The last six months have been a whirlwind of emotions. I never thought that becoming a mother would be as fulfilling as it has been. I didn’t know what kind of mother i would be, and I wasn’t sure if I was up for the challenge. I’ve learnt that you build up a resilience to many situations because you aren’t what’s important anymore. You have to show strength when the going gets tough and you grow a love for something so strong you feel like you’re going to burst.
They tell you that you forget all about birth once you have your baby in your arms and I feel the same about my life before Ernest. I now struggle to remember the times where it was just me, my husband and the cat.
Our days were filled with carefree plans. We wouldn’t think twice about waking up after midday and deciding whether to jump straight into eating lunch or start with some poached eggs, as technically, it was still morning. We would lie in the bed with our arms wrapped around each other with the sun beams hitting our faces in complete silence, and we could just be still with one another. We would spend holidays exploring little coves, zipping around on a moped, getting lost, only to discover the most beautiful spot to sit and watch the sun go down whilst reading a book aloud.
We would go out for dinner to a small bistro, talking about our plans for the future, telling silly jokes and making fun of one another. Time would tick by and we would take the long stroll back to our house whilst holding hands, or usually my husband pushing me up the hill because like always my eyes are way too big for my belly. Our summer evening were spent having spontaneous trips to the beach with friends, building fires and BBQing or roadtripping to France on a motorbike, with only a backpack for luggage.
I remember a time where the simplicity of sitting and reading a magazine whilst sipping on a diet coke was achievable.
Although I do miss these moments, they are just that, moments, moments we can look back on with fondness as we had the chance to do these amazing things whilst we could.
Our life now is different. The dynamic of our family has changed and our cat is no longer our only baby. We have responsibilities. Our days are less filled with spontaneity but are now more of a checklist of essential items. We have to think about every situation and weight up the pros and cons of whether something is a good idea or not. Our carefree life is no longer carefree.
Its sad to think, but you start to spend less and less time on nights out with your friends and more time at home. Those nights out become something of the past, and something you start to dread or feel you’ve grown out of. Its like nothing changes, you see the same people out and about that you did when you were in your early tweens and the appeal of it has vanished. Your social calendar will start to fill with coffee mornings and play dates with your mummy friends because you feel more comfortable talking all things baby. If you do see your non baby wearing friends, you try not to, but you cant help but to either talk about your baby, or you try and convince them they should have one.
Ernest has changed the way I view the world, he’s softened me. I now give hugs to people and don’t wince when doing so. Affection is something I have always struggled with and I’m not entirely sure why? Maybe its because my mother was never that tactile and its rubbed off on me. I have friends that naturally go in for a loving embrace and I envy them. I used to spend my time overthinking the situation and then I just became this awkward person that everyone knew about. Every encounter would start with “oh you don’t like/give hugs do you?”.
I have now taken on the attitude of not sweating the small stuff and my tear ducks have never had so much use. I cry over the most trivial of things now and I have a sense of pride over my actions. You just find yourself loving life more, everything comes together and looks better because of one tiny person and your love for them.
I, like anyone, have my moments of anger or get into a mood over the littlest of things, usually driving related, but I try to think a little more before I voyage over to the dark side, because you want your child to learn your good habits and not your bad.
They say that being a mother is tough. It can be. I find myself alone for the most part and whilst Ernest is learning all his many milestones, the daily routine can grow very repetitive. You find yourself whiling away the day, in those instances where going out is just too much of a faff or its raining, until its your time to relax. I spend what little contact i have with my husband, no longer talking to him about us but solely about Ernest and the things we are going to do with him.
I am, for want of a better word, classed as lazy but who would have thought that i’d become a morning person? Its amazing how you adapt and develop with your child. You have no choice but to get up at stupid o’clock in the morning and where you used to fall out of the bed, eyes still closed, cursing the day away or your partner for even daring to speak to you, you now look forward to seeing your babies face looking up at you from the cot with the most infectious smile. Its those moments that you grow to love so much more.
I no longer look across at the parents with the child who’s screaming in the middle of the supermarket and want to kill them. I see that situation for what it is, something that can’t be helped.
These first six months of motherhood have taught me about following my instinct and enjoying the little things in life. Going to work is no longer at the forefront of your mind and if I could wish for anything I would wish for a bit more time with Ernest so I can watch him grow just for a little while longer. You will blink and suddenly they are no longer a baby, but a walking talking version of you. I have found that there are many things that don’t come naturally to me, but i’m learning to embrace every part of my strengths and my flaws the best way I can.
Its true what they say, life just happens whilst you’re busy making other plans. You waste so much time on unimportant things like material items, or financial gain that you forget to enjoy life for what it is and be truly happy.
My life isn’t perfect and I have days where I find it exhausting and all consuming. I sometimes argue and bicker with my husband and i feel like i’m getting on at him for not spending enough time with Ernest, but this is something you can work upon. I will often get frustrated with myself when I doubt my abilities but do you know what, I can honestly say I have never been happier in my life than I am now.