. One day you will catch sight of your school child and it will take your breath away as you realise, it is all going by so fast.
Life will be ticking along nicely and then you will have a wobble because you realise that your youngest child is about to turn four and will be starting school this year. You will look around your house and realise that there are no cots, no nappies, no bottles. No sign of babies. Those days are behind you. Gone. You survived. You thrived. You came out the other side.
Your kids amuse you and infuriate you, sometimes in equal measures. They are the reason you get up in the morning. The reason you do daft things to see them smile. The reason you have to spend a fortune covering the grey hairs. You know you have years ahead of making special memories. Learning and growing together, experiencing the roller-coaster ride that is parenting.
There’s a part of you that feels a little sad that the first bit is over. And you reminisce, and you smile, and you miss. You know that sometimes it was hard, sometimes it was lonely, sometimes it was overwhelming. But looking back, it all looks so beautiful in a rose tinted haze.
For my Little who is turning four. I might be a tad emotional!
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