I know that one year of motherhood does not a parenting expert make but it seems fitting that at this point I lay down some wisdom if only for my own eyes to look back upon.
On newfound parenthood and strengthening a relationship
Becoming a parent is wonderful but it is tough and it is very lonely at times.
It can be hard on a relationship when you’re both tired. A part of you wants to keep score, asking who is doing their fair share?
In the light of day these things seem trivial but you know that little things can become big things and so you talk about them and find balance in compromise.
You learn to play to each others strengths and to get out of the house more often both together and alone.
On listening to others advice on mothering
At first you'll absorb all that you can because parenting is a foreign subject and you’ll be eager to please and keen to do as everyone else does.
But then you realise that your baby is unique and your needs are too and so you learn to let go of expectations, both yours and others. Doing away with the things that don’t work and making your own mind up about the things that do.
You find your groove somewhere between tradition, necessity and intuition and create your own dance caring less and less if anyone sees or agrees.
On looking after you as well as yours
Self care is important.
As much as your child is your everything that Snickers bar at the end of the day will not sustain you and it could also explain why you are anaemic (personally speaking).
Which brings me to my next realisation. Talk. Find people who will listen without judgement. You’ll know them as the ones who fill your own awkward admissions with their all too familiar struggles. They’re also the ones who’ll share a great tip and lend you a nappy if you forget to bring one.
But above all, talking to others gets you out of your own head which at times can be overwhelming and self-sabotaging. The simple act of talking to someone, other than doctor Google can spark your own intuition because often, it was there all along and just like that you remember that you’ve got this.
On motherhood one year on
I remember being told that 9 months was a good age but I know there is a case for every age because quite simply, your love grows with your child.
There is something to learn or navigate at every age but there is so much to love too.
Costa at 1 is cheeky, witty and full-on at times but he is also quiet and caring and oh those nuzzling-in, snuggling in, weary-eyed cuddles.
There’ll always be a place on my shoulder for them.