Time is such a funny beast. When we are kids we want it to speed up so we can grow up and do all the cool grown up things (like paying bills and housework??). And then at some point we realise time is precious and that we should make the most of every moment.
But I think once we have kids, we truly understand the preciousness of time. My baby turned two this week and as I try to think back on the last two years, I wonder where all that time has gone?
Motherhood has been the most wonderful experience of my life. I am so proud of the little person that hubby and I have raised together. I can see so much of both of us in her. His cheekiness and (thankfully) tidiness. My creativity and love of books. But then she is the whole other person developing right in front of our eyes. Strong willed and intelligent, generous and caring, funny and sweet.
Becoming a mum is really like standing at the edge of a cliff, having a rough idea of what is at the bottom based on what you have read and then being pushed over the edge and navigating your way through the maze at the bottom when you get there. It is wondrous, amazing, challenging, rewarding, frustrating, exhausting, and it can be all of these things in one day. Reflecting on the last two years, I have learnt so much about myself, life and motherhood. Here are just 22 of those things…
- Pick your battles. You can’t win them all so pick the ones with the most impact.
- Your child’s laughter is the sweetest noise you will ever hear.
- A back rub can be magical in calming tears.
- It’s easy to loose yourself in the midst of motherhood. It’s harder to make time for yourself but start with five minutes a day and it will quickly add up.
- You will beat yourself up about little things but make sure you also celebrate the wins. You work harder for the wins but they often go by without recognition.
- Make time to watch your kids playing. It is so beautiful to watch them exploring and interacting with the world around them BUT…
- If your child is happily playing by themselves NEVER make eye contact as that quiet play will abruptly come to a stop. Worst ever.
- Your mind will boggle at the sheer number of times a child can watch the same DVD over and over and over again.
- You need a support network of family and friends. The saying that it takes a village to raise a child is so true. Find your tribe and stick with them.
- Most days you make it all up through a combination of trusting your instincts and synthesising all the various pieces of advice you receive to come up with a way that works for you.
- It isn’t nice to be judged for our choices as a mum and we also shouldn’t judge other mums. Every child is different, every family is different and every mother will make different choices that are right for her family.
- Swaying is a permanent state. You will sway with the trolley at the supermarket checkout, while standing at the lights waiting to cross the road and most of the time you won’t even have your kids with you.
- Pregnancy brain should actually be called Mummy brain. Forgetfulness and calling your kids by the pets names are just part of motherhood.
- You can be feeling deflated, defeated and wondering if the whole motherhood gig is actually for you and then your child will wrap their arms around your neck in a big hug or share their soggy sultanas with you and all the troubles of the day will instantly disappear.
- Babies are time wasters. You can just sit and stare at them for hours. Sleeping, gurgling, cooing and doing their baby thing. There is no nicer way to spend a day!
- There is help out there and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask. Whether you have a problem with breastfeeding or a question about sleep or something more serious like post natal depression, there are so many professionals out there who are waiting to help you and you should ask for help if you need it!
- Some days you need to laugh or you will cry. Like when the dinner you have slaved over a hot stove for ends up being tipped all over the floor or rubbed into the table when you turn your back for a second. Laugh and laugh often.
- Every phase kids go through has a beginning and an end. Remind yourself that “this too shall pass“. Every stage is harder than the last but at the same time you are building your arsenal of tools to equip you to handle it so it gets easier at the same time.
- You will be amazed at how little sleep you can function on. But that doesn’t mean you should just ditch sleep. Take it when you can. Go to bed early, nap when they nap and remember that the dishes will still be there tomorrow.
- Your kids will very quickly learn which buttons to push and master how to push them for maximum impact. Clever little things they are!
- Your heart will be filled with more love than you ever thought imaginable. The love you have for your child is like no other and is boundless in it’s magnitude.
- No two days will ever be the same. You may have the same battles or go through the same motions but every day your child will surprise you with something new. A new word, a new skill, a new way of doing things. Roll with it and see where the days take you!
What have you learnt during your time as a mum? Anything that resonated with you on the list?
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