Even getting round to writing about our first year as parents has taken me two months. I think that in itself sums up parenthood perfectly. Time becomes this precious thing you want to grasp on to with every inch of your being because as soon as you give birth you enter some crazy parallel universe where in fact time is sped up beyond unimaginable measures. Well at least that’s how it feels. Everyone can try to prepare you, give you all the advice and ‘opinions’ in the world but until you are living it it’s only then you’ll realise just how fast time goes by.
We’ve lived one whole year of loving another human beyond our wildest dreams amongst the anxiety, the fear, the tiredness, the lonliless, the sadness, the happiness, the excitement, the craziness. I will admit here and now I was never ‘maternal’, I knew I wanted kids but I didn’t really think I had that maternal spark where I was drawn to kids or that I was a ‘natural’. That was Lucie, my sister, she had the knack, she loved babies, she always wanted to be a teacher, she was the maternal one. That was until I had Evie and my whole world shifted. Suddenly everything I thought was important, wasn’t. My whole attention was fixated on Evie and I loved every second of being her Mother. Now I am a mother before being anything else, it’s my priority. It’s no walk in the park and nobody would tell you that but I just absolutely adored every single day and I didn’t want to feel ashamed in saying so. Everyone’s experience is different but sometimes people belittled me in the early days for expressing my joy and excitement. They questioned why I had make up on everyday or why I was out the house before 10am with a newborn. I would simply explain it was all to do with Evie and nothing to do with me. She was a dream baby, she was pretty content I would say and the response I’d get back was “oh that won’t last”. You can’t win with people, you can’t do right from wrong. I would never ever say it was easy (because it’s not!) but I didn’t find it as difficult as people made out, if that makes sense!? In the run up to giving birth people would put the fear into me, “life as you know it will change” and oh my god it does but not in the negative way they made be believe. I feel like when you’re pregnant you get bombarded with comments like “you’ll never have a lie in again”, “you won’t be able to do that once the baby comes”, “say goodbye to any spare money you have”, “you’ve only been married for 6 months!”, “enjoy this time before the baby comes because before you know it it’ll be all nappies and sick” and a lot of it is negative. Yes it’s nice to have spare money to buy a bag or a fancy holiday and yes you can’t just nip out to Tesco for an onion and yes your baby will not understand the concept of sleeping in until 9am at the weekend (or any day for that matter) but to me none of this matters. The things that people kept telling me I’d miss I infact don’t care about at all. You can keep your lazy Saturdays and breakfast in bed and your nights out and your fancy holidays because my priorities have changed. As soon as I gave birth they changed and I’ve never been happier. It’s okay to admit you’re struggling, it’s hard, you need a break or a helping hand. But it’s also okay to admit you’re happy, you’re loving every second and you wouldn’t change it for the world. We live in a world where if you’re enjoying motherhood then you’re seen to be bragging or showing off and if you’re struggling with motherhood then you’re not coping like you ‘should be’. Where is the middle ground!?
This past year I have grown as a person in so many ways. Yep I’ve lost my shit, I’ve shed a few tears, I’ve gained a few lbs (many), but more importantly I’ve smiled every single day, I’ve had my heart burst with pride over and over and I’ve learnt to enjoy the little things. I thought I’d be a crazy control freak of a mother and instead Evie makes me feel calm and I am more myself than I ever have been. This all sounds kind of crazy because the last thing I feel when she’s pulling out all the crap from under the stairs or screeching like a banshee for no reason is calm but I found a quote that is a pretty perfect summary.
“Before I was constantly looking for happiness within other people, places, things or whenever I could find it. Motherhood has helped me to love myself through loving you. I no longer wonder what the world holds for me because I am already holding my whole world in my arms.”
And on that note I give you 12 months of Evie Pops.