I have a confession to make.
When I was a new mum I did NOT cherish every moment with my baby. In fact, I actually wanted to punch most of the moments in the face. My life consisted of trying to get my daughter to sleep, trying to get some sleep and stumbling around the house like a zombie not cherishing anything at all BECAUSE I WAS TOO BLOODY TIRED.
I used to beat myself up for not treasuring all the time I spent with my daughter, but thanks to random strangers in the supermarket and some inspirational Facebook memes telling me that I should ‘enjoy every minute because it could be the last time so cherish the f*ck out of this and that or you will regret it forever because they grow up so fast’ I SAW THE LIGHT.
‘So wait, ‘ I thought. ‘Are you telling me that BABIES ARE NOT BABIES FOREVER? They grow? AND THEY DO IT FAST? This is a revelation! Why is no one else excited about this? Why are so many parents panicking about sleep regressions and teething and sleep crutches and making a rod for their own back? THEY WON’T ALWAYS NEED US, PEOPLE. We will sleep again. We won’t always be tired and one day, ONE FINE DAY, We might even get around to watching Breaking Bad.
So if you are drowning in a sea of exhausted tears then hang on to this…
When you are dragging yourself out of bed at 4am to tend to a baby for the fuckteenth time remember, THIS WILL NOT LAST FOREVER.
When you have to clean up a poo-covered child with a single costa napkin because you went out without wipes – again – remember, things WON’T ALWAYS be this hard.
When you are crying in the shower because you’ve had NO sleep and your baby is screaming for you even though you have only been 30 seconds and you don’t think you can mum any more…remind yourself, everything is temporary.
One day, you’ll sell the old feeding chair on Ebay and start using the Moses basket for laundry. You’ll have washed your hair three days in a row and finally shaved your legs. And then at one point, you’ll look at that vomit stain that you never quite managed to get out of your sofa and feel all warm and glowy inside… Not because you regret not enjoying that moment- but because you’ll think THANK THE FUCKETY FUCK that Puke After Every Feed Then Scream phase has PASSED.
Of course, there were some special moments in the early days. The first smile, the giggles, the feeling of having a baby asleep on my chest. And those memories still fill me with a longing to go back and experience them one more time. Although, if I did I’d have to double check that when I was done I’d get to hand them back and come home. Back to my Now Babies who aren’t really babies any more. Back to not-so-new motherhood where I don’t constantly feel like crap, I get to drink my coffee hot and I can actually enjoy my children.
So sod cherishing the moments. Living them is enough. Surviving them is enough. Experiencing them is enough. The good and the bad moments are what make us strong parents. Not a #blessed selfie in Valencia filter of one perfectly perfect moment you had just before baby puked down your top.
Just because you don’t cherish every moment does not mean you don’t cherish your child. It means you are human. And humans get tired and when we are tired, quite frankly all the moments can piss off.
But the good news is, once you are out of the thick fog of first time parenthood and sleep-deprivation, you will have an abundance of awesome moments coming at you left, right and centre.
The kind of moments that fill you with a happiness so intense it makes your chest ache. The kind of heart melting experiences that make you think ‘hey, let’s have another cute little baby‘ and then before you know it you have two under two and for a while you want the moments to piss off all over again…but only for a while. NOT forever. Because did I mention THEY GROW UP SO FAST.
**But there are 17 special little moments you should definitely cherish the hell out of…and I wrote about them all over at Metro UK.
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